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Dr. Matt J. Goren

Director of the CFP certification education program, assistant professor of financial planning, American College of Financial Services

Who better to educate future financial planners on the psychology of money than a psychologist and financial planner?

Dr. Matt J. Goren earned his Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also earned a certified financial planner designation. “I became interested in the field after talking to graduate students about practical things like how to pay their rent, and seeing how personal finance can change people’s lives,” Goren said.

After working at a financial planning firm and co-creating the Global Financial Planning Institute, which helps expatriates and those he calls “global nomads,” Goren taught financial planning at the University of Georgia. There, he quadrupled enrollment in the major’s introductory course, and hosted an NPR radio show and podcast, “Nothing Funny About Money.” At the American College since 2018, he has created modular courses designed to increase financial advisers’ interpersonal as well as technical skills.

Goren, who estimates he has helped train more than 10,000 advisers, believes that the “softer,” people skills are the future of the profession. “After two or three years, the technical side of what an adviser knows levels off, but the way advisers talk to people and help them to improve their lives can get better and better.”

Evan Cooper