Resource Center: Professional Development


FPA Connect: The Happiness Risk/Reward Pyramid

Opening the Door for Deeper Conversations About Goals
April 20, 2017 @ 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

1 CEU for AFCPE® Professionals
Open to AFCPE & FPA Members


The Happiness Risk/Reward Pyramid was developed as a way to tangibly talk about goals with clients, helping to normalize the client experience and open the door for deeper conversations about goals.
There are four external panels associated with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and four internal panels associated with an individuals’ character strengths, values, virtues, and emotions. The pyramid incorporates aspects of:

  1. Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief, Prochaska’s stages of change, and Maslow’s hierarchy of need
  2. the elements of a comprehensive financial plan and the concept of risk and reward as it relates to investments and professional growth.

This webinar will introduce participants to a unique 3-dimensional model that helps financial professionals make the mental constructs that individuals and couples experience in the financial counseling and planning process and transitions. The model changes the focus of the planning process from “fixing” one financial issue or another and broadens the scope and focus to that of financial life planning and subjective well-being. Once these dynamic mental constructs are understood, the practitioner can illustrate this in client conversations on an 8.5 by 11 notepad.



Neal Van Zutphen, M.S., CFP® and Sonya Britt, Ph.D., CFP®


Neal has a Master’s in Financial Planning and earned his CFP® certification in 1987. He is a Certified Financial Behavior Specialist™ and an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor™. He is a member of FPA and NAPFA. He is also a member of the Financial Therapy Association and an Associate Member of the American Psychological Association.
Neal is a past President and Chairman of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix. In 2010, the FPA of Greater Phoenix Board of Directors nominated Neal for the Heart of Financial Planning Award.  In September 2010, Neal was selected to serve a one (1) year term as the CFP Board Ambassador for the Phoenix metropolitan area. His continuing role as Ambassador is to promote the benefits of personal financial planning and encourage consumers to seek out CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Practitioners for personal financial planning. 
In December 2016, the Journal of Financial Planning published a collaborative article; Financial Planner as Healer: Maximizing the Role of Financial Health Physician with Brad T. Klontz and Kate Fries.
Neal is a life-long learner and has (over the last two-year CFP continuing education reporting period) logged over 114 hours of continuing education credits. Neal is happily married, has three children and five grandchildren, and enjoys hiking, golf, reading and research.


Sonya Britt, Ph.D., CFP® is an Associate Professor of Personal Financial Planning at Kansas State University and a Certified Financial PlannerTM. Her research in financial counseling, planning, and therapy utilizes her educational background in marriage and family therapy and financial planning.

Britt’s research on the predictors of money arguments and their influence on relationship satisfaction and divorce and has been referenced in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, and Yahoo! Finance to name a few. Her developmental work in the emerging field of financial therapy is summarized in Financial Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice with co-editors Drs. Brad Klontz and Kristy Archuleta. Relationship dynamics are influenced by physiological stress, in which Britt’s research has been featured in the New York Times and Investment News, among others.

Britt is co-editor of another book with Dr. Dorothy Durband, Student Financial Literacy: Campus-Based Program Development, which leads readers through the process of developing or enhancing financial literacy programs for college students. Britt’s work at the financial counseling centers at Texas Tech University and Kansas State University have guided her effectiveness of financial counseling research agenda.


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