From February 7th through February 9th, the CFP Board’s new Center for Financial Planning hosted their inaugural Academic Research Colloquium (ARC) in Washington D.C. The event brought together 215 academics from 130 colleges and universities to share and discuss research relevant to the financial planning profession, as a part of the CFP Board Center’s longer-term goal of establishing itself as the “academic home” for the financial planning profession (and the research that supports it).
In this guest post, Derek Tharp – our new Research Associate at Kitces.com, and a Ph.D. candidate in the financial planning program at Kansas State University – provides a recap of the 2017 CFP Academic Research Colloquium, and highlights a few of the latest research studies with particularly relevant takeaways for financial planning practitioners.
The 2017 CFP Academic Research Colloquium had a strong showing from some core financial planning academic programs, with scholars from Texas Tech, Kansas State, Georgia, and The American College serving as lead authors for nearly 50% of all research presentations and poster sessions. Additionally, the colloquium was successful in drawing in scholars from outside of the core financial planning programs, featuring lead authors from 27 other academic institutions, including Wharton School of Business, Harvard Medical School, and Yale.
The colloquium featured a wide range of topics. Some particularly relevant themes for financial planning practitioners ranged from diversity issues within financial planning (including an analysis of the experiences that increase female likelihood of pursuing a career in financial planning, as well as an examination of the predisposition of women to use the services of a financial planner), to client trust and communication (including the use of solution-focused financial therapy techniques to help clients set financial goals, and an investigation of how different types and frequencies of communication are associated with client satisfaction, trust, and commitment), and the always important topic of retirement planning (including a detailed examination of the use of QLACs in retirement income planning).
Overall, the inaugural CFP Academic Research Colloquium was an objective success. Attendance was strong from a wide range of educational institutions (including many not traditionally known for financial planning), research submissions were higher than expected, and the Center for Financial Planning was successful in recruiting a diverse group of academics and practitioners, above and beyond even what the FPA has been able to achieve in recent years with its partnership with the Academy of Financial Services. In the coming years, we will see whether the Center for Financial Planning is successful in their pursuit to become the academic home of financial planning research, but so far it’s off to a very strong start.