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Download monthly study guides to help foster discussion with your peers

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Use the Journal of Financial Planning and Next Generation Planner to start conversations with your peers about financial planning strategies, clients’ attitudes and behaviors, and best practices. Download guides with suggested questions to help your group think about how you approach planning and communication challenges, and what you can do to improve. If your group includes nonmembers, contact Colin Erickson, senior manager of circulation and digital engagement, for information about accessing content. Please include the titles, dates, and authors of the specific articles you need.

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Suggested Study Group topics, articles, and resources: ​
 

JANUARY 2022: Risk Management

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

Journal of Financial Planning

  1. COVER STORY: Planners, experts, and regulators disagree about an ideal process for assessing clients’ willingness to tolerate risk. How do you approach the risk tolerance issue? How often do you reevaluate it, and what triggers that reassessment?
  2. PRACTICE MANAGEMENT: Larry Buland and Blain Pearson state that framing bias can be used to planners’ advantage to overcome other kinds of biases that prevent clients from taking positive financial actions. Can you think of a time when you’ve used framing to gently nudge a client? What are some drawbacks to framing?
  3. COLUMN: Estate planning conversations with clients who have children and spouses from multiple marriages can be fraught with legal and emotional challenges. If you serve clients in blended families, what strategies and planning tools have been most useful to you?
  4. COLUMN: When faced with an uncomfortable or threatening situation, clients and team members may react with a flight, fight, freeze, or fold response. How would you act to overcome each of these responses?
  5. RESEARCH: Larson found that the size of a client’s required minimum distribution can be volatile from year to year. How are you helping clients manage income volatility in retirement?  

Next Generation Planner

  1. FEATURED ARTICLE: Pat Spencer suggests that planners who are transitioning to a subscription fee model retain their current compensation model and integrate subscription pricing as part of a menu of options. Would this strategy help you retain or attract new clients? What challenges would you face introducing a new fee offering?   
  2. YAFPNW: Determining an appropriate subscription fee can be challenging for planners whose work is often front-loaded in the early part of a new relationship with a client, according to Hannah Moore. How might a client base or service offering be segmented best utilize subscription pricing?
  3. YAFPNW: One of the challenges to planners of offering subscription pricing is the feeling that they are always on call for clients’ issues. How would you set expectations or enforce boundaries so that clients get what they’re paying for and don’t overload your capacity?


DECEMBER 2021: Future of the Profession

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

Journal of Financial Planning

  1. COVER STORY: Cody Garrett shares why he developed an advice-only model and how it works. Would a model like this work for your practice? How have you developed a business model that meets your specific objectives? 
  2. PRACTICE MANAGEMENT: Researchers at MIT AgeLab found that while planners and clients agree that their relationship should encompass more than just money management, advisers see themselves taking on a broader set of roles than clients expect. What roles do you play in your clients’ lives? Does your perspective align with your clients’?
  3. COLUMN: Chris Heye provides guidelines for starting conversations with clients about future memory loss or diminished capacity. Have you had clients who were affected by these challenges? How did you communicate with them about their needs?
  4. SPECIAL REPORT: Scaffolding learning theory describes a process of educators providing support for their students while learning new subject matter. How might you adopt the principles of SLT to better educate your clients during the financial planning process?
  5. RESEARCH: The authors propose that encouraging retired clients to skip taking a distribution from a securities account in a year following negative returns can mitigate the risk of exhausting the account too early. They suggest using home equity to fund retirement in the years clients skip portfolio distributions. What methods are you using to manage volatility in retired clients’ portfolios?

Next Generation Planner

  1. FEATURE ARTICLE: Research has found that younger people tend to be highly collaborative. What are some ways that planners in multigenerational firms can balance working styles to be more effective?
  2. YAFPNW: Mike Harris explains how as the financial industry has gotten more complex over the years, it’s harder for today’s planners to be a jack of all trades and build expertise in multiple areas of planning. How do you approach developing your skills or suite of offerings for clients?
  3. YAFPNW: Harris says that planners need four things to be successful: time, talent, training, and temperament. How important are these factors to a successful career in financial planning? What else would you add to the list?

