With a bachelor’s degree in finance already under his belt, Larry A. Wood got his start as an educator while he was taking his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. While he was there, he was hired as a graduate teaching assistant to teach financial planning. He took the contract and found that he enjoyed the classroom and helping students thrive. After 7 years, the school offered him a tenured position and as the saying goes, the rest is history.  

If you speak to Larry for any length of time, it’s clear how much he loves teaching and being able to, in his own words, “turn on a light” in people’s heads. It’s that moment especially that makes teaching so enjoyable for Larry.  

But Larry’s legacy spans beyond the classroom in many ways. If you’ve spent any time at all in the financial services industry, Larry A. Wood is probably a name you are familiar with. Larry is not only a distinguished educator in the financial services industry with many years of experience, he is also a strong advocate for raising the standards surrounding financial planning in Canada. 

Larry believes that comprehensive financial planning is extremely important for Canadians and has worked to shift the focus of Canada’s biggest financial services firms from selling a product to offering comprehensive financial planning. According to Larry, before personal financial planning, a finance professional would probably be managing someone’s stock portfolio or selling life insurance products without necessarily looking closer at the client’s life. “The industry decided that a designation for personal financial planning is important so people can trust someone to manage their entire life’s finances and other things,” Larry says. 

“Studies have shown [referring to surveys by FP Canada] that people who have a solid financial plan and planner have less stress in their lives and are better able to accomplish their goals,” Larry says. “Why wouldn’t you want to accomplish what you want in life and have less stress?”  

Larry notes that life is complicated, “so you need a comprehensive financial plan to look at all aspects of your life so you can achieve what you want.” 

In 2020, Larry received the Donald J Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award in Financial Planning, which FP Canada only awards to nominated individuals who have made a lifetime contribution and positive impact on the financial services industry as well as FP Canada’s certifications. 

At BCC, we recognize Larry’s wide contributions to the financial services industry and want to allow more students to start or move forward in their careers, so we would like to introduce the Larry A. Wood Scholarship. 

What does the Larry A. Wood Scholarship include? 

The Larry A. Wood Scholarship through BCC includes all 6 units of our Core Curriculum, the Advanced Curriculum (unit 7)and one exam prep course for either QAFP or CFP. 

How do I apply for the Larry A. Wood Scholarship? 

We will offer students the chance to apply for the scholarship through an application process. Once we have a process in place, we will update this article with the information students need to apply. 

Larry A. Wood’s advice for students 

In closing, we asked Larry if he could tell us three things that he would like his students to remember. Here are those three things: 

  • No one plans to fail, but lots of people fail to plan.  
  • Earn interest, don’t pay it 
  • Learn how to manage your relationship with your most important partnerthe Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).