ASU equips students to advise on personal finance issues

A grant funded by Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation, supports a new financial planning program at the W. P. Carey School of Business

January 12, 2021

A 2019 report by the Federal Reserve documents that 64% of nonretired adults say they are either not on track financially for retirement or are unsure. In that survey, 25% of survey respondents said they had no retirement savings, including 13% of nonretirees over the age of 60. The same study shows stark differences in preparedness by race/ethnicity, as well as large gaps in financial literacy by gender.

That’s why a new grant funded by Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation, will support the development and delivery of a new financial planning concentration at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. This program will allow students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner certification exam, as well as offer additional curriculum designed to support completion of the Security Industry Essentials exam.  calculator, pen, budget Download Full Image

“There was a demand for the financial planning program, and that demand came from both students and the community,” said Laura Lindsey, associate professor and chair of the Department of Finance at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Several organizations in the financial services industry are interested in hiring our graduates, but the traditional finance degree best prepares students to work in corporate finance, banking, or in a portfolio management function for large institutions. We were missing key components necessary to prepare students to advise holistically at the household or family level.”

Employment for personal financial advisers is forecasted to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than average for other occupations, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration.

The initial funding will support both expanded efforts to attract talent representing gender and racial/ethnic diversity and the development of targeted coursework for a career in financial planning.

“For young people, a career in the independent advisory profession offers so much opportunity for growth and success,” said Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services. “It’s essential that we attract a new generation of advisers to help carry the industry forward and meet the needs of increasingly diverse investors. We at Schwab have long championed this goal, and we are excited to work with the W. P. Carey School to actively support the development of next-generation adviser talent.”

Along with giving students targeted coursework, the program will work with nearby firms to provide internship opportunities for students to better prepare them for a career in financial planning.

“We know that people are a firm’s most important asset, and building a talent pipeline is a critical component of a firm’s long-term success,” said Lisa Salvi, vice president, Business Consulting & Education, Schwab Advisor Services. “Working closely with the W. P. Carey School of Business allows us to not only raise awareness of the independent advisory profession as a compelling career choice but also to make connections among firm leaders and the students who could be their next hires.”

Get details about the financial planning business degree at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

Shay Moser

Managing Editor, W. P. Carey School of Business


Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek breaks down 10 key physics principles in new book 'Fundamentals'

January 12, 2021

Frank Wilczek, theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize laureate and professor of physics at Arizona State University, has spent much of his career exploring complex concepts in physics, researching the physical world and making influential scientific contributions.

In his latest book, “Fundamentals,” he offers readers, both experts in the field of physics and those casually interested in science, a glimpse into 10 essential concepts that form our understanding of what the world is and how it works. Frank Wilczek, theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize laureate and professor of physics at Arizona State University. Download Full Image

“Friends, students and people who have attended my public lectures often asked me where they could learn what they would need to know in order to understand what’s going on at the frontiers of fundamental research in a genuine way, that gets beyond buzzwords,” Wilczek said. “I didn’t have a good answer, and after looking into it I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t one.”

He said his goal in writing “Fundamentals” was to create the answer to that kind of question. As the project evolved over the past four years, he came to realize that answering this question may involve philosophical or religious perspectives. This further inspired him to think about the questions of meaning and purpose that first interested him in the field of science.

Like many others, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Wilczek into isolation in mid-March. This break from his normal routines allowed him to take the time needed to finish “Fundamentals,” with most of the text that now appears in the book being written over an eight-week period last spring. 

The 10 principles presented in the book cover everything from concepts relating to ideas that form our understanding of the universe like time, space, matter and energy to the history of fundamental science. In addition, Wilczek touches upon what could be on the horizon of scientific discovery. Wilczek’s favorite section, although he said it’s difficult to choose just one, is the third to last chapter titled "There’s Plenty More to See."

"Our best fundamental understanding of the physical world reveals that our senses leave a lot on the table,” he said. “We ordinarily perceive only a very small fraction of what’s there and what’s going on. An exciting possibility is to open the doors of perception wider, using modern technology, to give us superpowers. Our new SciHub initiative at ASU is taking steps in that direction.”

In addition to the release of his latest book, Wilczek said he is eager about two projects he has in the works at ASU: one with Professor Nathan Newman, focusing on converting axions into tangible signals, and another with Associate Professor Maulik Parikh and Postdoctoral Research Associate George Zaharaide looking at gravitational waves.

Learn more about “Fundamentals” or purchase a copy.

Emily Balli

Communications Specialist and Lead Writer, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences