Ideal curriculum for financial planning students

Here's a mashup of university program directors' ideas for which courses would best prepare next-gen financial advisers

Sep 1, 2018 @ 6:00 am

By Greg Iacurci

We asked program directors at four universities — San Diego State, Texas A&M, Utah Valley and Virginia Tech — what the ideal curriculum would be to prepare next-generation financial planners. Here's a mashup of their picture-perfect course list.

Required courses:

  1. Fundamentals of financial planning
  2. Investment planning
  3. Retirement planning
  4. Estate planning
  5. Life insurance planning
  6. Tax planning
  7. Capstone: Developing a financial plan

Advanced classes:

  1. Advanced investment planning
  2. Advanced tax strategies
  3. Technology
  4. Professional sales
  5. Special/current topics in financial planning (e.g., tax reform, special needs planning, case studies)
  6. Financial counseling and behavioral finance
  7. Implications of debt for the household
  8. Internship

The future of financial planning:

  1. Financial planning policy and compliance
  2. Communication and emotional intelligence
  3. Peer-to-peer financial counseling
  4. Practice management
  5. Financial planner in residence (a financial planner comes into the classroom three-four days at a time, and teaches on
  6. advanced concepts they see in practice. Repeat with various planners throughout the semester.)

Prep courses:

  1. Series 7
  2. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 1
  3. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) review
  4. Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) review
  5. Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) review
  6. Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC) review


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