Financial education means many things at Ivy League Financial Advisors. Financial education means that we are committed to our own education as financial professionals so that we can provide superior service using the best available tools and most updated information. Financial education means that we educate our clients about financial issues that affect them, as we help them understand the choices they are making. It also means that we reach out to others in our community—both professionals and the general public—with ideas about how individuals can build financial security and reach their goals.
As an Ivy League graduate, Ivy League Financial Advisors founder Christopher Brown, MBA®, AIF®, CFP®, believes in the power of education to drive good decision-making. Financial education has always been a core value at our firm, and we are proud that we are members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) the organization with the highest requirements for training and continuing education in the field of personal finance.
We understand that education is a never-ending process, especially in a world in which change occurs so rapidly. We are regular attendees at conferences and workshops sponsored by NAPFA and other leading financial planning organizations. At these events, as well as through webinars and one-on-one conversations, we can tap into expertise from around the world in investments, insurance, taxes, and more.
However, we also recognize that delivering the best service to our clients requires that we go beyond financial planning to tap into experts in allied fields. For example, our staff members attend seminars and workshops with CPAs and estate planning attorneys, so that we can remain abreast of major developments in those areas. Mr. Brown is also a member of the Washington, DC Estate Planning Council. Similarly, we regularly test new software and other services that might enable us to leverage our time more productively for our clients. Our goal is always to get smarter, and to use our knowledge on behalf of our clients.
Educating Our Clients
Because educating clients is always a priority, we incorporate a review of financial planning basics in every financial plan. We understand that education and understanding are the groundwork for the success of that plan.
For some clients, concepts such as the way inflation erodes the value of money and the devastating impact of high fees investment returns, are new. For others, these are familiar ideas. These are careful, in-person discussions, and we will answer all questions until our clients are educated. We do not believe that our clients can truly accept our financial advice unless they understand it first. Without a true meeting of the minds, there is much less likelihood of success.
Just as importantly, our relationship with our clients doesn’t stop with the presentation of a financial plan. Clients may contact us at any time to discuss any planning concepts and ideas in greater depth and find out how they relate specifically to their financial plan.
Educating the Public
As important as serving our clients is, our commitment to education doesn’t stop at the company door. Since starting Ivy League Financial Advisors in 1996, Mr. Brown has been a vocal advocate and teacher about the importance of financial planning. He is regularly quoted in leading publications about how to be a smart investor, build retirement savings, select a financial advisor, and more.
Our website is a central point for consumer-friendly information about all aspects of the financial planning process and valuable financial tips. We are regularly adding new educational videos and timely information for people at every stage of life—from families wondering about the best college funding strategies to retirees deciding if they should purchase long-term care insurance.
Within the field of financial planning, Mr. Brown has long been an important contributor to the work of NAPFA, which pioneered fee-only financial planning in 1983. Mr. Brown has been co-chair of NAPFA’s National Conference, and he speaks at numerous NAPFA conferences, seminars, and workshops each year. One of his biggest educational passions is helping new professionals who are entering the financial planning field through his presentations at NAPFA Foundations Workshops and through mentoring.
We also reach out to other members of the professional community who work with individuals, families and small businesses. With CPAs, we have developed continuing education courses that have advanced the skills of both financial advisors and allied professionals.
Go to our Resource Center for our financial planning tips and a wide range of free consumer information about personal financial planning.