Mihaylo College Finance Professor David Nanigian stands in front of a group of CSUF personal finance students at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, site of the 2017 Financial Planning Association Conference.

David Nanigian, director of the Personal Financial Planning Program, and students outside the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, at the FPA Annual Conference.

For Mihaylo College’s Personal Financial Planning Program, a highlight of the past academic year was a student visit to the Financial Planning Association Annual Conference, the largest gathering of Certified Financial Planner™ professionals in the world. This opportunity was made possible through a $25,000 grant from the Orange County-based McBeth Foundation.

Cal State Fullerton personal financial planning students joined more than 2,000 certified financial planners (CFP®) in Nashville last October for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Annual Conference, providing networking opportunities with industry leadership and exposure to domestic and international speakers who are defining the field.

The visit to the conference was made possible by a $25,000 grant from the McBeth Foundation, which funds individuals and groups who are making an impact on their communities in Southern California. Named after the late Laguna Beach philanthropist Barbara McBeth Woodruff, an artist and farmer who spent her life in Orange County and Phoenix, the foundation has previously funded such leading California organizations as the San Diego Zoo and the South Coast Symphony.

Gaining from Industry Leaders and Connecting With Fellow Young Professionals

Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Finance David Nanigian, director of the Personal Financial Planning Program, says the exposure and experience that students gained at the three-day FPA Conference will have a significant impact on their academic and professional future.

“Our students attended educational sessions instructed by leaders in the field, who have extensive experience with many of the issues, situations and circumstances that our students will encounter when they enter the workforce as financial planners,” says Nanigian. “Many of our students used the opportunity to converse with counterparts from programs in other universities, such as those from Texas Tech, University of Illinois and Texas A&M University. They left the conference with insights on how the material they were learning in their courses applies in practice. I am so grateful to the McBeth Foundation for facilitating the long-term success of our college’s Personal Financial Planning Program students through its generous support of their travel to the FPA’s 2017 Annual Conference.”

Workshops at the conference covered such topics as sustainable spending for retirement, the financial implications of divorce, global case studies, health savings accounts, the impacts of health and tax reform, succession planning, women and wealth management, strategies for family enterprises, cybersecurity, philanthropic giving trends, and financial planning for immigrants.

Mihaylo College personal finance students together at the Financial Planning Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in October 2017.

Mihaylo College personal financial planning students networked with financial planning professionals and their counterparts from universities nationwide at the FPA Annual Conference.

An Inside Look at Financial Planning

Victoria Martinez ’18 (finance), one of the student attendees of the FPA Conference, says participating will not only impact her future, but also her clients as she enters the financial planning profession.

“The conference provided several workshops ranging from sustainable spending for retirement to understanding how the brain impacts financial decision-making. Personally, I enjoyed hearing about financial decision-making and discovering that 63% of individuals save only $500 to cover an emergency expense,” she says. “Why is that? An adviser’s goal is to address this and provide the best advice possible for their clients. After attending the conference, it was clear that the Mihaylo College program correlated with the real world of financial planning. I became more aware of the impact young prospective financial advisers, such as myself, will have in educating and planning for various clients. It was useful to have the opportunity to ask professionals what their day-to-day looks like and what to expect out of a financial planning career.”

A recent graduate of the Personal Financial Planning Program, Martinez’s short-term goal is to take the certified financial planner exam. “I recently received a great opportunity to work at a CPA firm in Irvine, although it is not in the specific area of financial advising I plan to be in,” she says. “But I want to be open-minded and expand my knowledge in plans to become a licensed CFP and potentially furthering my education in accounting and finance,” she says.

For More Information

For more on Mihaylo College’s Personal Financial Planning Program, please visit their website.