Today’s conversation is with Ana Trujillo Limon. Ana has worked in the communications and media industry for more than a decade. First as a reporter and now as editor-in-chief for the Financial Planning Association’s publications, including the APEX Award-winning Journal of Financial Planning and the FPA Next Generation Planner and Practice Management Blog.
She also serves on the FPA Diversity Committee and is the co-founder of FPA Latino, a member resource group for Latino FPA members.
Today we dive into why financial planning is important, what it means to Ana being a woman and a minority in the field, what the next 5 to 10 years may hold for the financial planning industry, and the steps needed to get into the financial planning industry.
- Ana’s newly adapted “pandemic” routine (3:27)
- Ana shares what financial planning means to her and talks about how it changes people's lives. (5:13)
- Ana explains why she hired a financial advisor and why everyone should hire one. (7:54)
- What Ana fields the next 5 to 10 years holds in the industry; how technology will affect clients; and the implications for providers of financial services. (13:45)
- The effect the pandemic has had on the financial planning industry and what may happen in the future. (17:32)
- Ana shares her tips on how to find a financial advisor that may best fit your needs. (19:20)
- Ana’s personal development path and her passion for diversity and inclusion. (27:48)
- Ana talks about her ideas to help underserved communities get access to financial advice.(31:47)
Check out Ana’s articles on the FPA website by clicking here.
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Welcome to conversations for financial professionals, a podcast to help shape the next generation of financial advice. I'm your host Dominique Henderson today's conversation is with none other than Ana Trujillo Limon. The woman who has worked in communications in the media industry for more than a decade, and is the current editor in chief of the financial planning, associations, publications, including the apex award-winning journal of financial planning, the FPA next generation planner, and the practice management blog. You will not want to miss this conversation about understanding the importance of financial planning, where Ana and I talk about why financial planning is so important. She even gives a page from her own personal playbook about why she hired a financial planner. We also talk about where the financial planning industry is headed and the impact that's going to have on consumers as well as providers of financial services.
We provided a checklist for financial planning in practice. Something that consumers can use to find a good financial planner and financial professionals take note. These are the things that you can be doing to attract your ideal client. You will walk away from this episode, understanding the real importance of financial planning so that you will have the tools to serve your clients. At the next level. Let's get to the conversation with Donna. Welcome to another episode of conversations for financial professionals, where we are shaping the next generation of financial advice. And today we have Ana Trujillo Limon. Ana you've worked in the communications and media industry for more than a decade, first as a reporter, and now as editor in chief for the financial planning associations, publications, including the journal of financial planning and FPA next generational planner and the practice management blog. You also serve on the FPA diversity committee and are the co-founder of FPA Latino, a member resource group for Latino FPA members.
You enjoy spending time with your husband and your two dogs, Xena and Ballou. Welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today?
I'm doing well. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
I'm glad to have you on, I, there's been this weirdness of 2020, that's now behind us and there's just so many moving parts. I, I mean, I was really, happy that you, accepted the invite and whatnot. I think we're going to have some fun today. First of all, we got to know this, you're, I'm a fellow dog owner. What kind of dogs do you have?
Yes, I have German. They're both German shepherd mutts. Xena is a German shepherd Ridgeback mix, and Ballou is a German shepherd, Siberian Husky next. So.
I have a Collie mix also.
Oh, wow. How cute. I bet he's very fairy.
Yes. He has hair everywhere. That's going to be a whole nother podcast that we'll have to talk about. Some other points. Your new year now, do you have any, special routines or anything that you do? when It, when we leave one year and come into another, I mean, and especially with this being a, let's call this, let's call it 20 an asterix year because I don't know that we've, I haven't seen this in my years. What are, what are some things that Ana does?
