The study of Finology will be taught to your kids and grandkids as part of their collegiate studies. The term Finology may change but you’ll see schools teaching how to navigate one’s personal relationships with money. A joke I make is that we teach kids how to identify a rhombus and we don’t teach them how to pay their taxes!
People are becoming frustrated with this disservice for future adults. We currently rely on parents to perform money education for their kids. This strategy has two large assumptions. The first assumption is that the parents have the proper money knowledge to share and teach their children. Yet, 61% of people couldn’t answer three out of five financial literacy questions conducted by the National Financial Capability Study.
The second assumption is that the parents are open to discuss money subjects with their children. Money is uncomfortable and many parents attempt to shelter children from financial challenges and hardships. According to a 2017 Acorns survey of over 3,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 44, 68% of people rather discuss their weight than their financial savings. So where do people get money education?
You can make the argument that we teach money through Micro and Macro Economics. Yes, money is taught in these subjects but on a grand level. The study of economics focuses on theories to understand money’s influences on systems. Economics provides a birds eye view on how money influences communities.
However, people don’t think about a country’s Gross Domestic Product when deciding how to decipher their credit report, when trying to understand their significant other’s destructive financial habits, or when deciding which student loan repayment strategy works best. So where will people get this education? Well, hopefully Finology fills this void.
Finology in Schools
Dick Wagner introduced this Finology subject with a deep dive in his book, Financial Planning 3.0: Evolving Our Relationships with Money. Wagner explains that Finology acts as an “umbrella term for the various aspects of personal relationships with money.”
Finology will focus on how individuals handle money and how they can improve their relationships with money. You can argue that money influences nearly all decisions in our capitalistic society so let’s teach people how to leverage money as a tool so people can live great lives towards financial freedom.
This Finology subject isn’t too outlandish. Schools already provide the framework for this subject’s adoption. Think how students learn about Sociology – the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. If people want to narrow down the study of humans to an individual level rather than on a societal level, then people will dive into Psychology. Just like this relationship between Sociology and Psychology, Economics focuses on how societies are influenced by money where Finology will provide the study of how humans individually interact with money.
To provide another visual which may give you unwanted flashbacks of your SAT test prep:
Sociology : Psychology :: Economics : Finology
People want to learn how to use money effectively in their personal lives and not just rely on stock market pundits for financial advice. Until we have structured programs teaching Finology, we need to have ethical professionals to earn the public’s trust for money education and guidance.
Careers Provided By This Void
If it were possible, I’d flip a switch to magically give everyone the money knowledge they need to pursue their own financial freedom. This hypothetical scenario will make my current career obsolete. I’d be fine because I’d adapt to another fulfilling endeavor. Yet, money subjects continue to confuse people and this is where my training provides value for my clients.
Financial Planning as a career provides an opportunity for trained professionals to help people with these Finology subjects. We learn about psychology with money, investment strategies, communication techniques about money, debt and credit, behavioral finance, taxes, retirement planning, money disorders, college education funding, budgeting and cash flow, financial goals, income planning, business legal structures, company benefits, estate planning, and charitable giving. Did you get a good grasp on these subjects in your Micro or Macro Economics courses?
The CFP Board designates professionals who are trained in these personal money matters. The CFP Board focuses on the Four E’s: Education, Experience, Examination, and Ethics for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. A person with the CFP® marks must have three years worth of experience in Financial Planning, must obtain a certain educational level in personal finance, must pass a comprehensive exam, and also exhibit appropriate ethical standards.
Financial Planning is striving to become its own profession where the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation may be a trusted and respected title. The CFP® marks may one day be respected just like a lawyer’s JD, an accountant’s CPA, and medical doctor’s MD.
In order to earn this respect, Financial Planners need to prove our value to the public. We provide a service to guide people in their money relationships with coaching, encouragement, and our technical know-how. I hope the public is recognizing that many Financial Planners aren’t simply selling complicated financial products but are adopting ethical service models to help clients through their money lives.
In order to do this, our Financial Planning profession needs to attract more talent from multiple populations so we can help more people on how to navigate money. This is a fulfilling career and if you’re interested to learn more, please see this list of resources which I share with people who are investigating this profession.
Resources to Learn About Financial Planning Careers
People are frustrated when dipping their toes in the Personal Finance profession because they enter aggressive sales oriented cultures focusing on life insurance, annuities, and transactional business. Many of these cultures focus on selling financial products rather than building relationships with clients.
If you want to prepare your Financial Planning career in a way that focuses on building relationships rather than focusing on transactional sales, then check out this list below.
I created this list because the information would have helped me as I started my own journey into this Financial Planning profession. I hope this list provides value to you as you investigate a career in Financial Planning.
Media to follow to learn more about Financial Planning
- Michael Kitces’s Nerd’s Eye View Blog
- XYPNRadio Podcast
- 2050 Trailblazers Podcast
- Money Quotient
- The Kinder Institute of Life Planning
- Financial Planning Magazine
- The Journal of Financial Planning
Learn how to enter the Financial Planning profession with a Paraplanning role
- Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP)
- Simply Paraplanner
- Paraplanning Media
Books to Read to learn about Financial Planning
- Financial Planning 3.0: Evolving Our Relationships with Money by Richard Wagner
- The One Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to be Smart About Your Money by Carl Richards
Communities of Financial Planners for networking and to follow
- XY Planning Network
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
- Financial Planning Association
- Facebook Groups
Things to consider when researching career opportunities at Financial Planning firms
- Ask firms: Where do you stand on the Fiduciary rule?
- The Fiduciary rule forces advisors to act in the client’s best interests at all times. Many commission-based planners oppose the Fiduciary rule.
- Work with New Planner Recruiting to have them help you find a right fit for what you’re looking for. They respect candidates who show initiative.
Research companies helping Financial Planners by seeing the list of exhibitors from industry leading conferences.
- You can be part of the Financial Planning profession without being a Financial Planner by working for a company that adds value to Financial Planners.
- XYPN Conference vendors
- NAPFA Conference vendors
- FPA Conference vendors
For more information about building careers, watch this short video: Career Development Tips.
Thanks for reading and if you want guidance on how to navigate your personal finances, please get in touch with me or learn more at Well-Rounded Success’ Services on the website.
About the Author
Dan Andrews is the Leader & CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ of Well-Rounded Success. Dan enjoys guiding and encouraging individuals through a variety of money subjects with a focus on behavioral finance. Dan’s vision is to impact communities by encouraging individuals to define their own paths, handle their responsibilities, and to give back while on their journeys.