1-800-4-ALFRED (425-3733)

Ron A. Rhoades

Position Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Business
Office Location: EJ Brown Hall
Office Phone: 607-587-3469

Law and Business Degrees. Ron Rhoades received a Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Florida College of Law in 1985, which was preceded by Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Florida Southern College in May 1983.

CFP®.  Ron Rhoades is also a Certified Financial Planner„¢, a certification awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. in 2005.

Teaching Overview: 

Providing Rich Financial Planning Experiences for Upper-Level Students: Through taking the very best of actual financial planning experiences and practice resources into the classroom, Professor Rhoades provides "real world" instruction to students in several of the courses within the Financial Planning Program Curriculum. Each class is taught using different methods of interactive instruction, as appropriate to the level of each course and its content, leading to a diverse set of learning experiences.

Providing Practical Business Law Foundations for Lower-Level Students: Professor Rhoades provides instruction in Business Law for sophmores enrolled at Alfred State College. He incorporates "real-world" factual scenarios to foundational training in practical legal applications to the world of business, leading to highly interactive classroom discussions. Ron also provides students with his popular "Success Tips" and employs exercises from his book, "Choose to Succeed In College and In Life: Continuously Improve, Persevere, and Enjoy the Journey," in select class projects.

COURSES TAUGHT (2014-2015):

   Fall Term:

Business Law I (3 sections)

Personal Financial Planning Capstone

Money & Banking

Retirement Planning

    Spring Term:

 Business Law I (2 sections)

 Business Law II

 Investment Planning

 Insurance & Risk Management

 Employee Benefits Planning

Additional Instruction.

  • Professor Rhoades also teaches a class session during each Fall semester in "Networking" for Alfred State's Professional Business Seminar.
  • In August 2014 Professor Rhoades provided instruction to over 100 Resident Assistants at Alfred State by presenting on the topic: "Disney University: Leadership and Customer Service."
  • For 2012-2012, Ron has served as a guest speaker on the topic of securities regulation for the Texas Tech Masters Degree Program in Financial Planning.
  • Ron provides practical insights a couple of times each year to a local community entrepreneurship class through his class session, "Legal Issues in Starting and Running a Small Business."
  • Ron also developed and hosted Alfred State's "How to Connect Your Students with Our Dedicated Support Team Members" professional education seminar for new and existing faculty members.
  • In January 2014 Ron provided materials on "10 Strategies to Motivate Students via the Three S's in Success: S.M.A.R.T. Goals; Self Control; and Socialization," to Alfred State faculty members, as he hosted a Professional Development Week session.

Professor Rhoades serves as academic advisor to approximately 30 students, as an Emerging Pioneers Leadership Program mentor (2013-current), and as a C.R.E.A.T.E. Program mentor (2013),

Professor Rhoades also serves as faculty advisor to Alfred State's Business Professionals of America chapter (2013-current).

Professional Experience: 

A Diverse, Fun-Filled Background. Embodying his love of life and adventure, Professor Ron Rhoades literally hurdled his way as Captain of his high school's track team, played football (and later became an assistant high school football coach under former Oakland Raiders head coach John Rauch), sailed across the Atlantic and back on a tall ship (USCG Eagle), performed in road shows in Europe and North America as a Disney Character (and in shows and parades at the Walt Disney World Resort), rowed on a crew team (silver medal, small college NCAA nationals, freshman 8's), marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, sailed on the U.S.S. Enterprise (aircraft carrier), marched in competition as a member of a state-championship rifle drill team, escorted numerous celebrities around Central Florida (Rock Hudson, Connie Stevens, and many more), undertook a one-week solo canoe trip into The Everglades, performed as a Tin Man at a mountaintop theme park in North Carolina (The Land of Oz), and served as a stage manager and talent scheduling coordinator for entertainment productions at Walt Disney World. And then he graduated college.

Business and Estate Planning Attorney. Thereafter, following graduation from the University of Florida College of Law with honors, Professor Rhoades practiced for over 28 years of experience as an attorney, with nearly all of those years substantially devoted to estate planning, tax planning, and the representation of business entities. Professor Rhoades is also a national authority on fiduciary law as applied to financial planners and investment advisers.