This year, my husband and I usually do a deep clean of our house and kind of rearrange and do new things. So, we rearranged our whole house last weekend and then did a deep clean and got all our groceries set up and have everything. We could have a successful launch to our week and that really helps doing the preparation stuff. Another thing we do is we try to have revitalized focused on our health. My husband's a personal trainer, so it's kind of a blessing and a curse to have a personal trainer as a husband. So we've been going to the gym. We don't usually lift weights together and go to the gym together, but we're trying this new routine out where we actually work out together and it's been really fun. It's been a really nice way to start the day and I, I'm not I'm I just made a resolution like I'm just going to listen to him and not resist what he asked me to do.
And so far it's going well.
That's good for you and him. Huh? That's great. That's great. Well, I think that's a good segue into the topic for today, which is planning specifically understanding the importance of financial planning. I, I think you are a great person to talk to about this in our short conversations prior to this, I know that obviously kind of serve, let's call them the providers of financial services in a way, because you have the publications and the blog articles and all that kind of stuff that we may provide to consumers of financial services. At the same time, that magazine is not just meant for practitioners, but also shaping the way that we give financial advice. And you also have a financial planner. I think you're an excellent example of what we're talking about today.
Definitely. Yeah. So, so for me, financial advice is just, it's financial guidance that has the ability to change people's lives. I've said it before in other podcasts I've been on, but I didn't even know what financial planning was really until I started this job. Like I'd heard of it. I knew my parents had a financial advisor who was mostly an insurance broker with the title financial advisor. It really is guidance that changes people's lives. It's just, it's an amazing profession and it's really vital just like your doctor or your dentist. It's a really vital service that you need to have.
Yeah. So talk about that a little bit. I think that you bring a unique perspective, not just because you're a woman, not just because you're a minority, but those things obviously shape your money story, how you were brought up and you say, your parents had, a financial advisor that was, really, probably more into the product sales kind of talk about your perspective as a consumer of financial services and a curator of all this financial content. Like how has it helped maybe your experience as a person that uses the services of a professional?
I think it's made me a more educated consumer, the job that I have in particular, like knowing better, what questions to ask or knowing it brought down that barrier and that intimidation that a lot of people feel when they want to seek out financial services help, because it is kind of scary. It's well, I don't want to be embarrassed and I don't want people to know, I don't know things, but it's like, we don't look at any other profession that way we don't prepare when we go to the doctor and be like, I need to know what I'm going to say to the doctor. They don't think I'm dumb or don't, so that level of intimidation that is there for consumers and potential clients in financial services, is not there for other professions. That's something kind of that, reading more on my own and reading more at work has kind of helped me get over myself.
I think that's a barrier for clients and potential clients that we need to consider moving forward.
Where do you think that comes from though? That's good. You raise a really good point and insight. That's a good insight because I just went to the doctor for some labs the other day and I didn't, kind of steady up on my hemoglobin levels in my lip panel. I didn't, I didn't do. I'm like, that's what they're there for, like what do I need to know that for? And I don't feel that diminishes me to an extent that I can't interact with that professional, but to your point, you're right. People feel that way when it comes to financial services professionals, some people feel that way, that they need to know a certain amount of information. I don't know, do you have any insights as to why people feel that way?
I think that there's this misconception that we need to know about money and about how money works in the language of money without seeking professional help. I think there's this, I feel like there's a misconception that's perpetuated by social media. Like, oh, look at how successful I am. Look at this house I have with it, these cars I have and people give this carefully cultivated image that they're really good on their own with money. I don't feel like that's the case. A lot of times these carefully cultivated images are just people in a lot of debt or people who do have good financial planners, but then they never say that they never say, I, my financial planner really helped me with, my portfolio and I really did well and here I'm treating myself or whatever. They never talk about that aspect. I, and I think it's a problem that's perpetuated by social media.
No, I would agree. What if you don't mind sharing what made you hire a financial planner? Because a lot of people would probably just look at your resume on the surface and why did she need a financial planner? She's like already in the industry? She probably knows a lot. What, like what made, what was the personal decision that you came to, as to why you hired one?
