Finalists Concur, Plan Competition is a Worthwhile Experience

Recently the IARFC hosted the semi-finals for the National Plan Competition in Middletown, OH via web conference. Three teams of students and their professors are now making plans for Las Vegas.

When asked how worthwhile was the experience so far of competing in the Plan Competition, this is how a number of our finalists responded…

“I think this experience has been very worthwhile because I have learned a lot more about what it’s really like interacting with a client. I think the conference and the final presentation will also be a very worthwhile experience.” Jamie Pepin, Shepard University

“The experience of the competition proved to be a beneficial one. We learned a lot different facets of a financial planning business and it will help for the future. It was a great learning experience and really felt like a real-life example, as if you really wanted to help someone with their situation.” Kyle Creedon – Bryant University

“This experience has been invaluable. Our team was comprised of students in different years of schooling so we learned an immense amount from each other. We took our learning from the classroom and put it into real world application.” Bonnie Bailey – Shepherd University

“Very worthwhile. We were able to use our skills learned from class in a real life example. Being able to do so has been beneficial while preparing for our future careers.” Becca Smoody – Bowling Green State University

The teams were judged by the IARFC Board Members Isabel Cooper, Les Anderson, Nick Royer, Jon Rogers, Steve Bailey and Michelle Blair. These professionals were very pleased at the results and are looking forward to the live event in Las Vegas.

The IARFC is proud to be part of helping students in financial education curriculum broaden their experience and wish them well at the Plan Competition May 1st.

Finalists Move on to Las Vegas!

Judges looking over plans before the
semi-final web presentations

The Undergraduates making the trip to Las Vegas as Finalists in the IARFC National Plan Competition on May 1 are:

Shepherd University – Shepherdstown, WV:
Bonnie Bailey, Akhtar Khan and Avery Mendzela
Professor: Nicolas Pologeorgis

Bryant University – Smithfield, RI:
Jamie Pepin, Kyle Creedon and Lauren Fayne
Professor: Mara L. Derderian

Bowling Green State University – Bowling Green, OH:
Dana Kaufman, Elizabeth Kevorkian and Becca Smoody
Professor: Matthew Garrow

Their Professors will be accompanying them as they continue in the competition presenting live in Las Vegas.

These Semi-Finalists were chosen via web conference on March 6 by the IARFC Board Directors: Nick Royer, Les Anderson, Jon Rogers, Isabel Cooper, Michelle Blair and Steve Bailey. The judges became the fictional “Brewster Family” and ultimately picked the 3 finalists whom they felt they would retain as their Financial Advisor.

If you wish to be part of the Final Judging, Go to the IARFC website and register!

$75 Member-Refer-A-Member

Starts March 1 through May 31, 2014

Referring colleagues is rewarding with the new $75 Member-Refer-A-Member campaign. When you nominate professionals and they join the Association, the IARFC will send you $75!

You do the easy part – provide us with all the contact information. We do the hard part – follow through with them to show the benefits and advantage provided by the Association.

To send in your nominations – download our Member-Refer-A-Member application, fill it out and sent it in.

Rules: There is no limit to the number of individuals you many nominate. Members will not receive credit for any person recruited in previous years.

Note: Member-Refer-A-Member $75 is not available in conjunction with any other referral campaign and applies to US members only. By sending or nomination referrals, you are granting your permission to mention your name as our source and you will be eligible for the reward.

Get Ready for the IARFC National Plan Competition Semi-Finals!

The IARFC has received all the entries for the National Plan Competition and has selected the Semi-Finalists for presentation on March 6th before financial professionals via web conference.

Semi-Finalists must consider these judges as a potential client for their services. The criteria for judging will be based on the following:

  • Professional rating – speech, dress, mannerisms, poise
  • Reference to client circumstances, plan features and analysis
  • Clarity of explanations of planning issues and recommendations
  • Creativity and suitability shown in recommendations
  • Effectiveness of working and presenting as a team
  • Ability to handle surprise question from the judges
  • The names of the Finalists will be announced a week or so after the Board Meeting and plans will be made for the LIVE PRESENTATIONS in Las Vegas.

    You can still be a judge for this final phase. Plan to attend the Branding Workshop the day before and make it a complete professional event.

    For more information, go to event registration.

    Only $4 Million to Pitch Your Brand

    The Big Apple Superbowl venue this year is drawing all kinds of commentary with the weather getting more than its fair share.

    Most of us will be sitting in front of the big screen (warm and cozy) looking forward to watching the Broncos and Seahawks in climatic comfort, and staying put during commercial breaks to critique the Superbowl ads. It makes going for drinks and munchies a challenge.

    Multiple sources have reported that this year a 30 second spot is averaging $4 million. Makes one wonder how stressed advertising executives are to turn out the “memorable” half minute wonder in front of an expectant, discerning crowd. No one wants to lay the multi-million dollar goose egg on national TV.

