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GFCB Finance Staff

Ron Rhoades
Ron Rhoades
- Director, WKU Personal Financial Planning Program; Associate Professor - Finance
  • ron.rhoades@wku.edu
  • GH 319
  • 615-502-0424
  • Blog for practitioners http://www.scholarfp.blogspot.com
  • Blog for college students http://www.triumphincollege.blogspot.com

Dr. Rhoades continues his research on the fiduciary duties of personal financial planners and investment advisers under ERISA, the ’40 Act, and state common law. Additional research interests include due diligence involving the selection of pooled investment vehicles, tax-efficient portfolio design, and portfolio decumulation strategies during retirement.

Dr. Rhoades is a frequent speaker at national and regional conferences on the future of the investment advisory profession, due diligence, and developments in the regulation of investment advice.


J.D., University of Florida College of Law

B.S.B.A., Florida Southern College

Embodying his love of life and adventure, Dr. Ron Rhoades literally hurdled his way as captain of his high school’s track team, played football (and later became an assistant high school football coach under former Oakland Raiders head coach John Rauch), sailed across the Atlantic and back on a tall ship (the USCGC Eagle), performed in road shows in Europe and North America as a Disney Character (and in shows and parades at the Walt Disney World Resort), rowed on a crew team (silver medal, small college NCAA nationals, freshman 8’s), marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, sailed on the U.S.S. Enterprise (aircraft carrier), marched in competition as a member of a state-championship rifle drill team, escorted numerous celebrities around Central Florida (Rock Hudson and many more) as a show production assistant, undertook a one-week solo canoe trip into The Everglades, performed as a Tin Man at a mountaintop theme park in North Carolina (The Land of Oz), and then served as a stage manager and talent scheduling coordinator for entertainment productions at Walt Disney World. And then he graduated college.

Estate Planning Attorney. Dr. Rhoades went on to law school, and following graduation from the University of Florida College of Law, with honors, he practiced for over 20 years as an attorney, with nearly all of those years substantially devoted to estate planning, transfer tax planning, and the formation and representation of closely held business entities. During this time, he served on the Board of Directors of several local for-profit and not-for-profit business entities and community associations.

Financial Planner. Dr. Rhoades has over 18 years of experience as an investment adviser and personal financial planner. For ten years he served as Chief Operating Officer, Director of Research, and Chair of the Investment Committee of a Florida-based investment advisory firm that he co-founded. He now maintains his proficiency in financial planning and investments through his service to a highly select group of clients.

Advocacy; Books & Articles. Dr. Rhoades is a national authority on fiduciary law as applied to financial planners and investment advisers. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles published in industry and consumer periodicals, and he writes several blogs. Dr. Rhoades is a frequent speaker at national financial planning conferences, and he frequently meets with policy makers in Washington, D.C.

Service to Professional Associations. Dr. Rhoades has served on committees of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and on both the National and South Region Board of Directors of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). He serves on the Steering Group of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard (for which he served as Chair during 2014-5), a voluntary association of leaders of the profession who engage in advocacy on the fiduciary standard for all providers of financial and investment advice.

Teaching Experience. Dr. Rhoades was the Program Director for the Alfred State College (NY) Financial Planning Program, for four years, prior to his arrival at Western Kentucky University in July 2015. He currently teaches courses in Applied Investments, Retirement Planning, Estate Planniong, and Financial Plan Development.

Awards Received:

  • Chi Omega "Professor of the Month" (Feb. 2020)
  • WKU GFCB Faculty Award for Teaching (2020)
  • Inducted, International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi (2019)
  • WKU GFCB Vitale Award for Initiative, Innovation, and Leadership (2019)
  • Inducted, Beta Gamma Sigma (2018)
  • WKU Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success "Excellence in Teaching" Award (2018)
  • WKU GFCB Class of 2021 "Engagement Award" (Fall 2017)
  • WKU Gordon Ford College of Business Public Service Award (2017)
  • Elected by readers to the Sweet 16 of the “Most Influential in Wealth Management” in Wealth Management’s March Madness competition (2014).
  • Elected one of the “Top 30 Most Influential” in NAPFA’s 30-year history (2013).
  • Named as one of the Top 25 Most Influential persons associated with the investment advisory profession in Investment Advisor magazine (2011)
  • “Fiduciary of the Year.” Dr. Rhoades was the 2011 recipient of The Tamar Frankel Fiduciary of the Year Award from The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard for “altering the course of the fiduciary discussion in Washington.”
  • My biggest reward is in seeing the progression of my students, as they learn skills and acquire knowledge in the progression to their professional careers.

Current Online Writings:

An Invitation to You
  • For financial planning practitioners, please contact me to discuss any needs your firm possesses. I often visit firms within a 300-mile radius of Bowling Green, KY. Please also contact me at ron.rhoades@wku.edu to discuss:
    • Connecting with our quality graduates and seniors for positions with your firm;
    • Connecting with all of our students for internships and externships / shadowing opportunities;
    • If you can host a one-hour visit to your firm by several of our financial planning students;
    • If you desire to volunteer to speak to one of our classes;
    • For information on our annual WKU PFP Symposium;
    • To sponsor a student to attend a local, regional or national study group, symposium, or conference; and
    • If you desire to serve as mentor to one of our students, to guide them as they progress toward a professional career.
  • For prospective and current students of WKU interested in Financial Planning, please feel free to stop in (e-mail me for availability) to discuss the WKU GFCB Personal Financial Planning Program and career paths.
  • For current students, please stop in to discuss career planning, internships, and job opportunities.
  • For firms and associations desiring a guest speaker, my current speaking topics include:
    • The Impact of Federal and State Regulations on the Delivery of Personalized Investment Advice
    • Investment Strategy and Fund Due Diligence
    • 10 Predictions for the Future of Financial and Investment Advice
    • Proper Management of Conflicts of Interest by Fiduciary Advisers
    • CFP Board Ethics CE (2 hours)
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 Last Modified 12/14/18