 

NOVEMBER 2021: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

Journal of Financial Planning

  1. COVER STORY: Brent Kessel and Kamila Elliott describe the challenges for advisors working with clients who have different cultural backgrounds from their own. If you’re working with diverse clients, how have you addressed differences so that you better understand clients’ motivations and fears?
  2. COVER STORY: Kessel and Elliott note that many Black families have historically been excluded from financial planning due to having lower net worth. How can financial planners do more to reach and educate individuals who can’t easily access financial planning?
  3. SPECIAL REPORT: Meghaan Lurtz and Andrew Komarow write that neurodiverse clients are seeking financial empowerment but may face undeserved doubts about their capabilities. How do you evaluate clients’ financial literacy and comfort with financial responsibility?
  4. SPECIAL REPORT: The Inclusive Financial Well-being Empowerment Model identifies three barriers to financial inclusion: access, action, and affect. How can financial planning professionals address these issues to empower neurodiverse clients?
  5. RESEARCH: Javier Estrada introduced two tools to test the sustainability of a particular withdrawal rate for a client, and recommends that they be used throughout retirement to test whether the withdrawal needs to be changed. How are you currently testing clients’ withdrawal strategies to evaluate how long savings will last?

Next Generation Planner

  1. FEATURED ARTICLE: Passion is a key quality for planners looking for a successor, according to Christine Sjölin. What are you passionate about at your firm? What are you doing to show leaders your passion?
  2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Sjölin describes the need for balance between knowing when you need help and being resourceful enough to find answers on your own. Is there a time when you’ve taken on more than you can handle? How did you manage it? What did you learn from the experience?
  3. YAFPNW: Kevin Cassidy told Hannah Moore about how his firm outlined a timeline to succession with hard and soft deadlines to ease the transition for peers and clients. How would you develop a timeline to manage change when transitioning to a new role? Which stakeholders would be impacted by such a change?



OCTOBER 2021: TAX PLANNING

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

Journal of Financial Planning

  1. COVER STORY: Regardless of residency, a state may tax a nonresident on income that has a “source” in that state, according to Eric Coffill. What processes do you have in place to account for all the jurisdictions where a client may owe taxes?
  2. FEATURE: Mass affluent clients may not need the sophisticated tax-efficient asset liquidation strategies that high-net-worth. Phil Lubinski, CFP®, recommends Roth IRA conversions as a leading tool for tax-efficient retirement income.
  3. COLUMN: Some investment managers are taking stock of clients’ allocations to emerging markets as underwhelming performance over the last decade makes the overlapping risks associated with these markets less appealing, according to Ryann Marotta, CFP®, CFA. Are emerging markets part of your clients’ diversification strategies?
  4. RESEARCH: Exley, Doyle, Snell and Campbell found that extraversion is positively correlated with financial risk-taking, while conscientiousness is positively correlated with financial literacy. How could you use clients’ personality characteristics to understand their behavior?
  5. RESEARCH: Exley, Doyle, Snell and Campbell warn that personality traits such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, don’t exist in isolation. How have you seen clients’ overlapping or competing traits impact financial outcomes?

Next Generation Planner

  1. FEATURED ARTICLE: Trudy Turner, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CPWA, and Emma Cramm, CFP®, suggest consistency is an important part of networking. How are you making networking a part of your routine? How does your remote networking differ from in-person?
  2. FEATURED ARTICLE: Networking is a purposeful practice of building connections that help you provide value for your practice and your clients. Where do you look for these connections? In what ways do you reciprocate value for others in your network?
  3. YAFPNW: Chelsea Ransom-Cooper, CFP®, shared how her mother’s financial behaviors impacted her own. How did your upbringing impact your own money behaviors and how you talk to clients about their feelings about money? 