Personal Financial Planner.  Ron also has over a decade of experience as a personal financial advisor. He served as Chief Operating Officer, Director of Research, and Chair of the Investment Committee of a Florida-based investment advisory firm which he co-founded. He maintains his proficiency in financial planning and his service to clients through his own investment advisory firm, which serves a highly select group of clients.

Leadership in Financial Planning Organizations. Professor Rhoades is involved with several financial planning organizations.

He served on the National Board of Directors of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). He previously served as Chair of NAPFA's Ethics Committee and Public Policy Committee, and he served on its Peer Review Task Force and Education Advisory Task Force.

Professor Rhoades also serves on the Steering Committee for The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard (where he serves as Chair for 2013 & 2014), an advocacy group dedicated to the application of five core fiduciary principles to the delivery of investment and financial planning advice.

Professor Rhoades remains activity involved by attending industry conferences and through his role as Chair of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.

Promoting the Profession: Research, Writing and Lobbying. Professor Rhoades previously served as Reporter for the Financial Planning Association's Fiduciary Task Force and Standards of Conduct Task Force. He has served as a representative to the Financial Planning Coalition.

Since 2004 Professor Rhoades has lobbied extensively in Washington, D.C. to Congress and to administrative agencies on issues pertaining to the professional obligations of personal financial planners and investment advisers. He has personally submitted and assisted with a large number of comment letters to policy makers, and he has attended numerous personal conferences with U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, Congressional staff, SEC Commissioners, DOL Staff, SEC Staff, and state securities regulators.

Professor Rhoades is a member of the American Economics Association, the Financial Planning Association, the Florida Bar, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors


Fiduciary Law as Applied to the Securities Industry. Professor Rhoades continues to research and write about the fiduciary obligations of financial planners and investment advisers, both in the context of ongoing industry reforms and for the education of personal financial advisors.

Investment Strategies; Due Diligence. Professor Rhoades also continues his ongoing research supporting the investment strategy and investment product due diligence efforts of personal financial advisors. He accepts occassional consulting engagements in this area, primarily providing investment policy reviews for institutional endowment and similar funds.

Economic Developments. Professor Rhoades devotes many hours to a review of macroeconomic issues each month, and he uses the insights gained in developing course materials, as well as advising financial planning and investment advisory clients.

Publications and Events: 

Professor Rhoades' blog on financial planning and other issues can be found at www.scholarfi.blogspot.com. This blog was named by RIABiz as one of the "Top Ten" blogs in financial services and by Financial Planner magazine as one of its "10 Influential Blogs for Financial Planners," and appears on other lists of top investment / financial planning blogs.

Published Books:

Business Law I (2013, 2014) (Co-author of textbook under a Creative Commons license, customized for use in the Business Law I course at Alfred State College, and provided free of charge to Alfred State students).

"Choose to Succeed In College and In Life: Continuously Improve, Persevere, and Enjoy the Journey" (2014) (available in Kindle and softbound formats at www.Amazon.com)

My Success Journal (2012)

Applying The Seven Secrets of Investing (2006)

The Seven Secrets of Investing (2005)

The Science of Investing: How to Use Academic Research to Reduce Risk and Enhance Returns (2003)

Estate Planning for the Florida Resident: Questions and Answers (1995)

Reviewed Articles:

The Fiduciary Standard and the Dodd-Frank Act: An Elegant Return to a Centuries-Old Principle, The Roosevelt Institute (Nov. 2011), available at http://rooseveltinstitute.org/sites/all/files/Unfinished_Mission_Rhoades...

The Attorney as Complete Advisor: Fiduciary Business Models, Florida Bar Journal, March 2005 (Vol. 79, No.3)

Articles Written for Industry Publications. Professor Rhoades writes the occasional “One Man Think Tank” column for RIABiz. He has written numerous articles which have been published in industry publications, such as Advisor Perspectives, NAPFA Advisor, Senior Consultant, and others. He is also a "Thought Leader" and contributor for APViewpoint, an investment adviser discussion forum hosted by Advisor Perspectives.

Quoted in National Publications. Professor Rhoades is frequently quoted in consumer and financial planning industry publications in recent years on a broad variety of issues affecting the financial planning profession and financial services regulation, such as Fortune, Forbes and Newsweek magazines, Barron's, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, Financial Planning, AdvisorOne, Investment Adviser, Wealth Manager, On Wall Street, Investment News, Registered Rep., IAWeek, and Compliance Reporter.

