August 9, 2010

FPA, CFP Board, Others Join for College Financial Planning Challenge

Four professional, academic groups to encourage students

Those who remember College Bowl days will find a few similarities in the competition launched under the auspices of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the Academy of Financial Services, Ameriprise Financial, and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

The 2010 Financial Planning Challenge will pit students in college and university programs registered with the CFP Board, and those in similar fields of study, against one another in a three-part competition: first, a financial planning case study; second, the "How Do You Know Challenge" - think Trivial Pursuit focused exclusively on knowledge of financial planning; and third, presentation of financial planning case studies.

Aimed at driving the success of the next generation of financial planners, the competition cites three purposes in its newly developed competition: "engaging students and program directors in the financial planning community; raising awareness of career opportunities; and encouraging learning and networking in the financial planning profession."

This first year will see 19 teams from 13 schools nationwide competing in the three-stage trials. As they plan for two "clients" based on provided profiles, the teams will identify client objectives, risk tolerance, asset allocations, and benchmarks to evaluate performance, all then to be summarized and outlined within a single page. They must also include a welcome letter and a written explanation of how their overall plan for these hypothetical clients encompasses the proposed investment strategy.

The eight top teams that emerge from this objective will then face the next: they will be funded by the organizations who devised the program to face one another in the "How Do You Know Challenge" at FPA Denver 2010 and the AFS Annual Meeting. All eight teams will then progress to the third and final phase, presentation of their cases to a panel of judges. The top three finishers will win scholarships for their schools in the amount of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.

The first-place team will also receive the Career Coach Award, which includes an hour of coaching from a financial planning expert.

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