Great. Great question. Yeah. I think a lot of times in life, when we, the more we learn, the more we realize, wow, there's more, so much more, I don't know, like, something on the surface and feel like that false confidence, like I really know things, but then you dive deeper. The more I got into this job, the more I was like, I need help. I need, I don't know what I'm doing. This is all very specialized skills. Just like, when I needed help with exercise, I hired a personal trainer or when I needed help with eating right, I hired a nutritionist. I don't know what I'm doing with my money. So I hired a financial planner. That's one of the, my biggest pieces of advice is if you need help and we all do, you should definitely seek out financial planning.
Okay. And you just made a statement there. I wanna, I wanna, I want to stay there for a minute. You said, if you need help and then you say, well, we all do. I kinda think that, and this is not because I make, most of my living doing this is that I don't know that there's a lot of people on this planet, not just in the US but on this planet that can manage their money and reach their financial goals without a tremendous amount of bias in the situation. Because it's your money you worked for, you feel like you're entitled to this, that, and the other. I think that is the really big obstacle that prevents people from making the best decisions with their money, more than anything, which is the reason why I say it's great to have a financial professional helping you out.
That's the reason why I kind of believe no one can really do this on their own, my business, a smaller percentage of the population, but you said everyone needs one. You mind expanding upon that a little bit .
Yeah. So I mean, the money language, right. Money is core to everything we do. It's, it's, it helps us buy the homes we live in and the cars we drive and invest in the future. We can help our kids go to college or help pay for things it's central to everything in our lives. If we don't know that language ourselves, and most of us, don't majority of us don't. Even those of us who do have blind spots, right. Even planners need planners because you have those blind spots and I'm going to go back to the medical analogy. Like you're not gonna, get some weird patch, change, chest pain, and then just look it up on the internet and be like, okay, I know what it is. I know I can handle this on my own. You're not going to do that. So it's the same thing with money.
It's like, I didn't understand the concept of compounding interest since I was well into my twenties. I didn't realize that the damage I had done on credit cards in college would have a ripple effect on the rest of my life. These are things that, if you have one impact one generation really does impact the generations coming up behind you. It has those relationships because our relationship with money is tied into how we saw our parents do things and how we see our, even our siblings do things, right? So even if maybe, our parents don't have the best money habits, but then you have a sister who at 21 years old bought her own house, and she's really savvy those kinds of things in print on you and how the ripple effect on the generation. It really, it really is an essential service to manage that central core money language that is central to everything in our lives.
No, I can't agree more, which is the reason why I'm harping on this subject, so much, cause I've worked with clients that have a lot of, let's call it balance sheet wealth, but inside of them, they feel like they're poor. Since they feel like that inside, it dictates a mindset that creates actions that are not good for them. And eventually they blow through this money. People have seen this before because, athletes or lottery winners or all these people that we've heard that have all these millions of dollars or whatever, it seemed like they have their needs met, but then because they don't have the education or the money, the correct money story that you're like you're alluding to, then they end up losing all that. So, no, I, I would totally agree with that. Let's talk about where from where you sit, you have a really unique view, curating all this content I'm interested to see where you think the financial planning industry is headed.
I want to look at this question from, really two angles, really from the angle, first of the consumer of financial services. As well as the provider of financial services, like where do you see us going with this thing? And let's call it the next five or 10 years.
Yeah. From the consumer perspective, I feel like, so you participated in our FinTech issue. You answered some questions for me I'm and so that stuff is fresh in my mind of the impact of the pandemic on planning and on technology. Someone brought up a really good point of that. Consumers are going to start to weigh their experiences with financial services, with what they're seeing with technology in the regular consumer space, right? So we have like, they likened it to smart refrigerators and apps that can help us do anything in orders, anything that we want at any time of day. It comes to our doorstep within a few hours within a day. Those types of experiences are going to start to, dictate what clients want from planners and want from their digital experiences in finding, from that perspective and from, the planning perspective, I really feel like financial planning is going to start to have more far reaching effects.