Speaking Engagements. Professor Rhoades is a sought-after speaker for national conferences in the financial planning and investment advisory professions. Recent appearances include:

  • Panelist, TD Ameritrade 2014 Fiduciary Leadership Summit, "Academics' Views," September 2014
  • Panelist, CFP Board of Standards Registered Programs Conference, "How to Best Engage with NAPFA," August 2014
  • Presenter, FPA of the Southern Tier (NY), "State of the Industry," June 2014
  • Presenter, FPA of Greater Rochester, "State of the Industry," June 2014
  • Presenter, FPA of Southern Wisconsin, "State of the Industry," Feb. 2014
  • Panelist, MarketCounsel Summit, Las Vegas, NV, Dec. 2013
  • Panelist, Tamar Frankel Fiduciary Prize Forum, The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, Dec. 2013
  • Panelist, The Roosevelt Institute / Americans for Financial Reform presentation in the Kennedy Caucus Room, U.S. Senate, Nov. 2013
  • Presenter, FPA Major Firms Conference, "How Large Firms Can Adapt to the Fiduciary Standard," Orlando, FL, Oct. 2013
  • Moderator of Panel, IRA Rollover Conference, Boston, MA, Oct. 2013
  • Panelist, AARP Presentations to Congressional Staff, Washington, DC, July & Sept. 2013
  • Keynote Speaker, The Garrett Planning Conference, July 2013
  • Speaker and Panelist, fi360 National Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2013
  • Panelist, TD Ameritrade National Conference, San Diego, CA, Jan. 2013
  • Panelist, The Cato Institute Forum, "Applying the Fiduciary Standard to Brokers," Washington, DC, Sept. 2012.
  • Presenter, "Ooze Confidence: Teaching the Next Generation of FInancial Planners Communication and Counseling Skills," CFP Board Registered Programs Conference, August 2012
  • Presenter, œCollaboration and Ethics: Engagement Standards, Avoiding Conflicts, and More, Southern California Institute, May 2012
  • Presenter: "Suitability vs. Fiduciary: Compliance vs. Culture," fi360 National Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2012 and in webinar July 2012
  • Presenter, "Understanding Fiduciary Duties: Due Diligence," NAPFA Practice Management & Investments Conference, Brooklyn, NY, Oct. 2011
  • Presenter, "Fiduciary Duties: How? Who? When?" Financial Planning Association of Western New York, Sept. 30, 2011. 
  • Presenter, How Faculty and Students Can Connect with Industry Organizations and Practictioners, CFP Board Registered Programs Conference, Washington, DC (August 2011)
  • Presenter, Investment Strategy Due Diligence; Understanding Your Fiduciary Duties, NAPFA National Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah (May 2011)
  • Presenter, Investment Strategy Due Diligence and Form ADV Disclosures and œUnderstanding Your Fiduciary Duties,” Fi360 Conference, San Antonio, TX (May 2011)
  • Instructor, Creating or Improving Your Form ADV Part 2 Disclosures, Financial Planning Association Virtual Conference (Jan 2011)
  • Speaker, What Will Happen Next in Washington, D.C. “ Fiduciary Standard for BDs?  FINRA as SRO for RIAs? Financial Planning Association of Miami-Dade (Jan 2011)
  • Instructor, Preparing Your New Form ADV, Part 2, NAPFA webinars (Sept./Oct. 2010)
  • Speaker, Fiduciary: Are You One and What Does It Mean, Estate Planning Council of St. Louis (Sept 2010)
  • Panelist, Certified Financial Board of Standard, Inc's Annual Firm Meeting, New York, NY (2009) (Understanding the Fiduciary Duty of Financial Advisors)
  • Panelist, MarketCounsel Forum, Princeton, NJ (2009) (Financial Services Reform)
  • Instructor, North American Securities Administrators Association Investment Adviser Examiner Training Program (2009, 2008)
  • Host of NAPFA Pre-Conference to NAPFA Annual Conference (2009); Speaker (Putting It All Together: Fiduciary Duties and Compliance)
  • Keynote Speaker, Investment Adviser Compliance Seminar (Topeka, KS) (2009) (The Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty: Conflicts of Interest and Disclosures)

