View Across Silos

September 22, 2010

There are many fine professional organizations that cater to the needs of practitioners but there a few significant ones that may not be on your radar screen.

One is the Retirement Industry Income Association (RIIA). The stated mission of the organization is to “bring the retirement income industry together with a unique ‘View Across Silos’ in creating an unbiased forum for sharing information, strategies, education and research combined with unmatched opportunities to network with industry leaders”. Although a significant number of members represent major institutions such as banks, insurers, mutual fund companies and brokerage houses, in my experience, the RIIA welcomes individual practitioner members. So, if “retirement income” is a significant issue in your practice, you might find the RIIA of interest. (http://riia-usa.org/about/default.asp).

Another organization, also probably unknown to you but worth considering, is the Academy of Financial Services (http://www.academyfinancial.org/index.html) Two of the Academy’s three primary objectives are: “Encourage basic and applied research in the area of personal financial planning and financial services” and “Encourage the development of the curricula in the financial services field at the university level”; so it’s no surprise that a significant number of members are academics. However, the third objective, “Encourage interaction between financial services professionals and academicians” is an open invitation for practitioners like you and me to participate, particularly in suggesting areas of research and integrating the knowledge from current research into our practice. The AFS publishes the peer reviewed Financial Services Review, a quarterly review of research in the field of personal financial planning. Examples of recent papers – “The value of stop loss strategies” and “A new strategy to guarantee retirement income using TIPS and longevity insurance”. If you’d like to see a copy, drop me a note.

Full disclosure, I have no economic interest in either organization. I’m just a member of the RIIA but I serve on the Board of the AFS.

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