I'm starting to see this trend of more people knowing about it. More people seeing it as that really true like lawyers and like doctors. I think that we're going to start to see that more solidified within the next five and 10 years, that really solid finally becoming the profession that we've always wanted to be in financial planning. And, and because of that, I think that the different models of pricing are going to start to, be more diverse because that's really a barrier to entry for a lot of people. Like I alluded to earlier with that intimidation factor, there's also that I can't afford this factor. I don't have enough assets to do that. There's a lot of myths like misunderstandings out there from consumers who think that they can't afford this or that it's not for them or that it's for only the wealthy or the 1%, but really it's an essential service for everybody.
I'm starting to see, different, business models that are serving more of the majority members. Like for instance, I am a client of facet wealth, is a subscription model based, company. That really was, it kind of got rid of that. I can't afford financial planning services mindset that I had previously had and it made it more accessible. So, I tell all my friends who are maybe, middle income to the lower income spectrum, like, hey, you guys can really afford this. You should try it out, just check it out, have an introductory call. So I think there's going to be start to, we're going to start to see more of these facet wealth business models, more of these models that can serve everybody and reach everybody.
No, you make a lot of good praise. I'm trying to see where I want to, what tangent I want to go down because, I love the smart refrigerator example in that, as a consumer, I'm just thinking about my own preferences where, I have my groceries delivered largely. I have Amazon prime, but basically delivers everything to my doorstep. All it doesn't make sense really for me. I mean, I guess I could think about it this way, but in my mind, the more and more this evolves, I'm probably not, which is, I don't think I want to go sit down somewhere. Right. And here's a perfect example. So my bank is closing. It's a subsidiary of a bigger bank. It's for small business owners. I got an email yesterday that it's closing. I was like, well, when, and they were like, well, it's not going to be, but it's going to be months, not weeks, but in my mind, I'm thinking, okay, where's another online bank.
Cause I don't feel like sitting in a bank filling out paperwork because that's not my experience. That's not what I'm used to. I think what I'm hearing you say is that financial services, although not totally there, like if you're coming into this industry in the next five to 10 years, you need to be thinking that way because that's where we're going. With the level of technology outside of this industry, is that true?
That's true. Yeah, and what I'm hearing from the professionals that, are the two trend spotters is that the pandemic has really accelerated that trend. And we've all been privy to that. Like I, I interviewed, Danny Fava from investment a couple of weeks ago and she's always so brilliant, and has really great insights. She talks about those people, this is our experience. Now the pandemic has made everything like, just like you said, I don't want to go to somebody's office. Like my financial planner lives in my neighborhood and I've never met her. And I'm cool with that. I'm okay with that. I think that's going to be, clients are going to want that in the future are going to want that, people are still not wanting to go and interact and be face-to-face with somebody right now. I don't know how long it's going to take for people to get over that.
I think it's going to be a while.
Yeah, I think it, I think, traditionally this industry has been one where you feel that there's more tangibly that you can tell about a person when you're sitting across from them, as far as just, picking up on body language, staring them in their eyes, things of that nature to kind of pick up basically on whether you can trust them or not. That's basically what it boils down to. And, and the reason why that barrier of trust is so high is obviously because our financial life is at stake, but I think, I would love for your opinion on, you said it just now he was like your financial advisor lives in your neighborhood, but I've never met them. I'm assuming this has been through phone or through zoom in which you're still able to exchange that trust. So talk about that a little bit.
And, and maybe why do you think that is that particular to your demographic and how you were raised, maybe how old you are, like, what do you, what are your thoughts around how that trust is developed so easily? Maybe with our age group versus older people?
