New York, August 19, 2013 – An effort to educate college financial planning students – including career changers – about how to use the growing medium of social media in their practices is under way.

Texas Tech University’s (TTU) Personal Financial Planning Department and Finect  -- the compliant social media platform – announced a collaboration today.  It will feature the integration of social media into coursework – including technology, marketing and entrepreneurship programs.

“Students are savvy on social media but not for professional purposes,” says Deena Katz, CFP, assistant professor at TTU and author. “Yet whether they’re entrepreneurs, marketers or financial advisors, social media is a vital part of their business – or should be. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Finect and provide our students the resources to use simple, compliant social media and be ready to enter the working world.”

The financial planning industry is offering better-than-average job prospects for skilled students. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth in the sector of 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, more than double the average of all occupations.

And social media continues to show explosive growth with over 500 million active Facebook users, 200 million LinkedIn members (with 2 million in financial services), and over 400 million tweets per day. According to Accenture, 48% of advisors report using social media to interact with investors on a daily basis and 50% say they have "successfully used social media to convert prospects into clients." Moreover, 52 percent of advised social media users would like to interact with their advisors via social media, according to LinkedIn.


“When I graduate, I’ll be bringing the financial planning practice to my Mom’s accounting firm,” says student Heather Ford. “But where do you start with social media? It’s something we can offer our employers.”

Jeremy Ransom, 24, who served in Afghanistan, says he’s “excited” by the new learning. “The way the American population consumes information has changed,” he says. “In the eyes of many, if it’s not on social media, it’s non-existent.”

Dustin Parks, 43, is a career changer who previously worked in information technology. He points out that the traditional cost of advertising is expensive compared to social media, which “only takes your time and effort.

“Plus, everything is headed to social media. With FINRA and the SEC, you can’t talk to clients and stay compliant – but you can with Finect.”

In addition to learning the Finect tools as part of their technology coursework, TTU students will also be operating two groups within the Finect platform: a private group enabling the student Board of Directors to exchange ideas and information and an open group for members of TTU’s Personal Financial Planning Association.

Barry Mulholland, CFP and ChFC, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Personal Financial Planning, says the department has over $5 million in gifts from tech firms. “The industry understands that these young people are asked to come in and lead these efforts for the firm, so it’s up to us to get students tech-ready to enter a very dynamic industry.”

Finect offers simple, compliant social media for financial advisors, asset managers and others in the financial industry.  Texas Tech University operates the nation’s largest personal financial planning degree programs with over 200 students annually seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees, including the first Ph.D. in personal financial planning.

                                                                                                 #  #  #

Contact: John LaMela

(845) 549-3593