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Financial Planning Review features financial planning research
from a variety of academic disciplines

The inaugural issue of Financial Planning Review, a double-blind, peer-reviewed academic journal from the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, was published today and features cutting-edge research that will ultimately benefit CFP® professionals, researchers, and the public.

“For many years, we’ve had a vision to create a respected, interdisciplinary academic journal that would make an indelible impact on the financial planning profession – not only on scholars and financial planning students, but on current and future CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals who will benefit from this research,” said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director, CFP Board Center for Financial Planning.  “Publication of the Financial Planning Review will help address the current shortage of qualified faculty to teach financial planning by providing them with an opportunity to publish research that builds the financial planning body of knowledge.”

Published by John Wiley & Sons quarterly, the Review features high quality scholarly research, including rigorous empirical and methodological analyses directly and indirectly related to financial planning practice. These topics include, but are not limited to, financial planning; portfolio choice; behavioral finance; household finance; psychology and human decision-making; financial therapy, literacy and wellness; consumer finance and regulation; and human sciences. Accepted papers span the broad spectrum of research methodologies and data analyses. 

Some of the papers featured in the first issue include:

“Perspectives on Mental Accounting: An Exploration of Budgeting and Investing”
by C. Yiwei Zhang and Abigail Sussman
Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Mental accounting is “the set of cognitive operations used by individuals and households to organize, evaluate, and keep track of financial activities” (Thaler, 1999). While traditional accounting efforts by businesses and corporations are well established, the ways in which people perform these same activities is the source of an exciting and growing body of research. The literature on mental accounting explores processes such as how people group expenses into categories, assign funds to these categories, determine budgets, and perform elements of cost-benefit analyses.

Individuals and households face a wide array of complex financial choices that can have long-lasting effects on their economic well-being. Understanding the ways in which mental accounting can influence how people manage their finances is of great importance. This article provides a summary overview of mental accounting within the context of consumer financial decision-making.  We first discuss the categorization process that underlies mental accounting and the methods people use to categorize funds. We then turn to implications of mental accounting for budgeting, spending, and investment decisions. We conclude by proposing an agenda for future research, focusing on current gaps in our understanding and promising areas to explore.

“The Relationship Between Financial Planner Use and Holding a Retirement Saving Goal: A Propensity Matching Analysis”
by Kyoung Tae Kim, Tae-Young Pak, and Su Hyun Shin (University of Alabama) and Sherman D. Hanna (Ohio State University)

It has been well established in the literature that financial advice leads to informed decision-making and improved financial outcomes. However, there is limited evidence regarding the link between financial planner use and attitudes toward retirement saving. As financial planners provide comprehensive advice for the long-term benefits of clients, their clients may become more aware of retirement saving as an important goal. We used data from the 2010 and 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances to examine the association between financial planner use and setting a retirement saving goal. We found that households who consulted a financial planner were more likely to report retirement as the motive for saving, even after we employed a propensity score matching technique to account for systematic differences between those who used and did not use financial planners. Our findings suggest that financial planners do help individuals achieve their long-term financial objectives by highlighting the importance of retirement planning. The use of other types of financial professionals was not positively associated with the likelihood of setting retirement as an important saving goal in our main model.

“Tightwads and Spendthrifts: An Interdisciplinary Review”
by Scott Rick
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Consumers rely on a “pain of paying” to help deter their spending. While this is beneficial for some consumers, others experience levels of pain that create problems. “Tightwads” experience too much pain when considering spending and therefore spend less than they would ideally like to spend. By contrast, “spendthrifts” experience too little pain and therefore spend more than they would ideally like to spend.

Neither are happy with how they handle money. In the decade since the tightwad/spendthrift construct was introduced, much has been learned about what it is and is not (e.g., frugality, greed), what contextual factors are likely to reduce its importance, how it plays a role within romantic relationships, and when it might first emerge in childhood. This paper reviews the wide range of interdisciplinary research relevant to the tightwad-spendthrift construct and proposes several directions for new research.

“Household Financial Planning Strategies for Managing Longevity Risk”
by Vickie L. Bajtelsmit and Tianyang Wang
Colorado State University

This study examines how longevity risk, in conjunction with other postretirement risks, impacts retirement consumption decisions and retirement wealth needs. We develop a theoretical model that directly examines the relationship between longevity risk and consumption/savings, and empirically test these theoretical implications by simulating retirement outcomes for representative households, including longevity, inflation, investment, health, and long-term care risks. Our study shows that the top third of households by longevity need approximately 20% more retirement wealth than those households who live only an average life span. Investigations of various risk mitigation strategies suggest that combination strategies, particularly those that include delayed retirement, can significantly reduce the retirement wealth target. This research provides valuable new insights on household financial planning strategies for managing longevity risk.

The journal is available electronically from the Wiley Online Library and the Center website. Each edition of the Review will also be distributed electronically to more than 82,000 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals throughout the United States. In addition, in the coming months the Center will launch a Body of Knowledge website that will contain additional papers, videos, and interactive capabilities that will bring additional relevance to financial planning practitioners and firms.

Financial Planning Review’s 
co-editors are: Vicki Bogan, Ph.D., Cornell University; Chris Geczy, Ph.D., Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and John Grable, Ph.D., CFP®, University of Georgia.

CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Director of Academic Initiatives, Charles R. Chaffin, Ed.D., serves as executive editor of the Review.

“Our vision was to create a respected, interdisciplinary academic journal that features peer-reviewed research that directly or indirectly relates to financial planning practice,” Chaffin wrote in the Review. “Above all, we envisioned a journal designed to propagate theoretically and methodologically sound inquiry with relevant, if not direct implications, to financial planning theory or practice. Financial Planning Review is the embodiment – the realization – of that vision.”

Paper submissions are subject to a double-blind peer-review by respected researchers from a variety of academic disciplines and research methodologies. Learn more here.  

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 83,000 people in the United States.


Dan Drummond, Director of Communications
Mobile: 202-243-8621

About the CFP Board center for financial planning

The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning seeks to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession so that every American has access to competent and ethical financial planning advice. The Center brings together CFP® professionals, firms, educators, researchers and experts to address profession-wide challenges in the areas of diversity and workforce development, and to build an academic home that offers opportunities for conducting and publishing new research that adds to the financial planning body of knowledge


Jessica Lewis
Communications Specialist
Mobile: 301-655-0389