December 2015 Connections Newsletter

Issue #1215  
The American College of Financial Services® Connections
A Time to Give Thanks
  At this time of year, I find that reflection on what I am thankful for helps me gain perspective and serves as the foundation for charting the future course. My wife and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to start a new adventure in our lives when I assumed the helm of The American College of Financial Services in October of 2014. The best part about our first year in our new roles has been meeting and working with the finest people we have ever met. From the professional staff, faculty, boards, and students, we have been overwhelmed by the quality of the people and the warm welcome we received when we joined The American College family.

But, there is another group that deserves our thanks, and that is the individuals representing other mission-based industry trade associations and educational providers that support the financial services profession. This past year we made a conscious effort to reach out to other organizations and partner with them on joint projects, collaborating to benefit the entire profession.

A sampling of this activity includes:
  • A joint webcast with the Society of Financial Service Professionals on retirement income planning held in October.
  • A joint conference with GAMA International and the New York Roundtable held in New York City.
  • Supporting Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) with educational programs and FPA’s Women and Finance Knowledge Circle.
  • Partnering with AALU to provide information to practitioners about the Department of Labor’s fiduciary proposals.
  • Reaching out to other colleges and universities to help build the next generation of advisors.
  • Promoting Life Insurance Awareness Month with other professional organizations.
  • Working with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) to provide a new home for the REBC® and ChHC® credentials.

In addition, we support the advocacy work of NAIFA and collaborate with industry partners to host the Conference of African American Financial Professionals. Many organizations are doing wonderful things, and we applaud such efforts as the work CFP Board is doing in attracting more women and students to the profession and their commitment to increasing the financial planning body of knowledge. There are a lot of reasons to be thankful this year, and for all of us at The American College, the privilege of working with and supporting the efforts of such tremendous partner organizations is reason number one.
I hope everyone has a safe, happy holiday season, and please know how much we appreciate you at The American College.

Be Ready for the CFP Exam in 1 Year with Express Pass

For the month of December your College is piloting a program to help students meet their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Certification Education (CFP®) educational requirements in 12 months, and prepare them to sit for the March 2017 CFP® Exam. This new initiative is designed to appeal to the most committed students wishing to pursue their CFP® credential.

"It takes most students, on average, 17 months to complete their education," says Jack Hondros, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, CASL®, Chief Marketing Officer of The American College of Financial Services. "We've worked hard to put together a program, and a study schedule, that will help students set and reach their goal of earning their CFP® by March 2017."

If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about the Express Pass program, you can learn more online or speak with an advisor at 888-795-6306.
CFP Express Pass

Survey: Elder Abuse, Lack of Knowledge Top Ethical Concerns in Retirement Income Industry
Most financial services professionals believe the retirement income industry is on good ethical footing, according to the results of a new survey released by The American College of Financial Services.

The report—titled, “Ethical Issues in Retirement Income Planning,” found that 64 percent of the financial professionals surveyed felt the retirement income industry had a good ethical climate.

But the survey, authored by Jamie Hopkins, Professor of Retirement Income Planning and Co-Director of The American College New York Life Center For Retirement Income Planning, and Julie Ragatz, Professor of Ethics and Director of The American College Cary M. Maguire Center For Ethics In Financial Services, also revealed a number of ethical concerns that need to be addressed.

From a list of 30 choices, the top ranked ethical issue identified by respondents was protecting clients from financial elder abuse, despite the fact that it is not a widespread problem in the industry. Advisors were also very concerned about the knowledge level of both consumers and other retirement income planners.

The study also showed that while advisors did not necessarily believe compensation models led to unethical behavior, 66 percent felt that companies pressured them to make sales at the expense of their clients’ best interests.

Ragatz, who will discuss the research project with Hopkins during a live webcast on January 13, 2016, said some of the survey’s findings surprised her. In particular, she expected to see more concerns about unscrupulous advisors.