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​

 

SEPTEMBER 2021: REGULATORY UPDATE/ FIDUCIARY ISSUES

JFP Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)

Cover Story: ​Retirement Account Rollovers: How to Comply with the DOL’s New Fiduciary “Rule”

Practice Management: How to Make the Most of Your CRM Investment

Longevity Column: The Importance of Managing Life-Stage Risks for an Aging Population

Special Report: How to Avoid Paying Higher Medicare Premiums the First Two Years After Retiring

Research: Housing Bubbles and Near-Zero Interest Rate Environments That Inflate Property Taxes: An Unexpected Expense for Retirees?

Next Generation Planner: I Earned My CFP®, What Comes Next?
Next Generation Planner: Featuring Andrew Komarow, CFP®, AEP, AIF, BFA, CAP, CASL, ChFC, ChSNC, CLU, CNP, FSCP, REBC, RHU, RICP, WMCP
Next Generation Planner: You’re a Financial Planner…Now What? Helping Millennial Couples Align Their Money with Their Values

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

AUGUST 2021: BEHAVIORAL FINANCE

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​How Life Changes Affect Client Behavior

Special Report: To Pay or Not to Pay: Student Loans and the CARES Act

Research: The Role of Personal Financial Salience

Research: How to Estimate “The End” of Retirement

Next Generation Planner: Pro Bono Work Alleviates More Than Financial Poverty
Next Generation Planner: My Career Path - Featuring Katrina Soelter, CFP®
Next Generation Planner: You’re a Financial Planner…Now What? Calling All Hands on Deck, No Matter What Your Role

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

JULY 2021: HEALTHCARE AND AGING PLANNING

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​The Convergence of Healthcare and Financial Planning

Your Practice: The Intersection of Health and Wealth: An Opportunity for Advisers to Deepen Relationships and Extend Their Services

Special Report: Data-Based Approach to Engaging Clients in a Discussion of Long-Term Care

Research: The RISK that Households Take: A Behavioral Variable Worth Watching

Next Generation Planner: The Essential Starting Point for a Financial Adviser’s Marketing Efforts
Next Generation Planner: Consider Your Past to Determine Your Niche

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

JUNE 2021: TRENDS IN INVESTING

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​Learn, Listen, and Lead on Cryptoassets

Investment Planning: The Time for ESG Investing is Now

Next Generation Planner: The Role of your Professional Organization in Advocacy
Next Generation Planner: What Advocacy Issues are Most Important to You and Why?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Become an Advocate—Not Just an Ally—for the LGBTQ Community All Year Long

Special Report: Future Investment Returns on Housing are Stark

Research: Financial Self-Efficacy and Retirement Preparation

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 
MAY 2021: NEXT GENERATION OF PLANNERS AND CLIENTS

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​Paths into Planning

Leadership: Use Leadership Skills That Apply to Behavioral Economics to Avoid the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Next Generation Planner: 3 Guidelines for a Successful Social Media Strategy

Special Report: Social Security Claiming Strategies for Singles and Their Implications for Couples

Research: Understanding the Intersection Between Style Exposure, Sector Rotation, and the Business Cycle

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​
 

APRIL 2021: ESTATE PLANNING

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)
Next Generation Planner Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)

Cover Story: ​Estate Planning Insights in the Age of COVID-1

Financial Literacy: Financial Literacy Education Is About Choices

Tax Planning: The American Rescue Plan Act Is Loaded with Tax Planning Opportunities for 2020 and 2021

Research: Facilitating Virtual Client Meetings for Money Conversations: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Skills and Strategies for Financial Planners

NGP Featured Article: A Glimpse into the Flat-Fee Model

NGP Article: How to Have the ESG Conversation

NGP Tips: What are some misconceptions about fee models and how would you debunk them?