    Monday morning quarterbacking has even evolved to include commercial ratings! Websites are dedicated to listing the ads so you know who are the major players the week preceding. This is pushing one’s brand at the most expensive/visible level.

    However out of reach this market is, the concept is universal and can be brought down to the financial advisor on an affordable and obtainable level. You can make an impact with your “brand” with reasonable effort. Some changes are just an attitude adjustment. Some require further education.

    The IARFC is here to invite you to attend its IMPACT BRANDING workshop in Las Vegas, NV on April 30th to get your game plan going!

    For more information visit the IARFC website and register for these events. Talk about a winning team….

    IARFC Board Meeting Scheduled

    The IARFC is getting ready to host the annual board meeting March 7th.

    Board Members from all over the US will be here to review agenda topics and make recommendations for the coming year. Those taking part are Les Anderson, Steve Bailey, Nick Royer, Jeff Rattiner, Rosilyn Overton, Jon Rogers, Hank Brock and Isabel Cooper.

    On March 6th, the day before the actual Friday meeting, the Board will take part in judging the semi-finalists in the National Plan Competition. Web Conferences will be set up for 6 teams. From these 6, 2-3 finalists will be chosen to present their plans in Las Vegas on May 1.

    The Board agenda topics are varied. A focus this year is accreditation. Education Director Jim Lifter will be working with the Board on forming committees (Ethics and Accreditation Board) and other items needed to move the accreditation process forward. Another item for brainstorming is increasing the membership. Reports on the past year will be given by the appropriate staff person.

    We will keep members up-to-date on any important association news!

    The IARFC – Serving 30 years

    This year the IARFC is celebrating 30 years of service – a milestone that we are marking with a special section in the Register. For every issue we will be including an article call PEARLS.

    You may not know this but a pearl is the traditional gift for a thirty year anniversary – thus an appropriate name for our Register section.

    For the Jan/Feb issue, we asked Les Anderson, RFC President, how increased customer awareness in the past 30 years changed the way financial advisors do business? The “veil of secrecy” has been lifted. Never before has so much advice and information been available to consumers. Read Les’s first “Pearl” and see his response.

    Daily Goal Setting

    By Micah Shilanski, RFC

    An exert from his upcoming interview in the Jan/Feb Register

    Every morning, yes every morning, I wake up and spend the first 30 to 60 minutes getting my head in the right frame of mind. I spend 10-15 minutes writing out my goals for the day. I am a big fan of technology and being paperless, but for this exercise I put pen to paper. I have a nice binder and write down my goals every single day.

    Once I have all my goals written down, I start listing out what I need to do that day to meet those goals.

    Then I watch or listen to motivational or inspirational information. YouTube is full of great 10 to 30 minute videos you can watch. Tony Robins also has a lot of videos on YouTube or you can buy his information online.

    I do not watch market information first thing in the morning – that is the quickest way to get a negative mindset.

    I want everything that happens during my morning routine to set a positive tone for the day. I want to start each day knowing that I can make a difference in people’s lives and help them reach their goals.

    Micah Shilanski’s entire Register Interview will be published in the 2014 JAN/FEB Register.

    Thanks to the Sponsors

    Currently the IARFC is recruiting sponsors for the National Plan Competition. On the Corporate level, we are very happy to announce that Cetera Advisor Network and Royal Alliance have become sponsors. With their commitment we move forward with our plans for Las Vegas and giving the finalists a venue to present their Sample Plans for the judges.

    On the Individual Level, we are pleased that many IARFC members have contributed. The Plan Competition gives hands-on development to young people by teaching them the skills necessary to provide the services advisors currently give, to the next generations. It is evident that the faculty, whose students are competing, see it as a valuable learning experience. Your contributions are important to our overall success. Just this year, we have tripled our number of universities and students. A complete list of Individual Sponsors are listed on the website and in the Register

    Corporate or Individual Sponsorship is available on Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Levels. Please contact Wendy Kennedy at or call (513) 424-6395 ext. 308 if you wish to make a commitment.

    Sign up to be a Judge…

    We are now recruiting advisors for the final phase of judging for the National Plan Competition in Las Vegas.  Three teams of finalists will present their plan, in person, in front of a panel of judges – that could include YOU!

    Be there and be a judge!
    Each team has to combine facts, figures AND professionalism.  Ultimately, the judges are asked to think as a client and pick whom they would engage to implement their financial plan.

    The experience and knowledge of successful financial professionals is most important to the conclusion and selection of the best plan.  The IARFC needs you to be there and be a judge.

    What’s in it for you?
    An opportunity to share your wisdom, network with young people who will be the future of the industry and give back to your profession.

    How can you be a part of this educational process?
    Go to and download the registration form and a complete schedule of the activities.  You can join us just for the judging or come a day early and attend the Impact Branding workshop presented by Ed Morrow.