Other Papers.  Dr. Rhoades has written several other papers and articles which have been widely circulated in the financial planning and investment advisory professions, including:

  • Fixed indexed Annuities: Disclosure and Other Fiduciary Requirements for RIAs (2011)
  • Stock Market Valuation Levels: How Low Can They Go? (2008)
  • Estimating the Total Costs of Stock Mutual Funds (2009)
  • Examining Best and Worst Case Scenarios with Hypothetical Portfolios (2005)
  • Examining Recent Stock Market Downturns with Hypothetical Portfolios (2005)
  • The "Fatal Flaw" of Many Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (2005)
  • Reduction of Market Risk Using Value, Small-Cap Tilted Portfolio (2005)
  • Stock Market Downturns and the Desire to Flee (2004)
  • The Florida Prudent Investor Rule, What Every Judge Should Know and Ask (2004)

Financial Planning Curriculum Coordinator. Professor Rhoades joined the Alfred State College Faculty in August 2011. He currently serves as Curriculum Coordinator for Alfred State's Personal Financial Planning Program.

University Service.  Professor Rhoades serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Alfred State Faculty Senate (2012-present), serves on Alfred State's Student Success Committee, serves as coordinator for the Business Department Marketing and Recruitment Committee, and serves on other Business Department committees.

A Dedication to Each Student's Success. Professor Rhoades is deeply committed to each student's continual growth, development, and success. Ron is dedicated to preparing students to enter the worlds of personal financial planning and business. He frequently organizes extra-curricular activities for students, including field trips to financial planning profession conferences and visits to practitioner offices.

Instruction Provided in College and Life Skills. Professor Rhoades' innovative teaching includes highly interactive instruction to all of his students in "The Three S's in Success." He has been called upon to share these tips via presentations to high school counselors who tour Alfred State and to high school students during job fairs.

Bringing Practitioners to Alfred State College. Professor Rhoades frequently brings in guest speakers, both in-person and via web conferencing, to address students on all aspects of financial planning, investments, retirement planning, practice management and marketing. (If you are interested in providing a presentation to a business law or financial planning class, please contact Prof. Rhoades via his e-mail address set forth above.)

Honors and Awards: 

Elected by readers to the Sweet 16 of the "Most Influential in Wealth Management" in Wealth Management's March Madness competition (2014).

One of the "Top 30 Most Influential" in NAPFA's 30-year history, Spring 2013.

"Most Influential" Award.  Dr. Rhoades was recently named as one of the Top 25 Most Influential persons associated with the investment advisory profession in 2011 by Investment Advisor magazine.

"Fiduciary of the Year."  Dr. Rhoades is the initial recipient of The Tamar Frankel Fiduciary of the Year Award for 2011, from The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard, for he has, in the words of the Committee, “altered the course of the fiduciary discussion in Washington.”

EPLP Mentor
Embodying his love of life and adventure, Dr. Ron Rhoades (Learner, Strategic, Achiever,Relator, Intellection) sailed across the Atlantic and back on a tall ship, performed in road shows in Europe and America as a Disney Character (and in shows and parades at the Walt Disney World Resort), rowed on a crew team (silver medal, small college NCAA nationals, freshman 8’s), marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, marched in competition as a member of a state-championship rifle drill team, escorted numerous celebrities around Central Florida (Rock Hudson, Connie Stevens, and many more), undertook a one-week solo canoe trip into The Everglades, performed as a “Tin Man” at a mountaintop theme park in North Carolina (“The Land of Oz”), and served as a stage manager and talent scheduling coordinator for entertainment productions at Walt Disney World. And then he graduated college. He went on to graduate from law school, with honors, practice law for 25 years, practice financial planning and as an investment advisor for more than a decade, and in the last two years teach financial planning and business law at Alfred State. Ron has been very active in the leadership of several financial planning industry organizations. A speaker several times each year at various industry conferences, Dr. Rhoades has extensively written about the fiduciary duties of financial and investment advisors and lobbies legislators and regulators on issues surrounding the duties of financial advisors. Ron enjoys travel, sailing, and attending occasional sporting events.