Core Training

Core is shorthand for our yearlong program in Financial Transitions Planning. It involves the study of the stages of transition, how people behave during transition, and how to most skillfully work with them. If you’re not ready for a deep dive yet, check out one of our Intro Events here.

Who should register for Core?

Passionate professionals with at least five years of face-to-face client contact who you want to learn how to skillfully work with clients during chaotic times filled with uncertainty. Although practitioners from various fields are welcome to apply, please know that the curriculum assumes a working knowledge of comprehensive financial planning, therefore solid technical skills are a prerequisite.

How much does it cost?

$5,100 ($425/month or $4,845 if paid at one time) for an individual. There are discounts for teams and there is corporate pricing, as well. Contact for details.

What will be expected of me?

There are 6 modules of two months each. During each module you will be expected to:
  • Read the relevant section of the course book (from 25-80 pages).
  • Watch on-demand training videos (a total of 90 minutes, average, per module) at your convenience.
  • Complete a short quiz (5-10 questions).
  • Use the material with clients.
  • Report back to your group during a live, 90-minute call. These are the only calls you need to attend, live, with your group. There are 6 of them.
  • We strongly recommend you participate in Study Group calls during the first month of each module (there are 6 of them). We have found that professionals who attend those calls have a much better grasp of the information and are quicker to develop fluency with the tools.
All of this is outlined for you in our Learning Management System, which is a virtual classroom. Here‘s a sample homepage, and here‘s what it looks like inside a Module.

When does the next one start?

July 1st, 2020 (Core 2020, Group 2) You can check out the calendar for the year here.
October 8th, 2020 (Core 2020, Group 3) You can check out the calendar for the year here.
December 17th, 2020 (Core 2020, Group 4) You can check out the calendar for the year here.

What will I get?

  • A unique perspective on transitions informed by psychology, sociology, neuroscience and adaptive leadership.
  • In-depth training in the stages of transition and the behavior and thought processes of clients-in-transition.
  • The support of study groups and mentors, some of whom have been members of this community for nearly two decades.
  • Two coaching calls with FTI faculty.
  • Nine co-branded tools for you to use with your clients.
  • Co-branded marketing material.
  • Invitations to members-only events.

Core Curriculum

Module One

The Foundation, Purpose Method Outcome, Communication Preferences This module is perhaps the most academic as it presents the scholarship underpinning our work. From Bill Bridges’ seminal work on transitions to Stanford’s Carol Dweck’s research on mindset, to Stanford’s Kelly McGonigal and Berkeley’s Jane McGonigal’s popular reviews of the literature and original research on stress and mindset, to Harvard’s Marty Linsky and Ronald Heifetz’s research in adapting to change, this module is packed with the science behind the skillset, protocols and tools of the Financial Transitionist®. Purpose Method Outcome (PMO) is the structure for using the tools, where the tool or protocol is the Method. PMO is about getting to the client’s why for the work they’re doing. Communication Preferences is the first tool introduced. It is designed to allow clients to quickly identify their primary communication preferences for meeting with advisors, receiving information, and making decisions.

Module Two

The Transition Traits Transitions often go very well, as we discuss with our Traits of Transition Flow. On the other hand, sometimes clients have difficulty processing their life event and the myriad associated changes in relationships, expectations, and priorities. We call those difficulties Traits of Transition Struggle, and they have relatively predictable patterns of behavior and consequences. This module digs deep into the traits, including how to identify them and their relationship to the science of responsivity and reactivity, and it introduces the tools that most skillfully addresses them. Usage of the traits clearly demonstrates that the client is the driver of the work with the Financial Transitionist®. The traits will be revisited in each subsequent module.

Module Three

Financial Triage/The Decision Free Zone® & One-Pagers The Decision Free Zone (DFZ) was created to increase executive functioning when the client is faced with important decisions and commitments. Order is calming and it increases the ability to comprehend, see options, and understand consequences. Some clients, however, are not in the best position to successfully work with the structure of the DFZ because they have a gnawing concern–a narrow focus–that needs to be addressed first. This is what Financial Triage is for, and precedes the DFZ for those clients who need it. One-Page Overviews are presentation tools that make use of the science of data visualization, which informs us that appropriately crafted visuals dramatically improve absorption, retention and recall. One-Pagers create alignment between advisor and client as well as alignment within the client themselves, and the how, when and why of using them is discussed.

Module Four

Managing Expectations, “What if…”, and Introduction to The Written Case Managing Expectations is vital to the work of transitions in that it is often expectations (spoken and not) that create confusion and conflict both within the client and in their relationships. What if . . . is a way to explore the spectrum of options that opens up when life circumstances shift. The Written Case, which is the final Client Experience project, is introduced.

Module Five

“Am I Okay?”, “What has Changed?”, Touchstone, and The Written Case, continued When a client is struggling, these two tools can be used, separately or together, depending on the circumstance, to provide them with some relief about their short-term cash flow as well as other parts of their life that are of concern to them. Touchstone helps clients make important decisions–particularly when they are choosing among several options–by helping them identify times when they felt complete and in flow or most happy. The goal is to recall that feeling and use it as a guide. The Written Cases is further discussed, with samples of expectations.

Module Six

The Written Case The Written Case is the time for the advisor to demonstrate their training-in-action. It represents the culmination and integration of the tools and shows the faculty that the advisor not only knows the content of the course but that their practice is an embodied one. The candidates must write as well as verbally present their cases and defend their positions and their work. *For professionals who do not hold one of the primary designations required for certification or who do but choose not to sit for certification, the annual fee for membership in the community and licensing of the materials is $800.


Next up: The Certified Financial Transitionist® Designation