Wednesday, March 22

Western Carolina University Takes First Place in IARFC National Financial Plan Competition

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The International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC®) proudly announces the results of the 2021 National Financial Plan Competition. The students virtually presented their financial plans to the US Chapter Board of Directors for judging on Thursday, April 22 thus bringing to a close the Competition for 2021.

The winners are:

  • First Place: Kristen Revis, Western Carolina University – Dr. Patrick Payne, Assistant Professor
  • Second Place: Thomas Bindbeutel & Gracie Trokey, Truman State University – Charles Boughton, Instructor
  • Third Place: Sophia Spangler, Western Carolina University – Dr. Patrick Payne, Assistant Professor
  • Honorable Mention: David Stout & Tanner Manning, Utah Valley University – Dr. Luke Dean, RFC® Associate Professor

The Competition prepares these undergraduate students in a financial services curriculum for the real world of financial consulting by asking them to transform fictional family data into a reality based financial plan. The 4 Finalists rose from a field of 73 students representing 10 universities to compete. Plan Competition corporate sponsor representative and results announcer Executive Vice President, Barry Dayley, MRFC®of Money Concepts International Inc., complemented the students for their decision to enter this profession and the competition.

“This process has caused you to step out of your comfort zone to present your ideas and actions to some of the best in the profession. Now that the competition is over and the awards have been presented, you can relax and celebrate your accomplishments as you have reached one of the pinnacles of your educational experience.”

The competition follows three stages: an initial scrutiny by professional consultants to reduce down the plan entries to 6 Semi-Finalists; a Semi-Finals stage that identifies the top three Finalists (this year it was four due to a tie); and the Finals where the top teams present to IARFC US Chapter Board Members.

Continuing to relate his experience to the students, Dayley remarked, “You see, what we do is about so much more than money. It is about people, their relationships, their hopes, dreams and fears. The ability to provide proper direction will reduce anxiety and allow those you serve to live the life of freedom they desire.” 

The universities and teams who participated will receive national recognition through social media, in the IARFC national publication the Register, and in the Fall edition of the Journal of Personal Finance. Professor. Patrick Payne, Ph.D., working with the 2021 First and Third place recipients acknowledges…

“Our students really rose to the challenge provided by the IARFC’s National Financial Plan Competition. It expanded their horizons and encouraged them to dive deep into the planning process as well as giving them a chance to see how to present to clients and get feedback from industry professionals. We are very proud of them and their hard work on this competition!”

The IARFC is appreciative of their Corporate Sponsors – Money Concepts, Envestnet Money Guide, Northstar Wealth Partners, and the Individual Donors who supported this year’s Competition.

“These sponsors invest in the future of our industry,” explains IARFC Trustee Chair and CEO Dr. H. Stephen Bailey, MRFC®. “The IARFC is appreciative of their support and thank them for their reinforcement of the Association’s commitment to young people starting careers in our industry.”

Complete information on the 2021 IARFC National Financial Plan Competition can be found at The 2022 event is in the planning stages with registration starting in September.


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