Jing Jian Xiao, PhD is a professor and researcher in consumer economics and personal finance at the University of Rhode Island (URI). His university was recently approved as an AFCPE® Registered Education Program, meaning that their program’s curriculum meets the educational requirements to prepare students to sit for the AFC® exam.

AFCPE: What inspired you to become an educator and researcher in the field of personal finance?

Jing: I was interested in consumer behavior research when I was in China pursuing my Master’s degree in Economics. Later I came to the United States to pursue my Ph.D. in consumer economics and my dissertation was about consumer financial behavior. After receiving the Ph.D., I accepted an assistant professor position at URI in 1991 and have been teaching and researching consumer economics and personal finance ever since.

AFCPE: Who first introduced you to AFCPE®?

Jing: Sherman Hanna, the founding editor of the JFCP, which is the official research journal of AFCPE, told me about the publication opportunities here. I attended my first AFCPE symposium in 1993 and presented a research paper there. That paper was published in 1994 in the JFCP. Later I participated in many activities at AFCPE including serving as its paper reviewer, committee member and chair, proceedings editor, and symposium chair. Currently I serve as the editor of JFCP. I heard about the AFC® when it was created, and have witnessed its growth and successes.

AFCPE: The University of Rhode Island just become an AFCPE Registered Education Program. What inspired you to bring this program to your university?

Jing: We have been teaching the two courses that are required for the AFC for many years. Last year I attended an informal discussion about the AFC at AFCPE and heard many successful stories told by colleagues at other universities. I thought we should connect these courses with this reputable certification program sponsored by AFCPE and provide additional benefits for our students. I discussed it with my department chair and colleagues and received support from them.

AFCPE: As a new program, what will you say to students who are curious about pursuing the AFC?

Jing: Many of our students will find jobs in community service agencies and organizations that provide services for local people. I believe getting the AFC will help them better serve their clients and also obtain competitive edges in the job market.

AFCPE: Do you have any goals in your first year of being an approved program?

Jing: I plan to build awareness for the program at URI, and to attract students in our major, as well as other majors, to register for the AFC program.

AFCPE: As the editor of AFCPE’s academic journal, you know firsthand the value between bridging research and practice. What would you say to an AFC candidate who is not familiar with the JFCP?

Jing: JFCP publishes peer reviewed, original research papers in consumer finance that have practical implications for financial counselors, coaches, planners, and educators. We are competitive with other top journals in finance and economics. AFC candidates can get new information about the most recent, cutting-edge research in consumer finance to help them better serve their clients.

AFCPE: What are you most excited about in your work and career?

Jing: The most exciting part of my teaching and researching consumer finance is that we are working with financial topics that have direct impacts on people’s quality of life and happiness.

Jing Answers the Friday 5:

  • My Why: My name in Chinese literally means “economic construction” that implies my fate of doing something relevant to money.

  • My Favorite Quote: Money cannot buy everything but without money it is impossible to survive.

  • My Hero: MLK

  • My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: The internet, since I trust my information literacy.

  • My Best Advice:

    • For all: To be happy, and try not to value money too much.

    • For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: I tell my students often: if you want more freedom in life, try to be financially independent first.

    • For a new professional entering the field: Help people manage money wisely for a better quality of life.

For more information about AFCPE Registered Education Programs, visit: https://www.afcpe.org/certification-and-training/become-an-approved-education-program/

For more information about the JFCP, visit: https://www.afcpe.org/news-and-publications/journal-of-financial-counseling-and-planning/

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