I think that zoom, like, for instance, we met once before this and it was just like, I felt very comfortable just talking to you. I feel like I'm talking to you face-to-face right now, like I can see your facial expressions. I can see your reactions to what I say. I'm thinking with my financial planner, like we just connected. Right. It was that same, just talking and seeing each other on this is fine with me. I think it goes, in addition to I am a millennial and I do prefer, more technologically focused services, but I also am an introvert and I know it's hard to believe I'm my boss recently told me like, what, you're an introvert, like, no, I have to really hype myself up and practice and do all, so the point is that personality perspective is also in play here. I would prefer to be in the comfort of my home and my little home office here.
I feel more comfortable to be myself here. Maybe that's why I seem so extroverted because I'm in my comfort zone. I am, this is my castle. And I am completely 100% myself here. If I were sitting in an office and a big conference room table, I might feel differently. I only ever had virtual experiences with financial planners before facet, I tried out learn best when I was, early on in my career, I cannot learn best when I was, not making a lot of money, not don't have a lot of assets and it was not a very good experience. Like the financial planner I did have, she, it was via phone back then. It was not a video conference. Just like the way you make people feel is also a very important thing moving forward. She kind of made me feel like you don't make enough money.
You need to get a side gig. You need to, cut back on X, Y, and Z. It was like, well, if I'm not making enough money, I clearly don't have enough money to be a financial planner. I should just, I have to drop this service. That kind of turned me off for a really long time until, fast, that law came along and we were able to have FPA in place. We're able to have access to this type of planning. That was, that is another aspect of just the personality types I think helps build trust. Like for instance, my financial planner also has a Shefsky, which we call the Shepherd Husky mix. That was one of the things like her being able to that those commonalities, that helps create the bond, but also the technology. This zoom has been really like, just like you said, for our January or February FinTech issue, zoom is, has become invaluable.
To me too, as a reporter and as an editor, and I'm sure for financial planners, I think the seeing each other element is really great.
I wondered if you could maybe share with us like a checklist, again, because of where you sit in your perspective. I think it would be great, a checklist for consumers to kind of be thinking about what makes a good financial planner. Maybe these are some things or some items that, from straight from an honest playbook. Before you say this, I want the people listening that are aspiring financial professionals. They'll really look at this because I think hearing it from a consumer can help you shape what you want or how you want to build your business. In regards to some of the things you just named, just the, what I call bedside manner. Not making people feel, stupid, or like they're asking dumb questions. These things are very important in the beginning process, but I'll let you take the, take it right here with the checklist.
Yeah, sure. That's a great question. I think one of the, we don't have like at, in the journal or anything, any checklist that we've developed, but I'm glad you said it was from my perspective, because that makes me feel okay, so this is what I do, right? So you have to, I think consumers have to be really diligent about, seeing multiple people in the introductory and introductory meetings and seeing if you get a good feel for them and then looking at your own needs and determining what is it that I need from this person. Looking at that person's expertise and okay. I have, a couple of kids in elementary school and I want to start planning for their college planning. This person, well equipped to help me with that college funding? Are they helping with taxes? I may, and then looking at the certifications that align with those things, like at FPA, we primarily serve CFP professionals and believe very, diligently that certification really helps you identify people who will serve your interests above their own.
I am, I've only ever had CFP professional financial planners. I believe, I always recommend when my family or my friends are looking for financial planners, like, make sure to check to see if they're a CFP professional, double-check on the CFP website. That if they say they are, so just things like that. This whole element of, like I said before, the face-to-face meetings to make sure you vibe is essential, because just like you said, money is a very intimate relationship and you're letting somebody into that. It shows you more than just, where you spend your money, how you spend your money habits, it all has implications like psychological implications in a way it all plays together. It can tell your financial planner is going to know so much more about you than your doctor than your counselor. It's like just by looking at your money habits. Finding someone you trust and you vibe with is really important.