NGP Podcast: You’re a Financial Planner, Now What? Charge What's Fair

Online Discussion:     JOURNAL IN THE ROUND: The Planning Implications of the American Rescue Plan Act | April 28, 2021  |  12:00PM (MDT) | 60 minutes

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

MARCH 2021: CLIENT TRUST AND COMMUNICATION

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​Mediation Techniques for Financial Planners

Client Trust and Communication: Build on Success: 4 Steps to More Client Loyalty and Increased Trust

Research Roundup: Research-Based Approaches: Thinking Beyond the Financial Facts and Examining the Gender Pay Gap

Special Report: The Minuses of PLUS Loans: Advising Parents on College Borrowing Decisions

Research: A Comparison of the Tax Efficiency of Decumulation Strategies

Online Discussion:     JOURNAL IN THE ROUND

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

Next Generation Planner: March 2021 Digital Edition
Next Generation Planner: Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)

 

FEBRUARY 2021: FINTECH

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​The Pandemic’s Impact on FinTech

Q&A: Dani Fava on the Involuntary Tech Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, and Asking Questions 

Practice Management: Succession Planning Is About More Than Retirement

Operations: How to Systematize Process Audits Annually

Marketing: Why Marketing and Communications Is Vital to Your Practice’s Sustainability and Growth During the Pandemic

Research: Education, Career Choice, and Financial Planning: Implications for Financial Planners

Online Discussions: DRINKS AND DISCUSSION       "ASK THE AUTHORS" DISCUSSION

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

Next Generation Planner: February 2021 Digital Edition
Next Generation Planner: Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)


JANUARY 2021: COLLEGE PLANNING

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​How to Think…About College Planning in a Pandemic

Practice Management: Creating Transparency for Families in the College Funding Process 

Special Report: 2020 Personal Finance Year in Review

Research: No Debt is an Island: Exploring Strategies with Reverse Mortgages

Online Discussions: DRINKS AND DISCUSSION       "ASK THE AUTHORS" DISCUSSION

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

Next Generation Planner: January 2021 Digital Edition
Next Generation Planner: Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)


DECEMBER 2020: THE FUTURE OF THE PROFESSION

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​FUTURE TENSE:  Post-COVID-19 Future of Financial Planning

Cover Story: The Financial Planning Career Path of the Future

Column: Optimizing Client Options for Peace of Mind

Research: The Roth/Pretax Decision in Late Career Years: The Increasing Importance of Accumulated Assets in Light of the SECURE Act

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: The Future of the Profession

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

Next Generation Planner: December 2020 Digital Edition
Next Generation Planner: Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)

 

NOVEMBER 2020: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

JFP Suggested Discussion Question (PDF)

Cover Story: ​Why Aren’t We Making More Progress On Diversity and Inclusion?

Observer: Strategies for Your Firm's Diversity and Inclusion Program

Q&A: Rachel J. Robasciotti on Building a Diverse Firm, Wealth Redistribution, and Adasina Social Capital

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Diversity and Inclusion

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

Next Generation Planner: November 2020 Digital Edition
Next Generation Planner: Suggested Discussion Questions (PDF)


OCTOBER 2020: TAX PLANNING

Cover Story: ​How to Add Tax Alpha in Todays Environment

Research​: Self-Empowerment Among Widows: A Financial Planning Perspective

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Roth IRA Conversions for 2020 and Beyond

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

SEPTEMBER 2020: REGULATORY UPDATE

Cover Story: ​2020 Regulatory and Advocacy Update

Research​: Utilizing What We Know About Tele-Mental Health in Tele-Financial Planning: A Systematic Literature Review

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Regulation – An opportunity, not a burden

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​


AUGUST 2020: BEHAVIORAL FINANCE

Cover Story: ​22 Behavioral Nudges to Optimize Client Outcomes

Research​: Women, Wealth, and Demand for Financial Planning Services

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Behavioral Finance

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

JULY 2020: HEALTH AND AGING PLANNING

Cover Story: ​Making the Transition from Financial Planning to Longevity Planning

Research​: Identifying What Investors Value in a Financial Adviser: Uncovering Opportunities and Pitfalls​

