Full Recap: Money Smart Week 2016

When it comes to finance, we believe that knowledge is power. The sooner you start investing in your financial health, the sooner you can achieve your financial goals — but you can’t reach the finish line without education.

This year, we partnered with Money Smart Week®, a national, public awareness campaign focused on personal financial health and literacy, to help investors of all ages take control over their financial health and access the resources needed to make sound decisions for the future.

For nearly 15 years, Money Smart Week has collaborated with organizations across the country to deliver engaging financial programs and seminars to consumers representing every demographic and stage of wealth. We were proud to join the campaign in the city where its mission was born: Chicago! Scroll down for a full recap of the sessions, educational resources and important lessons learned:

Session 1: “The Changing Landscape of the Banking Industry”

Presenter: Thomas Back, Senior Manager at Wipfli LLP

Main Lesson: The changes and trends currently sweeping the banking industry will likely continue into the future. But with a game plan in place, today’s banks can evolve their services to keep pace with the shift and better serve their customers.

Is this the end of traditional banking, as we know it? Over the past decade, banks have grappled with a host of big changes, from new regulations to groundbreaking technologies to evolving customer needs and generational demographics.

MSW Banking

These issues set the stage for our first Money Smart Week session, led by Thomas Back, Senior Manager of Wipfli LLP’s financial institutions practice. According to Back, banks can help lead the charge by identifying and capturing these emerging opportunities to deliver even greater value to their customer base.

Get Thom’s take on the topic

Session 2: “Smart Kids – Smart Money”

Presenters: Gretchen Halpin, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at Wipfli Hewins, and Rafia Hasan, CFA, CFP®, Director of Investments at Wipfli Hewins

Main Lesson: Fostering financial fitness and independence in children at a young age can pay off big time. Simply start with three basic concepts: set goals, save early (and often!) and create a well-defined plan for the future.

The case for financial literacy has garnered national attention over the past decade, including the lack of financial education taking place in the classroom. As part of Money Smart Week — and in honor of National Financial Literacy Month — we decided to take action on the issue and bring our own brand of interactive, engaging financial education to seventh-grade students at Walt Disney Magnet School, based in Chicago.

Smart Kids Smart Money MSW

Best of all? These students are putting their newly sharpened financial savvy to the test as part of an exclusive contest. Contestants must submit a creative video, presentation or piece of art that reflects one of the concepts explored in the “Smart Kids – Smart Money” session. The winner will receive an individual award, as well as a fun prize for their classroom!

Here’s why financial literacy is important for your youngster

[VIDEO] Teach your little ones how to “grow” money

Session 3: “The Cost of Identity Theft in the Digital Age”

Presenters: Patrick Brault, CPA, CTFA, Principal and Regional Director at Wipfli Hewins, and Bob Cedergren, CPA, CGMA, CITP, CISSP, CISM, CGEIT, CCSFP, Partner in Charge of Risk Advisory & Forensic Services and Sustainability at Wipfli LLP

Main Lesson: Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the U.S., wreaking financial and emotional havoc on victims.1 However, prevention and recovery are possible with the proper protections in place.

In recent years, highly publicized data breaches have dominated news headlines, showing consumers just how big a threat identity theft can be. Unfortunately, it’s a crime that’s essentially invisible — sometimes fraud can go undetected for years, potentially resulting in thousands of dollars in losses.

MSW Identity Theft

In our third session of the day, presenters Patrick Brault and Bob Cedergren shared how consumers can reverse the statistics, exploring red flags for theft and best practices for recovery.

View the presentation

How to safeguard your identity

Session 4: “A Career as a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®)”

Presenters: Lora Murphy, CFP®, CPA, CDFA™, Senior Financial Advisor at Wipfli Hewins, and Ryan McGuire, CFP®, Associate Lecturer with the Personal Financial Planning program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison

Main Lesson: The Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation can help advisors provide more comprehensive financial service and expertise to clients, and can also lead to more competitive career opportunities.

It’s one of the most highly regarded and in-demand designations in the industry — not just among advisors, but among clients, as well. Today, seven out of 10 consumers have chosen to partner with a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) over other financial professionals.2

Career as CFP MSW

In this session, presenters Lora Murphy and Ryan McGuire described the true value that a CFP® certificant can bring to the table and offered words of wisdom to advisors looking to break into the industry.

View the presentation

Get a professor’s take on the value of a CFP®

Session 5: “The Finance, Fundamentals and Funding of Real Estate”

Panelists: Scot Roche, J.D., CPA, PFS, Principal and Regional Director at Wipfli Hewins; Matt Kennedy, Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate; and Ian Halpin, Broker at Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Main Lesson: There’s more to the home-buying process than the sticker price, interest rates and market trends. It’s about knowing how all of these factors relate to your unique financial situation.

A house is the biggest purchase that most people will ever make. The decision-making process requires thorough, comprehensive planning and careful consideration.
And thanks to the advice of our Money Smart Week panelists, it’s a decision that buyers can navigate confidently with the right information and the insight of seasoned experts.

Real Estate MSW

In our final session of the day, Scot Roche, Matt Kennedy and Ian Halpin led local real estate investors and prospective purchasers in a lively discussion on a range of important topics, from financial planning preparation to applying for a mortgage to making an offer.

Hear from our panelists

Start planning for your real estate investment


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Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC (“Wipfli Financial”) is an investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); however, such registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training and no inference to the contrary should be made. Wipfli Financial is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP, a national accounting and consulting firm. Information pertaining to Wipfli Financial’s management, operations, services, fees and conflicts of interest is set forth in Wipfli Financial’s current Form ADV Part 2A brochure and Form CRS, copies of which are available from Wipfli Financial upon request at no cost or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Wipfli Financial does not provide tax, accounting or legal services. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Wipfli Financial or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Wipfli Financial, and Wipfli Financial does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Wipfli Financial of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional.
OneBite Editorial Staff

OneBite® is a Top 50 Financial Advisor Blog powered by Wipfli Financial Advisors. Founded in 2011, the digital magazine is dedicated to providing intelligent, in-depth coverage and analysis of the top financial and economic issues facing investors today.

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Full Recap: Money Smart Week 2016

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