Success Stories
Financial Planning Instructor
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August 13, 2021 |
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GGU Instructor Named to InvestmentNews’ 40 Under 40 List

Tan Phan, MS Financial Planning 2016 and GGU adjunct instructor, is driven by a passion for making financial services available to the Vietnamese-American community.

By Jenny McKeel
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When Tan Phan was five years old, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister. Growing up, he observed his mother stashing money under the mattress to keep it safe.

“My mom, my aunties, my uncles, the majority of Vietnamese that come here don’t understand the market,” reflected Tan, MS Financial Planning 2016 and GGU adjunct instructor. “They don’t know about 401Ks, none of that. They put money into a savings account or under the mattress.”

A Passion for Financial Advising

A seed was planted; when Tan grew older he decided to become a financial advisor. The years of hard work it took to achieve his career goal paid off. Today, Tan has been named to InvestmentNews’ 40 Under 40 List by InvestmentNews,  a leading source for news, analysis, and information essential to the financial advisory community.

“This 40 Under 40 award is not just a win for me,” commented Tan. “It is a win for the people around me too. My family, clients, and community. Any win for one person is a win for us all.”

From SF State to Prudential Financial

Tan’s career journey began at San Francisco State University, when he took a finance class and learned about inflation and the time value of money. He realized his mother had been losing money by stashing it under the mattress because of inflation and the opportunity costs of investing and compounding interest. When he told his professor the story about his mother, his professor told him that if he loves finance and wants to help people like his mother he should become a financial advisor.

Following graduation, Tan worked for Prudential Financial in San Francisco as a financial planner specializing in estate, tax, and retirement planning, investment management, and executive compensation. After gaining a few years of work experience, he came to GGU to pursue the MS in Financial Planning in order to further augment his knowledge.

MS in Financial Planning

“I chose GGU because the people that teach the classes are professionals in the field so they actually practice,” explained Tan. “The second reason is that you can get an MSFP and sit for the CFP exam.”

At GGU, Tan was named the 2016 Outstanding Student Award Winner in the Master of Science in Financial Planning program. After he earned his degree, he opened up his own firm, TAN Wealth Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisor that provides retirement planning and wealth management to families and professionals. While he serves diverse clients, he is especially proud to make financial services available and also do pro bono work for the Vietnamese American community helping people, among other things, avoid financial products with high fees and build emergency funds.

Financial Empowerment for Immigrant Communities

“My passion is to increase financial literacy within my community and help people accumulate and protect their wealth,” said Tan. “Financial literacy and financial resources should be openly available to people from all walks of life — not just the wealthy,” Tan added. “I want to do my part for the greater good by passing my knowledge on to others.

Tan would like to see more pro bono offerings within the financial planning industry made available to immigrants delivered in their native languages. He also stresses the need for an information portal that contains the best advice about financial products and planning provided in different languages.

“They are sacrificing themselves for their kids,” said Tan. “They were comfortable in Vietnam, but they come here and work day and night. You have to have a passion to help them.”

Teaching Financial Planning at GGU

In addition to his financial advising work, Tan teaches a Retirement & Employee Benefits Planning course at GGU. His tells students that a successful career in the field requires passion. Burn-out is high with a lot of information coming at you that’s constantly changing about finance, law, and accounting.

“If you have passion and purpose such that you feel even if I’m not paid to do it I want to do it then you’ll be successful in financial planning or any other field.”

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Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. You'll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. We'll connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs ... See MoreSee Less

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Congrats!!Congratulations Cathryn! She finally got to walk with her colleagues and other graduates of Golden Gate University at Oracle Park in San Francisco! The classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 were well represented! Master's Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and High Honors. I am so proud of you my darling! #graduation ... See MoreSee Less

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Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

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I am so grateful that we could attend. Thank you, GGU

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about being able to join this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

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The grad ceremony was amazing! Thank you to the faculty and everyone involved in organizing and preparing for this event. Much love to all. 🙏❤️

Timeline photosDear GGU Law Community:

It is with great sadness that I write to share news of the passing of Peter Keane, who died Sunday after a long illness. Peter Keane served as Dean of Golden Gate University School of Law from 1999-2003 and later, as a much beloved classroom teacher of Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, and Professional Responsibility. Dean Keane always said that his greatest pleasure at GGU was getting to know, teach and learn from his students.

In addition to his contributions at GGU, Dean Keane was a prominent member of the San Francisco and California legal communities. Among other distinctions, he was appointed to the San Francisco Ethics Commission and served both as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and as Vice-President of the State Bar of California. His law reform achievements were notable, including authoring San Francisco’s Handgun Control Ordinance and California Proposition 190, which reformed the State Commission on Judicial Performance.

Drucilla Ramey, who followed Dean Keane as Dean, remembered him this way: “Peter Keane was a courageous and inspirational leader of legal academia, the broader legal community, and his own beloved San Francisco. Whether as Chief Assistant Public Defender, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Dean of Golden Gate Law School or Chair of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, Peter met society’s greatest challenges head on, with his characteristic intelligence, bravery, and élan, and leaves behind him not only scores of loved ones, friends, and admirers, but also a more fair and equal system of justice.”

Dean Keane will be greatly missed by those at GGU whose lives he touched. Please join me in extending our condolences to his wife Nancy and their family. As soon as I have news of the celebration of his life, I will share it.

Sincerely,
Dean Colin Crawford
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I had the pleasure of working with Dean Keane as a Board member in the early 2000’s. He was a great leader and inspiration to those he taught. Deepest sympathies to Nancy and his family.

Professor Keane was one of my FAVORITE professors at GGU. Such a smart and sweet person. Condolences to his family.

A couple months ago I crossed paths with Professor Keane in the rose garden at GGP. He was quick with a kind word and a nice conversation. I sincerely appreciate having known and had my life enriched by this bright and thoughful man.

He was a great professor and person!

Always admired Peter Keane; a great los to the legal community and all the people of San Francisco

Rest In Peace.

He was a kind person. I am sorry for your loss.

RIP…

Sorry for your loss.

RIP

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