Business Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Management Research Review/ Emerald Publications




Finance and Financial Management


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a survey about the personal financial planning attitudes of MBA students in the USA. Design/methodology/approach – The study surveyed 206 MBA students about their attitudes to personal financial planning. Participants were asked about their level of knowledge, whether they had prepared components of a financial plan, where they might seek assistance in such a process and the criteria for selecting a financial planner. In addition, participants were asked to indicate their level of confidence in a financial plan's capacity to help them meet their long-term needs and the likelihood that they would implement such a plan. Findings – The findings indicate that, while most respondents feel both that financial planning is important and that they are interested in developing a financial plan, very few feel that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare their own plan. In addition, the participants indicated a strong preference for professional personal financial planning advice. The study also indicates that less than 13 percent have prepared a comprehensive personal financial plan. When asked to identify the one professional from whom they would seek advice, certified financial planners were the preferred resource. Research limitations/implications – While the results are not generalizable to the wider population, the views of this group are important because one might expect that educated individuals would be both more interested in personal financial planning and more capable of preparing their own plans compared with average Americans. Practical implications – The study presents some implications for practice and financial literacy education from a US perspective. Originality/value – A perceived need of respondents is to feel that their financial planner will put their needs first. While some professionals believe this to be the hallmark of “independence,” the respondents placed less importance on planner independence. In order to foster client confidence, planners must act in ways that convey clearly the primacy of their clients' needs.