RMA Education Capstone

Retirement Management Advisor Education Capstone is a two-day, in-person event offered in an executive education format. Presented concurrently with the Institute’s Annual Conference Experience–ACE (May 2018) this Capstone provides a deeper application of knowledge and skills learned in the RMA online course facilitated by leading Ivy League academics, as well as experienced practitioners.

Michael Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, CHFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, Partner and Director of Research

Pinnacle Advisory Group

Michael Kitces, partner and director of research, Pinnacle Advisory Group, is publisher of the e-newsletter, The Kitces Report, and the financial planning industry blog, Nerd's Eye View. Mr. Kitces’ work has been featured in Financial Planning, the Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Retirement Planning, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and other media. He co-authored, The Annuity Advisor, with John Olsen and Tools & Techniques of Retirement Income Planning, with Steve Leimberg and others. He has received one of the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Awards and has been honored similarly by other industry publications. He is a co-founder of NexGen, a community that aims to ensure the transfer of wisdom, tradition, and integrity from the pioneers of financial planning to the next generation of the profession.

Zvi Bodie, Ph.D., Professor

Boston University

Zvi Bodie, professor emeritus, Boston University, has authored and edited many books and articles on pensions and investing for retirement. His textbook, Investments, co-authored by Alex Kane and Alan Marcus, is well-known and is used in the certification programs of the CFA Institute and the Society of Actuaries. In 2007, the Retirement Income Industry Association presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for applied research. He earned a Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has served on the finance faculty at the Harvard Business School and MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Arun Muralidhar, Ph.D., Co-Founder

Mcube Investment Technologies LLC

Arun Muralidhar, co-founder, Mcube Investment Technologies LLC, co-founder and client service manager, AlphaEngine Global Investment Solutions, is a nationally-recognized leader in pension reform, asset allocation and currency management. The author of Innovations in Pension Fund Management and A SMART APPROACH to Portfolio Management, and co-author of Rethinking Pension Reform, and editor, European Pension Reform, assists institutional investors in asset allocation, currency management, and external management oversight through customized investment advice.

Christine Benz, Director of Personal Finance

Morningstar, Inc.

Christine Benz, director of personal finance, Morningstar, and senior columnist, Morningstar.com, is the author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances, and is co-author of Morningstar® Guide to Mutual Funds and Morningstar® FundInvestor. An analyst and editor at Morningstar since 1993, she earned her B.S. from the University of Illinois.

Dana Anspach, CFP®, RMASM, Founder and CEO

Sensible Money, LLC

Dana Anspach, founder and CEO, Sensible Money, LLC, founded her fee-only registered investment advisory firm with the goal of providing the type of planning needed to align her client’s finances for their transition out of the work force. She is the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny and Social Security Sense.

John Nersesian, CIMA®, CPWA®, CIS, CFP®, Founder

Nersesian Wealth Education, LLC

John Nersesian is founder of Nersesian Wealth Education, LLC, providing advanced wealth management and investment consulting education to financial professionals. John previously served as managing director of wealth management services for Nuveen Investments from 2000 to 2018. He also served as a first vice president at Merrill Lynch Private Client Group, where he was also a leader of advanced training for financial consultants. He is a frequent speaker in the areas of investment consulting and financial planning, and contributes to a variety of media outlets. He earned a B.S. in business and economics from Lehigh University. John served on the Investments & Wealth Institute's board of directors from 2006 to 2017, and as chairman for the 2013-2015 term. He is a faculty member for both the CIMA and CPWA education programs offered through the Investment's & Wealth Institute at The University of Chicago and Yale University.

Bob Powell, Editor

Retirement Management Journal

Robert Powell is longtime financial journalist and a regular contributor to TheStreet.com, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and MarketWatch. He serves as editor of TheStreet’s Retirement Daily and as editor of the Retirement Management Journal, a peer-reviewed professional journal. He was instrumental in developing the Retirement Management Advisor℠ designation. Previously, he served as editor of Retirement Weekly; managing director of Dalbar, where he was responsible for all aspects of the firm's publishing company: Mutual Fund Market News, Variable Annuity Market News, The Journal of Mutual Fund Services, Registered Investment Advisor, Visionaries, and Advice, Trust & Money; and managing director of Acadient, an online financial education company. He has also servedas host or co-host of several television, radio and internet chat programs, including “Consumer Portfolio” on Boston Cablevision, “Talk of New England” on New England Cable News, “The Money Manager” on WMEX-AM Boston, and “FundWire” on AmericaOnline. The co-author of Decoding Wall Street and author of 20 Tips for Retirement Investors, he earned a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a master's degree in journalism from Boston University College of Communication/ School of Management.
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Jim Sandidge, J.D., Principal

The Sandidge Group LLC

James Sandidge, principal, The Sandidge Group LLC, has served in sales, sales management, and product roles for multiple asset management companies during his 25-year financial services career.  Mr. Sandidge is the author of Risk, Psychology and Retirement Income: Why Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong about Wealth Distribution and What the Research Really Shows, as well as the papers “Do State Guaranty Associations Make Annuities Less Risky Or More?” and “Adaptive Distribution Theory.”  He earned a B.A., an MBA, and a J.D., University of Denver.

