One of the hot topics at this year’s Academy of Financial Services (AFS) conference—running in conjunction with FPA Denver 2010—is how planners and academics can work together to build the body of knowledge around financial planning with more empirical research. A panel of practitioners, including Harold Evensky, CFP®; Guy Cumbie, CFP®; Ruth Lytton, Ph.D.; and Dave Yeske, Ph.D., CFP®; moderated by Stuart Michelson, Ph.D., urged academics to get a better idea of the work financial planners actually do, to better propose research of lasting value to practitioners. They also suggested planners and academics could be natural partners in conducting research.
The panel was followed by a luncheon, at which Yeske delivered the keynote address. He talked about his journey from practitioner to more serious academic, and how his academic studies have made him a stronger planner. He talked about the need for evidence-based planning, the kind of financial planning that is grounded in empirical research, carefully evaluated and implemented by planners who have taken the time to understand the difference between well conducted, helpful studies and subjective, agenda-driven research. “Planners know what the compelling questions are, and academics know how to conduct the kinds of research that will answer them,” he said.
Yeske and Becca King, manager of the FPA Research Center, announced the formation of an FPA community of interest to bring together planners and academics to conduct research based on planner suggestions and academic study. In addition, they invited academics to work with the FPA Research Center to conduct conditional research.