No, I, I mean, I say this all the time and I don't know if it's off putting to people or polarizing, but it is so true. It's the only really analogy that I can put it is when you come to a financial planner, it's like, you're really getting financially naked. It's, it's very vulnerable. It's a very vulnerable place to be. I think that's why it's so important for financial professionals to have also the EKU skills, the soft skills that go with this, because people are so vulnerable when it comes to their money. There's not a lot of like, in those first, intimate moments, there's just some things you can say wrong that will just totally, kind of could put the relationship going forward. So I'm glad you mentioned that. I also want to kind of go down to the, you said some things at the beginning of your list about finding the person that's right for you.
I think, there's been a lot of talk around, diversity inclusion and, gender equality and things of that nature. I think what it boils down to is if I'm, whatever person, whatever walk of life I've come from, it's very important for me to be able to see myself in my planner. What I mean by that is people that share common goals, common interests, common values, maybe ethnicity. I think this, those are some very tertiary type of things. But values, you know, very much. So. Can you talk about, maybe your perspective on that? I know you recently completed a program, at Cornell university about diversity inclusion and maybe some of the things that you pulled out of that program that kind of speak to how, as an industry, we need to do a better job so that consumers can look inside the industry and say, oh, I see somebody that looks like me.
Maybe let me go check out working with that person.
Great, great question. Yeah. In addition to the EEQ element, there's a culturally competent element that needs to happen. Because we don't have the numbers of, black, Latino, Asian, all these different types of planners to serve the vast majority of people in the country who look like them. That cultural competence element is really critical. I think over the last few years, there's been some progress, but, I really do feel that we need to make more progress on this element because, when we talk about things like systemic racism and the structural inequality that's out there that has impacted as people of color has impacted our ability to build generational wealth. If you don't understand those things as a planner and you go in and you're helping a Latina and you don't factor in that. I make less money. Like, for instance, research has shown that Latinas make 54 cents to a white man's dollar.
Like if you don't come in knowing that type of thing and knowing how that has impacted my savings levels or the amount of money in my 401k, or it has a ripple effect, the systemic alums have a ripple effect. If you come in and approaching the same way you would, somebody who's in my same position is maybe, a white male who makes maybe tens of thousands of dollars more than me. And, having those cultural competence skills to understand that will really help me see that you care about me, like giving me, maybe recommending tools like negotiation books, or negotiation skills, like for instance, another part of this systemic problem is that I didn't know, going into, my professional years that you have to negotiate your salary. I'm a big believer in telling everybody I know every woman of color go in there and negotiate that salary don't accept that first offer because that will have impacts on your lifetime wealth.
So, yeah, so I just think that when we bring that as people of color, when we bring up those issues, it might be uncomfortable, but just be empathetic and understand the systems are built to keep us down. And our successes are despite those systems. Understanding that is really helpful and not coming from a place of defensiveness or like, I, Oh gosh, that's just a, that's so long ago that is just why aren't you over that? It's like, because it's still very much present in all of our systems and that's why we're not over it. So understanding that.
These are good points, I think, and I'm, I've mentioned this on a couple of recordings, and hopefully, we get the reach that we want so that this gets to the right ears. But, I look at my Alma mater, previewing the university that has a, a CFP program or a financial planning minor. I look at, kids that grew up like me look like me coming through this learning, the greatness of this profession. And, granted, there's going to be some bad actors in here that come through the school and try to get them to sign up for a job that is mostly sales. I totally get that. At the end of the day, I do believe that, exposure is probably one of the best tools and where I'm going with this is, do you have some ideas around how we can take what we currently have in the industry and make it better to get more, I would say really young people that have not yet been exposed to this or exposed to this industry to realize this is a great profession, because, if we don't have professors teaching this, because we don't have programs at these schools, then how are we going to groom the next, crop of financial professionals that look like the population that you're talking about?
