Baylor Finance Professor Receives Highest Honor from National Financial Planning Association

November 8, 2019
Tom Potts

Tom Potts, Ph.D., professor in finance, insurance and real estate at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, was honored with the 2019 P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award in recognition of his years of service to the association and profession.

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by Cacey Vigil, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Nov. 8, 2019) – Tom Potts, Ph.D., professor in finance, insurance and real estate at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, has been honored with the 2019 P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award given by the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the principal membership association for Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals and others who support the financial planning process.

The award is the association’s and profession’s highest individual honor and is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the financial planning profession through achievements in service to society, academia, government and professional activities.

“Most people who are really dedicated in this profession believe it’s a true calling,” Potts said in his acceptance speech. “If you look at those who are successful in this field, they have a great sense of job satisfaction because they’re really helping people.”

Potts was selected as this year’s recipient in recognition of his years of service to the association, providing an influential voice to distinguished financial planning as a profession and field of study and for his efforts to push for higher standards in the financial planning profession.

To achieve higher standards in the financial planning profession, the FPA needs to continue its mission to elevate the profession in competence and ethics, Potts said.

“Recently the CFP board and the FPA have embraced the fiduciary standard in working with clients,” Potts said. “You’re putting the client’s interest first. It’s not just a suitability, it’s fiduciary.”

Potts continues his work to improve standards and believes the profession has made progress in a short period of time in a relatively new profession.

To ensure his students are prepared for a future in financial planning, Potts stresses the importance of competency, ethics and the fiduciary standard in his teachings.

“I tell my students, ‘Make sure you’re more valuable three years after you graduate.’ In other words, find a position where you can continue to learn,” Potts said. “There is an aging population in financial planners, so there’s a good opportunity for younger people to enter the platform and, in some cases, take over existing businesses.”

To be successful at financial planning, financial planners need to have good analytical skills and good interpersonal skills, Potts said.
“You’re working with people, their lifetime goals and objectives. It’s about communication which is not just speaking, it’s also listening,” Potts said.
In addition, it’s important to know that financial planning is not just a job or a career, it’s a calling, Potts said.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


At Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, integrity stands shoulder-to-shoulder with analytic and strategic strengths. The School’s top-ranked programs combine rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in Christian values and a global outlook. Making up approximately 25 percent of the University’s total enrollment, undergraduate students choose from 16 major areas of study. Graduate students choose from full-time, executive or online MBA or other specialized master’s programs, and Ph.D. programs in Information Systems, Entrepreneurship or Health Services Research. The Business School also has campuses located in Austin and Dallas, Texas. Visit and follow on Twitter at