Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Edward R. Collins

CFP, AAMS, RFC
Founding Partner and Wealth Advisor, Artisan Wealth Management, LLC
Caldwell College, Class of 1998
 
Emblazoned on my Alma Mater’s crest is the Latin motto “Sapietia et Scientia.” Translated, it reads “Wisdom and Knowledge.” I believe this phrase encapsulates my perspective on a liberal arts education. Thinking back on my undergraduate years, I honestly did not fully understand or appreciate the benefits the liberal arts would offer me. Over the past 15 years since graduation, however, it has become crystal clear.
 
A liberal arts education develops the whole person. Specifically, it lays the foundation upon which success can follow. Being exposed to a truly diverse but complementary curriculum fosters the development of critical thinking skills and an appreciation for a vast array of disciplines. In my career in financial services, the research skills I honed in my history courses and the in-depth understanding of behavior I gained in my psychology course have been invaluable to me. The knowledge earned in my business and finance courses helped me learn the language of the field in which I eventually found a home.
 
The liberal arts helps prepare students for the dynamic nature of post-undergraduate life. After graduation, I began working in the public sector for the United States Department of Justice. Although it had been a desire for as long as I could remember, I was eventually drawn in a different direction. When I left the Department of Justice, I had the educational background fit for a variety of fields. In my undergraduate coursework, I was exposed to business and finance courses. I ultimately chose a career in finance because I enjoyed what I experienced as part of my liberal arts education in those classes.
 
Over the past 15 years, I have experienced challenges surmounted and successes earned. I honestly believe I am where I am today in my career and life as a direct result of my liberal arts education. Whether it was in the classroom tackling a variety of topics or interacting with a diverse student body and faculty, the wisdom and knowledge imparted prepared me for what has followed. It is true that education is what you make of it. Just like a great meal, however, the ingredients matter.
 

Edward R. Collins is founding partner and wealth advisor at Artisan Wealth Management, LLC, where he specializes in family wealth management and investment portfolio design. A true student of “wealth management,” Collins has achieved advanced accreditation in the areas of financial planning, professional money management, and wealth management and has earned the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. in Washington, DC; the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designation from the College for Financial Planning in Colorado; and the Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) designation from the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants in Ohio. Collins has earned his Series 7, Series 66, and Series 24 securities registrations, as well as his Life and Health Insurance Licenses. He is securities registered to work with clients who live in nearly 20 states.
 
Collins graduated magna cum laude from Caldwell College with a double major in history and psychology, a minor in political science, and a certificate in government service and administration. He started his professional career working with the United States Department of Justice, but he transitioned to private wealth management planning in 1998.
 
Community service plays an important role in Collins’ life. For Caldwell College, he is a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Alumni Board, and serves on the Business Advisory Council. He also serves as a trustee and treasurer of the Brian C. Kull Memorial Foundation, Inc., a foundation that issues college scholarships to students that demonstrate excellence in the areas of service, leadership, and fellowship within their community. Collins and his wife are active members of the North Hunterdon-Clinton Kiwanis Club, which engages in many local service initiatives near their home in New Jersey.