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Ringing in the NYSE closing bell -- and a big grant

Scrappy on Wall StreetUNT’s financial services program will be awarded a $50,000 grant from TD Ameritrade Institutional as part of its NextGen Financial Planning Initiative. To celebrate the honor, TD Ameritrade Institutional flew two UNT representatives to the New York Stock Exchange to accept the award July 22, where they were joined by UNT’s mascot, Scrappy, to help ring the closing bell. 

Two grants and 14 scholarships were awarded by TD Ameritrade Institutional as part of an ongoing effort by the company to bring more young talent to financial planning careers at a time when the investment advice industry is facing a critical shortage.

“Registered investment advisors as a group are aging: roughly half are 55 years or older, and many of them will be looking to retire over the next decade,” said Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, in an April 14 press release. “Add that with the fact that fewer than eight percent of advisors are under 35, and it’s clear our industry needs more young professionals to join us and help families better manage their finances.”

In addition, predictions from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014 show that by 2022, jobs for personal financial advisors will grow by 27 percent. That’s three times faster than the national average for other careers.

“There is a huge need for financial planners,” said Dave Ragan, adjunct faculty member in UNT’s Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law. Ragan, along with UNT mascot Scrappy and Marcia Staff, chair of the department, represented UNT at the closing bell ceremony.

Scrappy on Wall Street“Financial planning isn’t just selling a mutual fund, though that is the perception some still hold,” said Ragan, who is also an alumnus of the UNT department and senior financial planning specialist at Grunden Financial Advisory, Inc. “It touches on a variety of topics, including cash flow management; home, auto, life and long-term care insurance; investments; and retirement, estate and college planning. Financial planning is about securing one’s financial future.”

Ragan said the UNT program plans to use the funds to create a TD Ameritrade Internship Program at the UNT Student Money Management Center, boost recruitment for the program, reimburse UNT students who complete financial literacy courses and integrate business case studies into classes – all to provide more real-world experience to future graduates and to expose more youth to financial advising.

 “We are thrilled at the opportunities that we will be able to afford students as a result of the grant,” said Staff. “Our partnership with UNT’s Student Money Management Center and providing financial literacy training will allow us to reach students that we could not otherwise.”

In addition to providing the award to UNT, TD Ameritrade Institutional gave a second, $25,000 emerging-program grant to Temple University and a total of 14 scholarships to undergraduates across the country pursuing financial planning degrees.

This marks UNT’s second prestigious award from TD Ameritrade. Last fall, three UNT students won its nationwide virtual stock trading competition, the thinkorswim Challenge, after growing their group portfolio by 213.04 percent to over $1.5 million.

- Monique Bird, News Promotions

Above, Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional; Marcia Staff, chair of the Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law; Scrappy; and Dave Ragan, adjunct faculty member in the Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law. Above left, Scrappy enjoys his visit to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Posted on: Wed 22 July 2015

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