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New Finance Expert Envisions Shifts in Financial Planning

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Portfolios, mutual funds, annuities — our financial future hinges on decisions we make regarding where and how much of our hard-earned dollars are invested.

These topics are areas of research for David Nanigian, associate professor of finance, who joined Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics this fall.

Nanigian, who has taught at The American College and Pennsylvania State University, has authored articles on investments and financial planning in such publications as the Journal of Wealth Management and Financial Services Review; traveled worldwide to present at conferences like the World Finance Conference; and serves as an associate editor and an editorial review board member for a number of financial publications.

The California native earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University, an MBA from UCI and a doctorate in personal financial planning from Texas Tech University.

What inspired you to go into your field? What was the defining moment?

During my first year as an MBA student, I became fascinated by the research projects of my professors so I decided to pursue doctoral studies to become a finance professor. I, too, wanted to conduct research to help individuals make better investment decisions.

What are your research interests and why?

My research focuses on topics that advance the practice of personal financial planning. I’m currently working on multiple projects related to mutual fund performance persistence. I enjoy doing research on mutual funds because they are one of the most popular investment vehicles used by individual investors.

How do you engage students in your classes and/or research?

I’m a big fan of participant-centered learning through case studies. Another great way to engage students is through experiential learning. In the future, I hope to bring my students to financial planning conferences where they can network with leading practitioners and learn about the latest industry trends.

What changes do you envision in your field five years from now?

I predict that three major changes will occur in personal financial planning over the next five years.

First, I think that there will be a continued trend towards offering comprehensive financial planning advice, rather than advice that is primarily related to just one subject area, such as investments or insurance.

Second, spurred largely by the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule,” we will see a continued shift in financial adviser compensation away from commissions generated from products sold and toward fees charged for the advice itself.

Third, the cost of financial planning advice will decline as a result of both regulatory pressure and technological innovations.

What is one good tip for people to remember when it comes to finance?

There’s no better time than now to make a personalized financial plan with the assistance of a certified financial planner.

See the complete list of new tenure-track faculty joining CSUF this fall.