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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#GivingTuesday is TOMORROW! Please support our undergrad and MBA programs that offer the flexibility and accessibility that make a difference for students like Murat Wahab.​
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Getting an undergraduate degree and an MBA from GGU opened up many doors for me. The MBA equipped me with business knowledge and established meaningful long-term friendships with GGU classmates and alumni. Using the education I received  combined with work experience in hospitality, banking, and non-profits, I launched my business, Hakim Saya, a licensed Finance Broker and Business Finance Consulting firm based in San Francisco.​
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"My BA in Business Management with a concentration in marketing gave me the foundational knowledge I didn’t know I was missing. The courses helped me better understand the core marketing concepts I was already using to perform my job and provided me with the tools and confidence I needed to advance my career."​

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#GivingTuesday is just around the corner! Join us to support our undergraduate programs that offer the flexibility and accessibility that students like LJ Mizzi need to complete their degrees.​

With young children, a full-time job and a hectic schedule, I needed the flexibility to attend classes late at night. I discovered GGU through my employer, Gilead Sciences, and it was everything I was looking for.​

My BA in Business Management with a concentration in marketing gave me the foundational knowledge I didn’t know I was missing. The courses helped me better understand the core marketing concepts I was already using to perform my job and provided me with the tools and confidence I needed to advance my career.​

Make a plan to give today: http://ow.ly/ANaT50GWJNf​

Meet Hang Nguyen, the new president of the Student Government Association for 2021-2022 and editor of @ggusocial

“I am in my last year of the MS Business Analytics program. After graduation, I'd like to work within finance on the analytics side especially in the changing world right now post-pandemic.

What I love about GGU is that it’s an intimate environment for students. It’s so easy to reach the faculty and they are passionate about helping you. It’s an environment where students can feel comfortable and that’s why I wanted to get involved in the SGA. I want to be that bridge between students and the leaders of the school and the faculty so that every student feels comfortable reaching out for help or support.

The SGA aspires to lead with honesty, integrity, and passion. We want to give as much as we can. We really hope to foster a more connected student body that draws students together because I know COVID separated us in some ways. We hope to host a lot of networking events, information events or just fun events that are beneficial to students and give them resources that they need. We really want to promote that student connection. That’s what we hope for the future.”
... See MoreSee Less

Meet Hang Nguyen, the new president of the Student Government Association for 2021-2022 and editor of @ggusocial

 “I am in my last year of the MS Business Analytics program. After graduation, Id like to work within finance on the analytics side especially in the changing world right now post-pandemic.

What I love about GGU is that it’s an intimate environment for students. It’s so easy to reach the faculty and they are passionate about helping you. It’s an environment where students can feel comfortable and that’s why I wanted to get involved in the SGA. I want to be that bridge between students and the leaders of the school and the faculty so that every student feels comfortable reaching out for help or support.

The SGA aspires to lead with honesty, integrity, and passion. We want to give as much as we can. We really hope to foster a more connected student body that draws students together because I know COVID separated us in some ways. We hope to host a lot of networking events, information events or just fun events that are beneficial to students and give them resources that they need. We really want to promote that student connection. That’s what we hope for the future.”

#GivingTuesday is almost here! A gift from you supports international students like Outstanding Student Award winner Supriya Upreti, MS Finance 2021.​

"I hail from a small state Uttarakhand in the foothills of The Himalayas, in India, where basic amenities are still considered a luxury, and girls' education is one of the concerning issues on which elections are fought. Students cross rivers and walk miles to get to school. Before moving to the United States in 2016, I never dreamed that one day I would be a first-generation immigrant to the United States and would get the opportunity to complete my education here. I feel really fortunate to receive this opportunity at GGU."​

Make your plan to give today: ow.ly/KEay50GURBf
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#GivingTuesday is almost here! A gift from you supports international students like Outstanding Student Award winner Supriya Upreti, MS Finance 2021.​

I hail from a small state Uttarakhand in the foothills of The Himalayas, in India, where basic amenities are still considered a luxury, and girls education is one of the concerning issues on which elections are fought. Students cross rivers and walk miles to get to school. Before moving to the United States in 2016, I never dreamed that one day I would be a first-generation immigrant to the United States and would get the opportunity to complete my education here. I feel really fortunate to receive this opportunity at GGU.​

Make your plan to give today: http://ow.ly/KEay50GURBf​

First year law student Leslie Estrada Flynn overcame long odds to pursue a law degree and has already distinguished herself as an alum of the LEAP program and the recipient of the Pipeline to Practice fellowship and the Change Lawyers scholarship. Her professional goal is to use policy work to help communities like the one she's from empower themselves and further their own goals. Read Leslie's inspiring story: ow.ly/ES8E50GUOv7 ... See MoreSee Less

First year law student Leslie Estrada Flynn overcame long odds to pursue a law degree and has already distinguished herself as an alum of the LEAP program and the recipient of the Pipeline to Practice fellowship and the Change Lawyers scholarship. Her professional goal is to use policy work to help communities like the one shes from empower themselves and further their own goals. Read Leslies inspiring story: http://ow.ly/ES8E50GUOv7
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