“Instead, we heard that the problem with advisors – and the clients themselves – is that they lack knowledge, and that’s causing the harm,” Ragatz said. “The good news is that you can remedy a lack of education, through programs like the RICP® offered by The American College. But you really can’t remedy bad character.”

Please join Jamie and Julie on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 for an in-depth webcast discussing the results of the survey.
Learn More About the Huebner Gold Medal

2015 Hubner Gold Medal Winner: Eileen C. McDonnell
On November 20, The American College of Financial Services proudly presented the Solomon S. Huebner Gold Medal to Eileen C. McDonnell during its annual President’s Dinner held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. McDonnell is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. On hand to congratulate McDonnell were 11 past Huebner Gold Medal recipients along with 185 supporters of The American College.

Bob Johnson, President and CEO of The American College, presented Eileen with the Huebner Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the institution. “This demonstrates the high regard in which Eileen is held. Eileen has been a long-time advocate for continuing education and an outstanding industry leader for many years. She was instrumental in creating educational content and programming as the first holder of the State Farm Chair in Women and Financial Services. She was also a faculty member of The College’s Master of Science in Management graduate program and was instrumental in establishing the Maurice L. Stewart Lectureship. Later in 2012, Eileen championed the creation of the Penn Mutual Center for Veteran Affairs which provides scholarships to veterans or their spouses who pursue a designation or degrees at The College.”

Awarded annually since 1975 by The College’s Board of Trustees, the Huebner Gold Medal honors Dr. Solomon S. Huebner, founder of the institution, and recognizes those special individuals whose support of The College and its programs, and whose dedication to professionalism, have furthered the mission of the institution.
Huebner Gold Medal
Eileen C. McDonnell with past Huebner Gold Medal Winners and Bob Johnson, President and CEO of The American College (from left to right): Samuel Weese, PhD, CLU®, CPCU; William Wallace, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP®; Gloria LaGrassa, CLU®,ChFC®; B.B. Brown, CLU® ChFC®; Jarrett Davis III, CLU®; Richard A. Liddy, CLU®; Eileen McDonnell; Peter Browne, LUTCF; Bob Johnson, PhD, CFA®, CAIA®; Alan Press, CLU®, LUTCF; Bud Schiff, CLU®, CAP®; Reginald Rabjohns, CLU®, ChFC®; Lou DiCerbo II, CLU®, ChFC®, LUTCF.
Learn More About the Huebner Gold Medal

Video of the Month
  Every month in Connections, we will be showcasing a video from our
YouTube channel. In the video below, Bradley Mattson tells his unique story of how he acquired a “shared sense of belonging” with his target market, single moms.
Video of the Month

The American College Featured in Leading Publications
The American College in USA Today, The Washington Post, and more!
NBC10 Philadelphia - Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates
Barrons - Rising Rates Spell Trouble for Stocks
Fortune - How Investors Can Fight Their Fear of the Fed
USA Today - 'Invest with the Fed' examines how investors can profit on Fed moves
The Wall Street Journal - The Top Five Retirement Posts from The Wall Street Journal’s Experts Blog in 2015
U.S. News - 10 Investing Tips From Successful Women
News & Events

Alumnus of
The Month

Alison Pettine

Robert Klein,

Read more

Upcoming Events

•  Knowledge Summit will take place from Thursday - Saturday, November 9-11, 2017. If you would like more information on Knowledge Summit 2017 in the Bahamas, please email us at:
•  Save the Date! The American College of Financial Services' Third Annual Clambake will take place September 17-18, 2016, at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, WI.
More information will be available soon.


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Our address is 270 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA, 19010-2196

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, and CFP (with flame logo)® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP® Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Top Advisors Credentialed by: MORE CERTIFICATION OPTIONS WITH COURSES LEADING TO EITHER MARK. The American College does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, and CFP® (with flame logo)® certification marks. CFP® certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience, and examination requirements.