Alumni Spotlight: Ross Riskin

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Have you ever had trouble planning to pay for college?  Have you ever had trouble with financial aid or a financial adviser who doesn’t know all the facts?

Ross Riskin, a graduate student in the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Finance program is bridging the gap between financial advisors and families looking to send their children to college with his new financial planning book.

“The Adviser’s Guide to Educational Planning” is a 114-page book that covers topics such as education funding, financial aid planning, and education tax deduction/credit planning. It includes chapters covering specific strategies for high-income and high-net-worth individuals, business owners, divorced/divorcing couples and grandparents.

“Back in 2017, I founded the American Institute of Certified College Financial Consultants (AICCFC), which I no longer have ownership of.  Through this, I was able to form relationships with some great individuals at the AICPA a few years prior and the opportunity presented itself to author a planning guide for CPAs and financial advisors focused on education planning,” said Riskin.

However, before that opportunity, Riskin had seen the perils of college financial planning first hand.

“Since 2012, I have been working with families and financial advisors, who in general have very limited knowledge about college planning outside of investing in 529 college savings plans and guidance counselors. Generally, guidance counselors have very limited knowledge of finances when it comes to college. This book serves to educate advisors so that gap can eventually be closed,” said Riskin.

While there are hundreds of books written about financial planning each year, Riskin sets his apart by shifting the focus of a traditional financial planning book.

“There are many books written about college planning, but most focus on the academic rather than the financial planning aspects of paying for college; this touches on both and is written from the perspective of a practitioner and academic,” said Riskin. “It is also written as a practical planning guide that provides client cases and illustrative examples so advisors can put what they learn into action immediately upon reading it.”

Riskin is currently an Assistant Professor of Taxation and the CFP Program Director at the American College of Financial Services. He is also the Vice President of Riskin & Riskin, PC, a public accounting firm located in Orange, Conn., and the Managing Member of Plainview Innovation Ventures, LLC, a fintech startup. He is an avid musician too, playing guitar, bass, piano, drums, and vocals.

“The Adviser’s Guide to Financial Planning” is currently only available to CPAs with the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation or those who are members of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Section. It is offered complimentary to them. It is not geared toward advisors, not consumers.

Riskin hopes that by the time he graduates from the DBA program in 2020 the book will be available in a more widespread advisor market.

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