December 2020: Starting Thoughts

Journal of Financial Planning: December 2020



I have to confess something. A decade ago, I didn’t know what financial planning was…really. Growing up, my parents had a great insurance broker whose title was “financial adviser,” but I know you know, readers, that isn’t the same.

Now, thanks to my work here, and my own financial planner, I understand how powerful this profession is. I understand how life-changing comprehensive financial advice is and how it has a ripple effect on our immediate families and generations coming behind us. 

My past lack of knowledge of financial planning is more the norm than the exception. How do we serve people like me circa 2010 who might not know about or trust the profession—especially now coming out of this pandemic?

For most of 2020, we have gone through this collective trauma of COVID-19 and of the ever-present racial tensions in the U.S. that had renewed attention this year. Both those things are bound to shape the future of the profession.  

In our first cover story, Dennis Sterns, CFP®, notes that the pandemic has accelerated the need for planners to sharpen certain skills, such as emotional intelligence. In our second cover story, Brent Weiss, CFP®, ChFC®, discusses what we need to do to put a CFP® professional in the home of all Americans.

Jamie Hopkins, J.D., CFP®, LL.M., CLU®, ChFC®, RICP®, discussed with attendees at October 2020’s Financial Planning Spectacular the importance of building trust among a public who still thinks Bernie Madoff when they think financial services. We’ve recapped this talk in our Observer section.

Dana Wilson, founder of Changing How Individuals Prosper (CHIP) talks about her experience in the profession and how we must engage Black and Latinx professionals—both as future planners and as clients.

Building critical skills, rebuilding trust, and reaching out to future generations of clients and planners are all vital components to the future of our profession. I hope this issue offers guidance on how to do that.

Ana Trujillo Limón

General Financial Planning Principles
Career stage
Learning / Aspiring