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Becoming a Quarterback for Clients’ Longevity Planning Teams

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

JUNE 2020: TRENDS IN INVESTING

Cover Story: ​Surviving a Bear Attack

Research​: Exploring the Financial Planning Decisions Related to Greater Access to Retirement Funds Via the CARES Act

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Trends in Investing

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

MAY 2020: NEXT GENERATION OF PLANNERS AND CLIENTS

Cover Story: ​Real People, Real Career Paths

Research​: Integrating Interpersonal Neurobiology into Financial Planning: Practical Applications to Facilitate Well-Being

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Next Generation of Planners and Clients

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

APRIL 2020: ESTATE PLANNING

Cover Story: ​Estate Planning Update: From a Basic Planning Framework to Advanced Planning Guidance

Research​: The Financial Impact of Not Using 529 Plans, and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Usage

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Estate Planning

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

MARCH 2020: CLIENT TRUST AND COMMUNICATION

Cover Story: ​Anatomy of an Exquisite Meeting

Column​: Building Trust in an Increasingly Skeptical World

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: Client Trust and ​Communication​

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

FEBRUARY 2020: FINTECH

Cover Story: ​Fintech: What to Expect in 2020 and Beyond

Practice Management: 3 Steps for Building a Tech Stack to Deliver Financial Wellness

WEBINAR: Journal in the Roun​d: FinTech​

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

JANUARY 2020: COLLEGE PLANNING

Cover Story: ​Expand Your Expertise to Student Loan Planning: The Gateway to Attracting Your Next Generation of Clients

Practice Management:  Are You Doing All You Can to Help Clients with College Savings?

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: College Planning

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

DECEMBER 2019: FUTURE OF THE PROFESSION

Cover Story: Future Firm, Future Planner

Special Report: From Theory to Practice

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: What Does the Financial Planning Future Hold? 

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

NOVEMBER 2019: TAX PLANNING

Cover Story: Start 2019 Year-End Tax Planning with the 2018 Form 1040​

Contribution: College Savers: What Is the Expected Tax Alpha of 529 Plans?

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: Planning for Tax Planning​

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

 

OCTOBER 2019: NEXT GENERATION OF PLANNERS AND CLIENTS

Cover Story: Blaze Your Own Trail - NexGen Planners: You Can Create the Business You Want

Diversity and Inclusion: Pursuing a Career in Financial Planning: Your Questions Answered

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: 12 Career Paths in Financial Planning

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​. ​

SEPTEMBER 2019: REGULATORY UPDATE

Cover Story: CFP Board Code and Standards: Your Questions Answered

Cover Story: Take a Deep Dive into the SEC’s Investment Advice Rule Package

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: Deconstructing the SEC's New Rule Package​

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA C​​onnect​

 

AUGUST 2019: BEHAVIORAL FINANCE

Cover Story: Overcome Behavioral Biases with the “As-If Retirement”​

Contribution: Financial Planning with Ambiguous Loss from Alzheimer's Disease: Implications, Applications, and Interventions​​

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: Guiding Clients through Ambiguous Loss​

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA Connect​


​JULY 2019: MARKETING

Cover Story: Blog, Video, and Podcast Your Way to More Clients: Success Stories from Planners Who Are Doing It Right

10 Questions: Matt Ledoux on Daring to Sound Different and Why You Need to Get on Instagram

Column: ​This LinkedIn Marketing Tactic Can Backfire

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: Doing Online Content Right to Gain More Clients

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA Connect​

JUNE 2019: TRENDS IN INVESTING​

Cover Story: Should Cryptoassets Be a Part of a Client’s Portfolio?​

Special Report: 2019 Trends in Investing Survey Results ​​​

Full Report: 2019 Trends in Investing​​​

WEBINAR: Journal in the Round: Exploring Cryptoassets for Clients​​

Continue the Conversation: Discuss topics with fellow FPA members through our Knowledge Circles on FPA Connect​

 

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