True story: My dad is 96. A former CPA, he’s always handled his own financial affairs, eschewing most professional advice. But now — well, now he’s just not as sharp as he used to be.

So my brother and I cooked up a plan. We knew our father was not going to relinquish control over his investments easily, and we also felt that he was taking too many risks. I’d been on him about this, but, hey —I’m only his son! What do I know?

On the other hand, my brother has been working for several years with an RIA he really likes, and this advisor offers free portfolio reviews for close family members. We asked Dad if maybe he would like to take advantage of this free consultation. After all, it couldn’t hurt to get a second opinion. He agreed, and my brother arranged a call between him and Alan, the advisor.

Long story short, Alan and my dad really hit it off. More importantly, my father was able to accept from Alan, a highly knowledgeable professional, what he couldn’t accept from me — that he needed to scale back on equities and junk bonds in favor of more conservative investments.

Alan is also reviewing my dad’s long-term care insurance and his estate planning, preliminary to his assuming management of my father’s assets. This comes as a huge relief to both his sons, since, as my brother put it, we’ll no longer have to argue with our father, and someone who’s thoroughly acquainted with the ins and outs of these matters will attend to all of the details.

We here at Financial Planning write regularly about the profound contribution an assiduous advisor can make to his or her clients’ lives. Now, I’m actually living that story.

We need more advisors like Alan, and a group of forward-thinking financial planners and university educators are working together to ensure that we get them. We report on this in our cover feature (page 34), and also present a comprehensive listing of 60 colleges nationwide that offer dedicated programs in financial planning.

Think of the list as a veritable cheat sheet that can solve some of your recruiting needs.
According to Financial Planning Associate Editor Maddy Perkins, who managed our extensive school research, “These programs offer robust, real-world training, similar to the realistic, career-building training that I received in journalism school. The programs that stood out the most,” Perkins adds, “are the ones that offer students the opportunity to put together financial plans and gain real experience.” 

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