First-of-Its-Kind Program Will Educate Planners, Advisers on Becoming More Client-Centered.

October 2, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are launching a first-of-its-kind educational opportunity for financial advisers, planners and brokers through a new course called Client Psychology.

The novel program aims to help financial advisers and planners reshape their practice to become more client-centered in an age of rapidly changing technologies such as online automated investing. The course Client Psychology merges the latest advances in behavioral finance, clinical and cognitive psychology, and even the human sciences with the fundamentals of financial planning as tools for building long-lasting, deeper and prosperous relationships with investors.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Wharton School to help CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals enhance their training and become even more client-centric,” said CFP Board Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “Technology is reducing the transactional side of financial planning, so the value a CFP® professional brings needs to be more focused on a client’s well-being. We view this course as a new area of study — not just behavioral finance but human sciences, sociology, as well as clinical and cognitive psychology.”

That paradigm shift led the Center to partner with Wharton Executive Education and thought leaders at the business school to design a brand-new course to help a broad range of finance professionals such as planners and advisers to better understand the biases, behaviors, and perceptions that impact client decision-making and financial well-being.

Christopher Geczy, Ph.D., the academic director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative, and Charles Chaffin, Ed.D, Director of Academic Initiatives, are co-directing the course. The program is developed based upon the book Client Psychology, which Chaffin is the lead author and editor.

Geczy noted, “The big questions for today’s financial advisers are ‘how do you understand the potential to take risks? How do you understand the client personality as it relates to outcomes and wellness? How do you best interact with them? How do have a client for life and deliver the best value?’”

Chaffin notes that, “This program is based upon sound theory of multiple academic disciplines and then dives into the so-what of how this theory impacts financial planning practice.”

The Client Psychology course aims to answer these questions through sessions on evidence-based decision making; investing habits and goals across generational lines; the role of recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, heuristics and biases; and elements of clinical psychology including spending, saving, and money disorders. The course will be taught by experts from the top-ranked business school, leading scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, and CFP® professionals.

Client Psychology will be offered in two three-day modules that are slated for spring 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia and August 2019 in San Francisco.

Geczy and Chaffin said they are designing the class with an emphasis on experiential and interactive learning, with the goal of giving finance professionals a better understanding of how to best communicate with their clients to enable better financial decision-making and ultimately, higher client engagement and financial well-being.

The course has been designed to appeal to a wide range of financial professionals, including CFP® professionals and those on their way to receiving CFP® certification; investment advisers; strategists; brokers and counselors; professionals in insurance, accounting or related fields whose job includes advising clients; and faculty to looking to prepare their students for entering these professions.

To enroll, or for more information, please contact Wharton Executive Education at +1.215.898.1776 or


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is a professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification — one of the most respected certifications in financial services — so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by over 82,000 people in the United States.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the world’s first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is shaping the future of business by incubating ideas, driving insights, and creating leaders who change the world. With a faculty of more than 235 renowned professors, Wharton has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students. Each year 100,000 professionals from around the world advance their careers through Wharton Executive Education’s individual, company-customized, and online programs, and thousands of pre-collegiate students explore business concepts through Wharton’s

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