Bequest Commitment Will Create Scholarship for Bryant Students Pursuing Financial Services CFP® Track
Christopher A. Chouinard '86 took a circuitous career path to arrive at his current vocation as a certified financial planner, but knows he has found the position that is a perfect match for his education, skills and passion. Combining an undergraduate degree in accounting, a fascination with financial technology tools and a sincere desire to help people develop superior personal finance habits and strategies, Chouinard is an independent financial planner specializing in asset management and retirement planning.
"I consider the CFP® as the gold standard in financial planning," Chouinard explains. "It's important to learn how to integrate all the parts of a client's financial life—insurance, investments, retirement, estate planning, cash flow—and have them all working together in a comprehensive plan."
That conviction has inspired Chouinard to make a $50,000 bequest commitment that will establish an endowed scholarship to support a Bryant undergraduate enrolled in the University's Financial Services CFP® track. The new program provides the education component that prepares students to take the certification exam immediately after graduation, giving them a significant advantage over peers from other universities.
"That's a great opportunity and allows students to get right into the field," Chouinard observes. He earned his CFP® designation in 2005, following related studies in financial planning and services at Boston University.
Including a bequest in his estate plan at this stage of life may seem premature, but Chouinard's instincts for personal finance and wise planning make it a natural decision.
"It's amazing how many prospective clients I meet who have not done any planning," he notes. "At age 55, I'm not old, but I have had friends in their 60s who met untimely deaths and it gives you pause."
He adds, "Because I had such a great experience at Bryant and have been involved in different ways over the years, I wanted to make sure that I remembered the school in my wishes. The financial planner in me wanted to have my own estate plan in place, of course, but it's also about thinking ahead and I encourage people to consider doing that."