Due to recent economic events in the banking sector, governments are searching for a way to protect their citizens from future financial meltdowns. Most of the government's focus has been on regulation and control of the banking system to make sure they do not put our country in peril again. However, another possible cause was a lack of information and judgment amongst the public which could have been mitigated through proper financial planning.
There is no truer mantra in capitalism than, "a fool and his money will soon part". This has become increasingly true as the complexities of the financial markets have grown. Those with the knowledge of the makeup of the markets have a distinct advantage over the common ordinary citizen. Any amount of government regulation of the banking sector will only change the way in which those with knowledge take money away from the 'fools'. The only way to stop this cycle is to educate the public on financial matters or provide educated to people serve in the best interest of the public.
At Stephen F. Austin State University we are trying to make strides in both areas. We have started a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) program, in the hopes of providing Texans with educated financial planners that can serve the best interest of the public and protect their financial well-being. If a financial planner is not certified it is possible they may not always act in the best interest of the public. Certified Financial Planners however, through their education, can better plan a client's financial future.
We also have another mission with our CFP program at Stephen F. Austin State University. For those who cannot afford to seek advice we can be a place for anyone to get free advice from faculty and students-in-training. It is often those who cannot afford advice are the ones that need it the most. Through this endeavor we can fulfill one of our duties as a university…to serve the public.
By educating those that will go out and serve the best interest of others and by educating those that cannot afford council, we just may be able to help prevent another financial collapse that has so devastated our country. Support of our CFP program at Stephen F. Austin State University is vital to continuing our journey of financially educating the public.
Dr. Banker Phares
Director, Financial Planning Program