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Profile Interview

Jerry Mason Ph.D. , ChFC, CLU, CFP®, RFC®

Educational Evolution In 1970 there was no recognized profession by any name similar to financial planner. There were sales persons — and in a limited number of universities, there were academic courses on actuarial science, insurance, investments and economics. But there was no curriculum or profession known as financial planning. However, as we know, the profession staggered into existence in the early 1970’s led by Loren Dunton and an initial group of “true believers” who supported the science of personal money management. There was only one institution, the College of Financial Planning in Denver, which had been established by Dunton and others just to design and award the CFP designation. Then a few universities began to mold existing courses into a major — that of personal financial planning. This occurred in two areas of curriculum — the Business School on some campuses or in the Schools of Human Sciences often referred to as home economics — but without the food and garment aspects. Page 10

Naturally there were a number of university professors who participated in this educational evolution and one of those who has added his unique perspective is Jerry Mason. Not only did he develop curriculum materials, but he took all the designation courses in his quest to appreciate what many universities still do not recognize — the need for student internships. Jerry Mason was born and raised in California. No doubt some of his high school teachers, if they gave any thought to it, probably did not expect Jerald (as he was known then) to graduate from high school. However, he did. In the course of events he graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in economics. Not one of the most marketable of degrees, so he decided to go to MBA School. A former girl friend had been highly impressed with Stanford University, so he applied and miracles of miracles, was accepted. After he earned his MBA, Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati hired him on as the junior member of the marketing team responsible for selling Charmin toilet paper.

Jerry was embarrassed to be playing a role in that activity, so after ten days he quit and took a job teaching reading to high school drop outs. For nine years he tried a variety of jobs including working for Wells Fargo Bank and Hewlett-Packard as an accountant. Eventually he worked for his father’s importing firm. At the age of 36 he decided to earn a Ph.D. so that he could live the “good life” only working nine months a year teaching college students how to better manage their money. The closest course to personal money management was in Family Economics — offered at the University of Missouri in Columbia. His first job after graduation was at Oneonta State in upstate New York. When he later heard that Brigham Young University had started a financial planning program, he applied for a faculty position and moved his wife and five children to Utah. He stayed at BYU for six years until most folks recognized the program as the best in the nation, at which time the university dumped the program and Jerry. His next stop was Atlanta where he spent The Register | February 2013

Register Vol. 14 No. 2