Monday, March 17, 2014

Big News in the Financial Planning Research Journal World

There has been a lot of news in the world of research journals over the past month. Though not directly related to retirement income, it's worth discussing here as these are some of the key outlets where retirement income research will be published.

News Story 1: New Editors at the Journal of Personal Finance

This story involves me. With the publication of the Spring 2014 issue of the journal, Professor Michael Finke of Texas Tech University has now passed editorship of the journal to myself and Joseph Tomlinson. The October 2014 issue will be the first published under our purview. The journal will be published twice a year and will mostly include academic research in the field of financial planning. Currently, past issues can be downloaded in their entirety at the journal archives, and I'm looking forward to updating that to include a list of each article with a direct link to the article. I think that will make the journal much more accessible to the public and media. 

News Story 2: Journal of Financial Planning Revamps Webpage and Eliminates Links to Past Articles

[Update: The loss of links to past articles from the JFP was an accident and they are now actively working to restore those links. So the situation described in this section is being resolved.]

For this story, I hope it is something which will just be short-term and hopefully even this post will help lead to change... my blog includes probably hundreds of links to past JFP articles. I've been saying for a while that the JFP was my favorite journal, and a primary reason was that they made their past articles (at least going back about 4 years or so) freely accessible. But as of now, all those links to past journal articles re-direct the reader to the current issue at the journal homepage. And it seems that one must now be a member of the Financial Planning Association to see any articles published prior to the current issue. There are other journals in the financial planning area which take the strategy of using their journal as a members-only benefit and lock away access to the articles from non-members. And dare I suggest that this is one of the key reasons why those other journals are never discussed in media articles or at Bogleheads, etc? I talk with the media quite frequently these days, and it was always convenient to share a link to a JFP article that we discussed on the phone.  As of March 1, it's not possible to do this anymore...

News Story 3: CFP Board Plans to Develop a Research Institute and Publish an Academic Journal Through Wiley

This is potentially a big story. On March 13, the CFP Board issued a press release indicating that they plan to create a Center for Financial Planning to help support and guide academic research in financial planning. This has the potential to grow to be something similar to the research arm of the CFA Institute, which has been very effective. As well, the CFP Board aims to create a new journal focused on the academic side of financial planning. This overlaps with the Journal of Personal Finance, as well as other journals like Financial Services Review and Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. But what is notable about this new journal is that they've already gained a partnership with Wiley, which will help the journal to generate lots of revenues through university library subscriptions. Most every other journal in financial planning is independently published through a professional organization. It will be interesting to watch how this develops.


  1. Congratulations regarding the Journal of Personal Finance.

    And, I completely agree about the Journal of Financial Planning. Very disappointing that they decided to remove access to their older articles.

  2. I'm happy to hear about your new editorship position, Wade.

    I think you have the clout and following in the media to insist that JPF include free access to past articles. Academia, the research profession, and your very professional style of including ample citations can only thrive when cited articles are easily accessible without being hidden behind paywalls or membership requirements. I suggest that if JPF will not return to the policy of free access to past articles, you consider resigning from the editorship position and stop publishing your own articles in JPF (making them available on your blog or other non-pay sites instead). At the very least, as editor, you can help institute a policy whereby authors do not have to give exclusive copyright privileges to the Journal as a condition of article publication.

  3. Thank you Mike and Anonymous!.

    I've received updated information about the JFP now. The loss of all those links was an accident during the transition process to their new website. I can understand, as the main reason why I've never gotten this blog moved to my website was that I could never get all the links to blog posts properly transferred. Indeed, the JFP is working to get links to 500 past articles restored and so this problem will eventually be fixed. Thankfully it is not the case that they are switching to a members-only strategy, as I can name several other journals in this area which have effectively made themselves into non-entities by being members only.

  4. Re: News Story #1: Congrats, Wade. I look forward to reading that, and esp the articles by you and Joe T. I didn't even know that Journal existed. Thanks for the heads-up.
    John Lyday (Tokyo)

    1. Thanks John,

      Ohisashiburi. How's everything in Tokyo? This is a purely academic journal, so it is less well known, but, indeed, please have a look at the archives.

  5. Wade -
    I add my congratulations to your willingness to undertake editorship responsibilities. I saw it mentioned in Mike Finke's note in the latest issue of the Journal of Personal Finance. Most of my colleagues, like many academics in university finance departments, have had little or no training in personal finance. There are endless articles on minor nuances of corporate finance and "modern" portfolio theory but only a few tackle the issues of personal finance. Hopefully, this will change as boomers create a market for academic research over the next 20 years. Mike did a good job and I know the journal's progress will only accelerate under your and Joe's leadership.

    1. Steve,
      Thanks for the vote of confidence. Of course we welcome more submissions from you! I really liked your article on individual bond investing for retirees from the journal. When I get my act together better, I need to feature that here sometime. Please keep up the good work and best wishes, Wade