Yeah, that's a wonderful question. I think there are people in the profession doing some really great work in terms of laying the groundwork and building that foundation of financial literacy among, kids from rural areas, kids like me. I grew up in a town of 800 people. We didn't have a stoplight. None of us knew about money, so reaching out and for instance, Tyrone Ross and Jamie Hopkins have developed a financial literacy program. I interviewed Tyrone a few months ago and he talked about getting this program for free, into rural schools, into schools, with higher high numbers of black and Latino kids. And, and I think that work is so essential because right now we're trying to reach underserved populations, but, there's still this level of distrust, in communities of color of the financial industries. It's a long game and for good reason, and it's a long game.
It's like, okay, so we're not going to see the high numbers. We're not going to see a ton of influx of, people of color into the profession, because right now we have to build that foundation right now, we're trying to build a mansion on a shaky foundation and people like Tyrone Ross and Jamie Hopkins are going in there and doing that foundation work now. And we need more of it. We need more people than just a few people doing this work. We need everybody on board to help get these programs into the schools and go out there and talk to the kids. And, when one of the, it won't help bring people into the ranks of financial planning, but it will help bring more underserved populations going out to those, like, HBC youth and Hispanic serving institutions and talking to those, medical students or engineering students.
These, these students are going to go out there and make six figures and not really know what to do with it. That's one element of, to go into like the Colorado school of mines, for instance. We're a kids out of mines here just in golden, Colorado makes six figures their first year. And my sister was one of them. That's why that's the only example I use it. And, you know, she recognized the importance. Like I need to invest my money. I need to buy a house I need to, so she was on top of it, but not everybody is like her. So, getting in front of these people in front of these kids and reiterating the importance of managing your money while early, because it will impact the rest of your life, I think is really some great ideas to do that. I think targeting professional organizations like affinity group organizations that help serve professionals, like for instance, I'm a graduate of a fellowship program called the Latino leadership Institute.
I has a partnership with Belco credit union, which is a really big credit union here in the Denver area. They have well back pre COVID had in-person events where they would do, financial planning, workshops, and college planning workshops, and different types of things. Because they had that sponsorship relationship. If you, if firms and big companies are able to forge those relationships and go in there and talk to these professionals, because a lot of people in my cohort didn't have actual planners. Rianka, they're saying bill said, once in a retreat presentation, she gives she's spreads a good gospel of financial planning. I always have Rianka in my mind when I'm, I need to tell people about this profession. I, I don't know the Rianka knows she inspired me that way, but I do go out there and tell everybody I know about financial planning. I think connecting with those types of organizations is really critical to serving the populations who have, past college years already graduated while into their professional years and still haven't engaged a financial planner.
No, no, I would agree. I would agree on that regard. I think that's a good segue to, allowing you to kind of talk about some of the resources inside of, FPA and some of its benefits and, or, I guess, tools that could be used by, financial, in order to do some of the things that we're talking about or to build their practice or to reach underserved communities, what are some of the things that FPA is doing, or maybe that financial professionals can partner with FBA on?
Definitely. Yeah. We're in talks with, a nonprofit based here in Denver to provide diversity and inclusion training to our members. We haven't finalized it yet, so I won't say too many details, but it's like a cohort like program that does diversity and inclusion training through the lens of neuro, diversity and, self awareness type of thing. It works on your leadership skills first and then teaches you those inclusion skills and marries the two. That way you then go out back to your farm and create this inclusive environment. Because I think a lot of the problem is that we have a wealth of talent coming into the profession, people of color coming into the profession, but then they go into these environments that are maybe not as inclusive or comfortable, and then they leave. The skills to create that inclusive environment are very essential. That understanding that diversity and inclusion are two totally separate things.
We don't have the inclusion. If you don't have both, it's not going to work. So that's one thing we provide. We have a lot of content, in the journal, every November, we have a diversity equity and inclusion issue. We're providing that type of content for our members. We have an ongoing resource page, which I could send you the link to, which has just links to books and articles that we've written articles from are all of the trade pubs within the profession links to Rianka his podcast, which is 2050 trailblazers, which has really has some really great takeaways. Really wonderful guests. Both doing great work in this realm. Anytime rank on Lou that I have something out there, I put it on that page, because they're really doing the great work, but we're being more mindful, more cognizant of providing this type of content for our members.
