I am an Assistant Professor of Personal Financial Planning within the Department of Finance and Economics within the Woodbury School of Business at UVU. I love teaching and interacting with the students, whether it is in national case competitions, in the classroom, or community engaged projects (such as coordinator for VITA tax program). I also enjoy doing applied research related to personal finance, investing, and retirement or tax planning that can be used by individuals and financial advisors. I received my BS in accounting from Utah State University and MBA from the University of Utah before beginning my career in the accounting firm KPMG LLP in Boise, Idaho, for two years before moving to industry as a treasury/finance analyst at Albertsons headquarters where I managed the company's $8 Billion debt portfolio.
After receiving my CPA and passing the the CFP exam, I moved to Lubbock, TX, where I completed my PhD in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University and passed the first level of the CFA exam (yes, I love learning about finances especially applied to individuals!). I just moved from Virginia in Fall 2013 after working as a professor within Virginia Tech's personal financial planning program the last four years. I am glad to be here at UVU's engagement focused campus and be part of UVU's nationally recognized personal financial planning program.
Ph.D., Personal Financial Planning, Texas Tech University, May 2010.
Dissertation: Three Essays on Financial Sophistication and Effective Decision Making. 2010 ACCI Robert O. Herrmann Ph.D. Dissertation
MBA, University of Utah, August 2003
B.S., Accounting, Summa Cum Laude, Utah State University, May 2002
I view teaching like that of being a coach. As the teacher, I am to come prepared to every class, like a coach would be for every game, not necessarily to fill students’ minds with information, but to facilitate interactive discussions and activities whereby students learn how to “run the plays” themselves by applying financial planning principles in different situations. While I realize that not all students may share the same enthusiasm I do for financial planning, I hope to help them catch at least a sense of the value of learning and applying financial principles in their own lives or the lives of those they may one day represent.
In order to facilitate the learning and application of financial planning principles, one of my primary goals is to help students learn the underlying concepts of financial planning. Learning concepts gives students a conceptual framework that can be utilized to solve various problems. For example, helping students learn the concepts of managing risk (i.e., avoid, assume, or transfer) empowers students with the ability to assess whether specific circumstances warrant purchasing insurance versus solely memorizing specific situations when insurance should be purchased.
My second goal is to help students develop critical thinking skills. I believe one of the best ways to facilitate the development of critical thinking skills is through case studies. For example, after holding an in-class discussion on the concepts and factors related to optimal asset allocation within a portfolio, teams of students could be given a specific family situation (i.e., ages, income, asset holdings, risk tolerance levels, etc.) with the assignment to present an allocation strategy for the family.
Finally, a major goal of mine is to help students see how relevant financial planning is in every day life. In a fundamental or intermediate course, this could involve students preparing a personal financial plan project, which would help them personalize the financial planning principles in the course. In a more advanced course, current research topics could be used to spark a discussion on how to improve commonly accepted “rule of thumb” behaviors.
Griesdorn, T. and Smith, H. 2014. Does the visual display of probability change hypothetical stock selection? Journal of Personal Finance, 13(1), 38-51.
Smith, H. and Griesdorn, T. Do Savings Rules Influence Self-Employed Households’ Participation in Tax-Deferred Retirement Plans? Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, accepted and forthcoming.
Sybrowsky, J., Finke, M.S., and Smith, H. Trust: A Factor in Portfolio Composition. Journal of Financial Planning, accepted and forthcoming.
Smith, H. 2013. Disability and Long-Term Retirement Security. Retirement Weekly of MarketWatch (The Wall Street Journal), May 3, 2013.
Smith, H. 2013. Book Review: Mathematical Finance. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 41(3), 343-347.
Smith, H., Finke, M.S., and Huston, S. 2012. The Influence of Financial Sophistication and Financial Planners on Roth IRA Ownership. Journal of Financial Services Professionals, 66(6), 1-13.
Smith, H., Finke. M.S., and Huston, S. 2012. Financial Sophistication and Housing Leverage Among Older Households. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 33(3), 315- 327.
Huston, S., Finke, M.S., and Smith, H. 2012. A financial sophistication proxy for the Survey of Consumer Finances. Applied Economics Letters, 19(13), 1275-1278.
Smith, H., Finke. M.S., and Huston, S. 2011. The impact of financial sophistication on adjustable rate mortgage ownership. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 22(2), 3-15.
Refereed Conference Proceedings:
Smith, H., and Seay, M. 2014. Should I Prepay a Mortgage or Contribute to a Tax-Deferred Account? Texas Tech Personal Financial Planning Research and Development Symposium.
Smith, H. 2013. Prepay or Defer: An Analysis of the Tradeoff Between Mortgage Prepayment and Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings. Consumer Interests Annual, 59.
Smith, H., Dean, L., Sybrowsky, J. 2011. Factors associated with small business retirement plan ownership. Academy of Financial Services Proceedings.
Smith, H. 2011.Who Benefits Most from 529 and Coverdell ESAs? Consumer Interests Annual, 57.
Smith, H. and Finke, M. 2010. Does Financial Sophistication Impact the Effective Use of Back-Loaded IRAs? Academy of Financial Services Proceedings.
Cummings, B.F. and Smith, H. 2010. Proposal for a Lead Federal Financial Services Regulator and State Regulation of Financial Planners. Consumer Interests Annual, 56.
Smith, H. 2009. Who owns IRAs? Evidence from the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances. Academy of Financial Services Proceedings.
Invited Conference Papers and Presentations:
Smith, H., and Seay, M. 2014. Should I Prepay a Mortgage or Contribute to a Tax-Deferred Account? Utah Valley University Finance and Economics Seminar.
Sybrowsky, J. and Smith, H. 2013. Trust: A Predictor of Portfolio Composition. 2013 Financial Planning Association Annual Conference.
Smith, H. 2012. Household Factors Associated with Mortgage Prepayment and Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings. Presentation at Annual Academy of Financial Services conference.
Cummings, B., Sybrowsky, S., Dean, L., and Smith, H. 2012. Hands On Financial Planning: Educating Beyond the Classroom. 2012 Financial Management Association Annual Conference.
Smith, H. 2012. Delivering Personal Financial Planning Education using a PC Tablet in the Classroom. 2012 CFP® Registered Program Directors Conference.
Sybrowsky, J., Mason, J., Dean, L., and Smith, H. 2012. Hands On Financial Planning: Educating Beyond the Classroom. 2012 CFP® Registered Program Directors Conference.
Dean, L., Sybrowsky, J., and Smith, H. 2011. How to create and develop a financial planning degree program in your business school. Financial Management Association Annual Conference.
Sybrowsky, J., Lemoine, C., Dean, L. and Smith, H. 2010. Integrating financial planning software in the classroom. Financial Management Association Annual Conference.
Smith, H., Huston, S., and Finke, M. 2009. Do taxes explain rising mortgage debt among older households? Poster presentation at Joint Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and American Council on Consumer Interests Annual conference.
Smith, H., Huston, S., and Finke, M. 2008. Housing Leverage Among Older Households: Is it Something to Worry About? Paper Presentation at the Annual Academy of Financial Services conference.