High schoolers to test whether they're smarter than a financial adviser

100 teens to give financial planning a shot this summer in new Schwab, Texas Tech program

Apr 15, 2016 @ 11:19 am

By Liz Skinner

About 100 high school students will learn firsthand what life as an adviser is like this summer through an industry program aimed at showing them that financial planning is very different than what they see in movies like "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Funded mostly through a Charles Schwab Foundation grant, for one week in June these students will live at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and spend 12 hours a day engaged in financial planning activities, such as competing to build the best financial plan, and team-building exercises.

“For 10 years we've been working with Texas Tech to try and introduce the profession to finance majors and making sure students understand planning is a viable career opportunity,” said Bernie Clark, head of Schwab Advisor Services. “But we need to get them interested earlier so they can pick colleges that make sense for their choices.”

(Related read: Why it's time to make way for the next generation)

The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors from around the U.S., and is one of many efforts financial services firms are making to try to guide more students into the planning field. Some analysts say the nation will face a shortage of financial advisers in coming years as more planners exit the profession than enter it.

Deena Katz, a Texas Tech personal financial planning professor, said they are asking high schools and financial advisers to encourage students to apply to the program in its first year. Future years will involve advisers working regularly in high schools and nominating the best applicants, she said.

An application for the Financial Planning Academy can be found on the Texas Tech website.

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