And it's, we're at the beginning stages. The D D I issue is only in its third year, this year in 2021. We it's slow progress, but it's really impactful progress.
No, I would agree. I think, and this topic, this is a big topic and I really appreciate you for taking it on, understanding the importance of financial planning comes from, I mean, you can look at this from so many different angles. I was talking with Bob verus, on this topic and, McKinsey Scott just donated, well, she's donated a lot of money over the last several months, but she, gave a pretty significant gift to my Alma mater. And, one of the ideas that I was thinking, I was like, well, this would be great. I mean, you got, aspiring financial professionals and, taking this financial planning as a minor shouldn't, we have some type of incubator for the, in that we could offer, financial planning pro bono, give these students the experience that they need so that when they sit for the CFP exam, they don't have to wait another two or three years for experience, because they're already doing some of these things.
And, I, I, I know that there are ideas out there. It's just that I think there's way too much segmentation in our industry and we need to work together so that the consumer has benefited because if the consumers benefit, everybody wins and I think that's where we need to be headed. I really appreciate you coming on and talking about some of these really super big topics. This is, in our, in closing this podcast, as on, is to help empower, tomorrow's financial professional with tools to serve their ideal client at the next level, in that context, what words or word of wisdom do you have to leave with the next generation financial professional?
Yeah. Oh, that's a really great question. Let me get back to that in a second, but I, I, when you asked me about more resources and I just, I realized, I forgot to mention, a few really great ones that we have, which you reminded me of when you talked about the experience that the students could have. We do have a really wonderful externship program that was spearheaded and launched by Hannah Moore. That provided, a lot of aspiring professionals to get that the, all, a lot of their experience credit for, to sit for their exam and do those things. It was a really interesting we're going to have it again this year, and I'm really excited to see because it was so well attended and well received last year, I'm still getting messages from people who participated.
1700 people or something. I talked to Hannah about this. I mean, it was incredible. So that is a really good program. I'm glad you're.
Yeah. We also have member research groups other than FP Latino, that people can get involved with. And so I've paid Latino. We, we kind of focus a lot on creating awareness of the profession. We work in conjunction with alpha, which is the association of Latino professionals for America. We have a lot of events where we'll have professionals come and do a panel and talk about financial planning and talk about the barriers to entry. Those have been really well received and well attended. We have our pride planners, which is for our LGBTQ plus community. We have our African-American knowledge circle, and then we're working on starting, an Asian American and Pacific Islander group. Those are really great resources to connect with other people to get those mentorships, because I find as a professional mentorships have been really critical for me and especially to get me into this profession and to keep me here, I'm not a financial planner, but I am here to say, as long as I can, because of the mentors I've had in this profession, some of whom Sandra Davis is one of them.
I just love Sandra. She's a gem and, my, the old editor of the journal, Carlucci, lockers and other. So, that segues into my words of wisdom for our next generation of financial planners is just to find those mentors and really learn from them, really be Danny Fama says, is be curious and ask questions and be comfortable with not knowing everything because we don't, we really know closer to nothing than we know to everything. Just embracing that and acknowledging that, and just, asking as many questions as you can, even, if you think you're going to sound dumb or sound, ledgeable, it doesn't matter because that's how you learn asking questions and learn as much as you can from everybody around you, because you really can do that.
Wow. Wow. Really, really great insight. Really great perspective. Ana you're doing great work at the FPA, keep it up. We're really happy to have had you on the podcast with us and sharing your wisdom.
Great. Well, thank you so much for having me. It's been the highlight of my year so far.
We, we hopefully only go up from here. Hopefully we can only go up great stuff on, take care and have a great one.