Matt Sommer, CFA®, CFP®, CPWA®, Vice President

Janus Henderson Investors

Matt Sommer, vice president, Janus, leads the defined contribution and wealth advisor services team. In this role, he provides advice and consultation to financial advisors surrounding some of today’s most complex retirement issues. His expertise covers a number of areas including regulatory and legislative trends, practitioner best practices, and financial and retirement planning strategies for high-net-worth clients. Previously, Mr. Sommer spent 17 years at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and its predecessors. He held a number of senior management positions including director of financial planning at Citi Global Wealth Management and director of retirement planning at Smith Barney. He earned a B.S. in finance from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA with a specialization in finance from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University.

Dan Ariely, Ph.D., James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics

Duke University

Despite our intentions, why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest? Why do we promise to skip the chocolate cake, only to find ourselves drooling our way into temptation when the dessert tray rolls around? Why do we overvalue things that we’ve worked to put together? What are the forces that influence our behavior? Professor Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is dedicated to answering these questions and others in order to help people live more sensible – if not rational – lives. His interests span a wide range of behaviors, and his sometimes unusual experiments are consistently interesting, amusing and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom.
A founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, co-creator of the film documentary (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies, and a three-time New York Times bestselling author, his books include Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Irrationally Yours, Payoff and Dollars and Sense. In 2013, he was recognized by Bloomberg as one of the Top 50
Most Influential Thinkers. He also has a bi-weekly advice column in the Wall Street Journal called “Ask Ariely.” He can be found at www.danariely.com.
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Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., Psychologist & Best-Selling Author

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist who lectures frequently to business audiences, professional groups, and college campuses. The author of the groundbreaking work, Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ and Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, Mr. Goleman spent many years reporting on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times and was previously a visiting faculty member at Harvard University. He has received many journalistic awards for his writing, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize for his articles in the Times, and a Career Achievement Award for journalism from the American Psychological Association. In recognition of his efforts to communicate the behavioral sciences to the public, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Michael Guillemette, Ph.D., CFP®, Assistant Professor

Texas Tech University

Michael Guillemette, assistant professor, department of personal financial planning, Texas Tech University, focuses his research on client risk assessment and the demand for insurance.  Quoted frequently by national media, Professor Guillemette previously served as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri.  He earned a bachelor’s degree, University of Georgia, and a master’s degree and doctoral degree in personal financial planning, Texas Tech University.

Alexander Wagner, Ph.D., Professor of Finance

Swiss Finance Institute, University of Zurich

Alexander Wagner balances two passions: the thrill of seeking knowledge about fundamentals of human behavior for knowledge's sake, and the desire to apply insights in the real world and to improve the workings of markets and organizations. As Swiss Finance Institute professor at the University of Zurich's Department of Banking and Finance, Wagner has taught corporate finance to thousands of eager students and hundreds of motivated executives, and he has helped shape governance systems of companies large and small. He is Chairman of the Swipra Foundation and an independent counsel for PwC. In his research of corporate governance and behavioral finance, he has discovered that to most people, what matters is not only how much money they receive but also whether they behaved honestly to receive that money. He has recently investigated how investors perceive managerial words and deeds…and the stock market implications of the Trump election. He obtained his PhD in Political Economy from Harvard University. In his hometown Linz, Austria, he completed studies in economics and law.
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Marguerita Cheng, CFP®, RICP®,

Blue Ocean Global Wealth

Marguerita Cheng, chief executive officer, Blue Ocean Global Wealth, is a past spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Investopedia & Kiplinger. Ms. Cheng also serves as a Women’s Initiative Advocate and a subject matter expert for the CFP® Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP® Certification Examination. She is a recipient of the Ameriprise Financial Presidential Award for Quality of Advice and the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship. In 2017, she was named as the one of Investopedia’s “Top 100” (she was ranked third), a “Woman to Watch” by Investment News, and a “Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise” by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council.

Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®, Founder

Dobbs Wealth Management Group, LLC

Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA® is the founder of Dobbs Wealth Management Group, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment advisory practice. He also manages Dobbs Education, LLC, a financial education consulting business through which he serves as program director for the CPWA® education program at Chicago Booth. Jim founded and managed the financial planning certificate programs and served as program director at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Later he served IMCA and CFP Board as director of education. Prior to founding Dobbs Wealth, he worked for several financial services firms including Mercer, Ameriprise Financial, and the investment banking firm of Sanders, Morris & Harris. Dobbs earned MBA degrees in asset and wealth management from Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business and the University of Lausanne in partnership with the Swiss Finance Institute. He earned a post-baccalaureate award in taxation at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension and completed the Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He earned a BBA in financial services and planning at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.
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Julie Littlechild, MBA, Founder


Julie Littlechild, founder, AbsoluteEngagement.com, is a speaker, writer, and researcher, whose firm conducts on-going research into personal, client, and team engagement. Previously, she founded Advisor Impact to help financial advisors gather and use client feedback to drive deeper engagement and growth. Twice named as one of the “25 Most Influential People in Financial Planning” by Investment Advisor, she is a recipient of the Influencer Award in practice management from Financial Planning. Ms. Littlechild has worked with and studied top-performing financial advisors, their clients, and their teams for more than 20 years. A recognized expert on driving deeper engagement and growth, she is the author of a popular blog, The Pursuit of Absolute Engagement, and a book by the same name. She earned an MBA, University of Toronto.