Associate professor of behavioral finance,
The American College of Financial Services
- On cold days, he drinks hot Tang.
- His guilty pleasures are dance parties with his children and drinking hot chocolate through Grasshopper cookies.
- He’s a volunteer pastor for his church.
As an undergraduate, Benjamin Franklin Cummings tried engineering and then psychology as he searched for a career path that felt right. A chance meeting with a financial adviser helped him identify the way to go.
“Financial advising combines analytical skills and social involvement,” said Mr. Cummings, who is a partner at Blue Barn Wealth.
After college, his plan to get a master’s in financial planning in order to practice turned into a Ph.D. that led to a career in academia. Accepting a virtual position with The American College in 2016 enabled him to take on hands-on work as well. He joined Blue Barn in 2017.
“I love the combination of the two jobs. It gives me credibility in the classroom by giving real-life context, and the classroom experience helps me better educate my clients,” said Mr. Cummings, who is also the editor of the Journal of Personal Finance.
He is gratified that behavioral finance is playing a larger role in the industry.
“In professional education, a lot of the teaching is on strategies,” he said. “But there’s a growing focus on helping people achieve their goals. We need to ask them, ‘What’s going to help you have a more meaningful life?’”
— Deborah Nason