Rhoades, Ron A

Email: RhoadeRA@alfredstate.edu
Department: Business
Office Location:EJ Brown Hall
Office Phone: 607-587-3469


Law and Business Degrees.  Dr. Rhoades received a Juris Doctor degree, 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 1983.

CFP®.  Dr. 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, Dr. 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 interaction, leading to a diverse set of learning experiences.

Providing Practical Business Law Foundations for Lower-Level Students:  Dr. 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. He provides students with his popular "Success Tips" and provides students with exercises from his book, "My Success Journal," which emphasizes "The Three S's in Success ... in College, in Business and in Life."


   Fall Term:

      Personal Financial Planning Capstone

      Retirement Planning

      Business Law I

    Spring Term:

      Investment Planning

      Insurance & Risk Management

      Employee Benefits Planning

      Business Law I

Professional Experience

A Diverse, Fun-Filled Background.  Embodying his love of life and adventure, Dr. Ron Rhoades literally hurdled his way through high school, played football and became an assistant football coach under former Oakland Raiders head coach John Rauch (when he coached high school later in his career), 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, sailed on the U.S.S. Enterprise (aircraft carrier) during a training cruise, 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, Dr. 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.  Dr. Rhoades is also a national authority on fiduciary law as applied to financial planners and investment advisers.

Personal Financial Planner.  Dr. Rhoades also has over a decade of experience as a personal financial advisor.  He served as Director of Research and Chair of the Investment Committee of a Florida-based firm (partially owned by Dr. Rhoades) for nearly a decade.  Professor Rhoades 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.  Dr. Rhoades is involved with several financial planning organizations.  He served on the 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.  Dr. Rhoades also serves on the Steering Committee for The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard (where he served as Chair during 2013), an advocacy group dedicated to the application of five core fiduciary principles to the delivery of investment and financial planning advice. 

Promoting the Profession: Research, Writing and Lobbying. Dr. 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 Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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.  Dr. 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.  Dr. Rhoades devotes many hours to a review of macroeconomic issues each month.

Publications and Events

Dr. Rhoades' blog on financial planning and other issues can be found at www.scholarfi.blogspot.com. 

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)

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.  Dr. Rhoades writes the occasional “One Man Think Tank” column for RIABiz.  Dr. Rhoades has written numerous articles which have been published in industry publications, such as Advisor Perspectives, NAPFA Advisor, Senior Consultant, and others.

Quoted in National Publications.  Dr. 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.  Dr. Rhoades is a sought-after speaker for national conferences in the financial planning and investment advisory professions.  Recent appearances include:

  • 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, “Collaboration 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 “Understanding 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)

Honors and Awards

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.”


Financial Planning Curriculum Coordinator.  Dr. 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.  Dr. Rhoades serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Alfred State Faculty Senate (2012-2014), serves on the Provost's Student Success Committee, serves as coordinator for the Business Department Marketing and Recruitment Committee, and serves on other committees.

A Dedication to Each Student's Success.  Dr. Rhoades is dedicated to preparing students to enter the worlds of business and personal financial planning.  He frequently organizes extra-curricular activities for students, including field trips to financial planning profession conferences and visits to practitioner offices. His innovative teaching includes highly interactive instruction to all of his students in "The Three S's in Success."

Bringing Practitioners to Alfred State College.  Dr. 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 or participating on a panel, please contact Prof. Rhoades.

Other Information

Students and prospective students - join us on Facebook for job postings and articles of current interest - search for Alfred State Financial Planning Program.

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Also, please feel free to contact Dr. Rhoades via e-mail at RhoadeRA@AlfredState.edu, or by calling 607.587.3469.

The Mission Statement of the Alfred State College Personal Financial Planning Program:  In today's complex financial world, individual Americans and their families both need and deserve comprehensive, integrated and holistic financial planning advice to provide them with the means to identify and achieve their lifetime financial goals.  In order to meet the increasing demand for financial advice of the highest quality, the mission of the SUNY at Alfred State College Business Department's Financial Planning BBA Degree Program is to: (1) educate students to the highest standards of excellence; (2) foster intellectual, ethical and personal development; (3) generate meaningful career paths for its graduates in the personal financial planning profession and in related fields; and (4) for students so inclined, to develop the entrepreneurial and management skills which are essential to the development, marketing and management of a financial planning firm or related firms.

Hit the Ground R U N N I N G !!!!   Assisted by a diverse and engaged faculty with extensive professional and industry experience, aided by substantial interactions with practitioners, vibrant internship opportunities, and experential learning, Alfred State College's Business Department prepares students for the real world.

Stop By For a Visit!   Prospective and new students are encouraged to stop by and visit with Dr. Rhoades at Alfred State College.  Please e-mail (RhoadeRA@AlfredState.edu) or call Dr. Rhoades (607.587.3469) to arrange a mutually convenient time.  Learn more about the excitement continuing to build around Alfred State's Financial Planning Program as we continue to produce exceptional entrants into the financial planning profession and business community.