Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By:  Jon P. Yankee, MBA, CFP®

The practice management literature tells advisors to leverage their time more effectively through the use of interns or other part-time/seasonal assistance.  But it seldom provides advice on the implementation of internship: where to find good interns, how to keep a talented intern busy with productive work, or how to properly compensate them.

Whether you are a sole practitioner or a large firm with multiple advisors, a solid internship program can add significant value to the quality of work your business produces.  It is also a way to give back; a good internship program can be invaluable to these future planners, and it can help them better experience and define their career aspirations.  In addition, interns can increase your capacity to continue business growth or can enable you to carve out additional free time for yourself – whatever personal and/or business goals you may have. 

Among other things, an internship gives you the ability to get a 2- to 3-month look at someone in the context of your company culture and a professional atmosphere without the initial financial commitment of a full-time employee.  The rigors of working every day and the pressures of working in a potentially stressful profession – giving important advice to people who need it – are the types of situations that can truly give you a sense of how someone would fit in with your organization and culture.

The most valuable experience the intern will gain is the ability to interact with our clients. It is one thing to prepare materials for a meeting.  But to see how those materials are presented in a meeting and to understand how an advisor interacts with his or her clients is not something that can be learned in a textbook or a classroom. Be sure your clients are comfortable having the intern in their meeting; ask for permission in advance and when the intern is not present.

The most important aspect of a summer internship program is to give students truly valuable and meaningful responsibilities within your firm.  Many intern candidates now have the technical training to take on tasks that you might first have thought were too big.  Trust them and challenge them.  The rewards of an effective internship program greatly outweigh the associated risks and costs, providing you a wonderful opportunity not only to utilize and reward capable talent, but also to give back to this extremely important profession.

**For a copy of the Fox, Joss & Yankee White Paper entitled “Implementing Internships”, please contact Lisa Crafford through the FJY website:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Free Financial Clinics Expanded to Alexandria with support of Foundation for Financial Planning

Tacy Paul Roby, CFP®, Co-Director of FPA NCA Pro Bono Activities

In view of the May 1 Chapter’s golf tournament to support the Foundation for Financial Planning and local charities, it would be good to be aware of a local program supported by the Foundation and our chapter.  This program is the Free Financial Counseling Sessions run by Our Daily Bread in conjunction with Reston Interfaith, Connections for Hope and United Community Ministries.

Since February 2011, our chapter has provided a steady stream of volunteers to provide advice to low-and moderate-income adults to a monthly evening clinic in Herndon.  During the first year of the program, 20 financial planners have volunteered 267 hours to counsel 85 adults.

The program has a remarkable success rate –81% of the participants have improved their financial situation. Based on the 2011 success of the program, the chapter’s support of the program and Our Daily Bread’s strong application, the Foundation awarded a grant to Our Daily Bread to support the expansion of their Free Financial Counseling clinics to another location in Northern Virginia.  And, at the April 10, 2013 kick-off of the FCC-Alexandria, ten clients received one-on-one financial counseling.  Photos from the evening may be viewed on

There are many secrets to the program’s success.   Fairfax County social workers refer the participants to identify those who would benefit from this kind of financial planning advice.  Outstanding CFP practitioner volunteers provide a one-time, 45-minute session one evening per month.  Childcare is provided for families who need it.  The materials are available in both Spanish and English.  And, there is extensive tracking of the participants through both follow-up phone calls and on-line survey after 90-days.  Over 80% of the participants respond to the survey.  

So, as you swing your club or attend the celebratory dinner on May 1, know that your contribution helps advance financial planning among those in our community who very much need it. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ryan M. Fleming, CFP®

So, perhaps I was a little early on my “no more winter” call from the last newsletter. Despite the snow and cold, March was a fun month for FPA-NCA. We started with a downtown lunch meeting of the chapter’s executive board meeting with the National FPA executive board and FPA CEO Lauren Schadle. We shared ideas and had an honest dialogue about things we like and don’t like about FPA. It was an excellent opportunity for the chapter.

The day after that, over forty of us mixed and mingled with more than a dozen FPA NexGen members at On the Border in Tysons. Advisors and sponsors gathered for a strong showing by the chapter. Many advisors are looking to hire and NexGen is a great place to target hiring. And while many NexGeners would love to be practice owners, many more are simply looking for networking and engagement with advisors young and old, long-tenured and freshly client-facing. It was an enjoyable couple of hours where most people in the room met a dozen others they hadn’t known before. It was FPA-NCA at its best.
Our third event of the same week was Friday with an outstanding Professional Development Day at Maggiano’s in Tysons (something about the food makes those meetings just a little better than the rest). Dani Mackey and Nick Ludlum presented a really interesting dissection of messaging and the challenges of today’s complex communications environment. We were lucky to land two power players in Washington PR and they didn’t disappoint. Lisa Kirchenbauer gave me a new view on holistic planning – it’s not as simple as the three Kinder questions of a decade ago. And Bryan Beatty, Tim Jones, and Mary Malgoire debated RIA versus hybrid structures.

While April is a slow month for FPA-NCA, it’s just on the cusp of a busy six weeks for all of us. First, we have the 20th anniversary of the FPA-NCA golf tournament on May 1. This is the only event for which we have to turn people away every year. 2013 will be the year we turn away the largest number of people given the turnout the last three years. 1757 Golf Club on Waxpool Road in Dulles is a fantastic course. I played it last year with a client and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s worth a day away from the office to support the chapter, the Foundation for Financial Planning, and the other good works our pro bono committee comes up with. Callously, I will say the best thing about it is that it’s a relaxing day of fun with old friends and networking with new friends. The charitable stuff is great, but if you’ve ever met me, you know one of my passions is networking and member engagement. It’s also the best time for the worst golfers among us to get out on the course because we don’t count your score.

Golf is followed three weeks later by a great program on May 23 with Douglas French, noted author of three books, including the latest, The Failure of Common Knowledge. He’s presenting Money, Banking, and Inflation. And we wrap up this six week stretch with our Spring Symposium on June 6 at Sheraton Premier in Tyson’s. This is one of the best days of the year to be a member of this chapter, as our sponsors compete with one another to bring in the best speakers. More on this in next month’s note.

Finally, a word about our volunteers. Our survey went out and we had almost 10% of the chapter offer to be volunteers for one committee or another. A full dozen people volunteered for government relations assistance – only in Washington! We had dozens more volunteer for other committees, but can always use more. Volunteering is the best way to ease your way into the chapter. It’s not a very clubby group – most of us are pretty welcoming and open with our time and knowledge – but it can still be daunting if you’re new to FPA. Take a look at the board page and see if any of the committees interests you. If so, reach out to Peggy and one of us will connect with you.

Happy Tax Day in a couple of weeks. Hope everyone has an uneventful remainder of the tax season and a fantastic April. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me ( or one of my fellow board members (see last page) for information, feedback, an awesome speaker you just hear, or to see what this whole FPA-NCA thing you joined is all about.

Best regards,

Ryan M. Fleming, CFP®
2013 President, FPA of the National Capital Area