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News Release

Leading Organizations Launch National Financial Planning Challenge

August 02, 2010

College-level competition tests student knowledge, offers real-world financial planning experience

Denver, Colo. and Washington, DC, August 3, 2010 – The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the Academy of Financial Services, Ameriprise Financial and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced the 2010 Financial Planning Challenge, a competition designed exclusively for college and university finance undergraduate degree programs registered with the CFP Board, or related fields of study.

The groups developed the Financial Planning Challenge to support the next generation of financial planners by: engaging students and program directors in the financial planning community; raising awareness of career opportunities; and encouraging learning and networking in the financial planning profession.

The Challenge’s inaugural year will feature 19 teams from 13 schools across the country who will compete to advance through three phases:

  1. Financial Planning Case Study
  2. The “How Do You Know Challenge”, a trivia-style financial planning knowledge contest
  3. Financial Planning Case Study Presentation

In the first phase of the competition all student teams have been given profiles for two hypothetical clients. They will prepare a client welcome letter and a one-page summary outline of an Investment Policy Statement that identifies the hypothetical clients’ objectives, risk tolerance, appropriate asset allocation ranges and benchmarks for performance evaluation. Student teams must also submit a written explanation about how the investment strategy fits into the hypothetical clients’ overall financial plan.

After the first phase is judged and awarded, the top eight teams will advance to the second phase of the competition. Sponsored by the participating organizations, teams will receive monetary support to attend FPA Denver 2010 and the AFS Annual Meeting to participate in the “How Do You Know Challenge.” During this question and answer trivia format, teams will showcase their knowledge as the host fires questions based on relevant financial planning subjects, similar to CFP® exam topics. One winning team will be announced and they, along with the other seven teams, will advance to the final phase of the competition.

In the final phase of the competition, all teams must orally present their case studies to a panel of judges and will then be reviewed based on how well they addressed the needs of the hypothetical clients. The top three winning teams will receive the following amounts of scholarship money for their school:

  • 1st Place Team:$10,000
  • 2nd Place Team: $5,000
  • 3rd Place Team: $1,000

Additionally, the first place team will receive the Career Coach Award which will provide each team member a complimentary one-hour career coaching session from a financial planning expert.

“FPA is proud to host this competition at FPA Denver 2010, the largest gathering of financial planning professionals, so we can showcase the excellence of financial planning students to the professional community,” said Marv Tuttle, FPA Executive Director and CEO. “We are thrilled our co-organizers are joining us in this important initiative. We want to recognize, energize and encourage students to pursue financial planning as a profession, and use their commitment to make a positive impact in the future.”

“We are pleased to be part of this effort that will put our future financial planners in real-world situations that give them the experience they’ll need to succeed,” said Kevin Keller, CEO of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. “Our partnerships show that the profession of financial planning, especially those who become CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificants, continues to grow.”

“The Financial Planning Challenge is a terrific opportunity for students to demonstrate the skills they have acquired through their programs and receive valuable feedback from leaders in the financial planning community,” said Kris Petersen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Financial Planning and Advice at Ameriprise Financial. “We are very excited to be a part of this unique experience for students and believe that now, more than ever, it is important to help instill in the next generation of financial advisors an understanding of the profession and a commitment to the principles of financial planning.”

About Academy of Financial Services:
The primary objectives and purposes of the Academy of Financial Services are to encourage basic and applied research in the area of personal financial planning and financial services; encourage the development of the curricula in the financial services field at the university level; and encourage interaction between financial services professionals and academicians.

About Ameriprise Financial, Inc:
Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is a diversified financial services company serving the comprehensive financial planning needs of the mass affluent and affluent. For more information, visit

About the Financial Planning Association:
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the leadership and advocacy organization connecting those who need, support and deliver professional financial planning. FPA members commit to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve. Based in Denver, Colo., FPA has 95 chapters throughout the country representing tens of thousands of members involved in all facets of providing financial planning services. For more information about FPA, visit or call 800.322.4237.

About CFP Board:
The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 61,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States. For more about CFP Board, visit

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