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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 06:31 AM EDT
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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine
Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 06:31 AM EDT
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The Paramus Post - Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine

Local Students Compete in National Financial Planning Competition


Who would willingly spend their summer working full-time, and then devote their remaining free hours to working on a project they don’t get paid for or graded on?
Three local students with diverse backgrounds from William Paterson University (WPU) are doing just that. They have spent a significant portion of their summer in creating a mock financial plan as part of the 2010 Financial Planning Challenge (FPC) – presented by the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the Academy of Financial Services (AFS), Ameriprise Financial (Founding Corporate Partner), and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board ®).

Nina Benton, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, CLTC and member of the Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPANJ), was lucky enough to interview these enterprising young people. According to Nina, all are majoring in the two year old Financial Planning Program at WPU, giving them a degree with an emphasis in Financial Planning. The program is one of just two undergraduate degree programs in the state of New Jersey registered with the CFP® Board, the gold standard of financial planning. While the program includes coursework needed to be able to sit for the two day CFP Board® competency exam, the FPC competition may be the first time these students actually get to work on a comprehensive plan for a client. Although they do not get paid or graded for their participation, they see it as good preparation for components of the exam, as well as for developing real skills they’ll put into practice once they transition fully into the work force.

The Financial Planning Challenge consists of three phases: a written Financial Planning case study; the presentation of that study; and a Jeopardy!-style financial planning knowledge bowl, to be held at the FPA Denver 2010 Conference. With three students per team, and no help from professors or professionals, the competition involves analyzing a couple’s situation, creating a plan based on their goals and priorities, and then presenting the findings and recommendations. While class work involves doing this on a smaller scale, this is the first time the students have been asked to combine all units of a comprehensive plan on their own.

The three students working on this case together are Nick Scheibner of Stanhope, Cagla Yildirim of Parsippany, and Nathan Phillips of Sparta. These students, all local New Jersey residents, come from vastly different backgrounds. Yet they need to coordinate their work while juggling their full-time jobs and schoolwork. Nick, a senior in the program, and the student who started the first student chapter of FPA®, is focusing on the Investment component of the challenge. Nathan, who used to drive trucks for a living is working on the Tax component, and Cagla, originally from Turkey, is taking on the Insurance section. While the group tries to meet once a week, working that into their busy schedule during the summer while maintaining full-time jobs can be very challenging. “We mostly collaborate via the Internet” according to Cagla.

The group has until September 5th to create a cohesive plan. Then, a panel of judges will select the top eight competing teams to present their plans in front of professionals from around the world at the FPA Denver 2010 Conference, held from October 9-12th. The students will be able to attend meetings and network with professionals while at the conference, but will also have to compete in the last two segments of the competition. Among other awards, the winning team would win $10,000 of scholarship money for their school.

If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to contact:

Luke Dean
Academic Coordinator of Financial Planning Program
Cotsakos College of Business
William Paterson University
[email protected]
(973) 720-2650

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The Financial Planning Association ® is the leadership and advocacy organization connecting those who provide, support, and benefit from professional financial planning. FPA has 95 chapters throughout the country representing more than 21,000 members. One of the 10 largest chapters, the FPANJ is a not-for-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to promoting the disciplined, ethical practice of the financial planning process in order to help people achieve their goals and dreams. For more information please visit www.fpanet.org or www.fpanj.org.
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