A panel of finance professionals from multiple disciplines met at Vine Memorial Baptist Church, at 56th Street and Girard Avenue in West Philadelphia, to address the financial concerns of the community.
Issues included estate transfer, retirement planning, life insurance and how to manage it, and other concerns related to financial planning.
"We are doing this because we believe that this information, which is available to all, may not be reaching areas of the community that it should reach," said Tony Smith of the Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP).
Given the current transfer of wealth happening among Baby Boomers, Smith said such information is even more critical.
"It's never too late for any of the issues we are discussing today," Smith said. "The only time it is too late is when life is over, and even then you have family members who will go on after you have passed on -- so these issues are perpetual."
Joe Frack, the CEO of FSP, said the group is a national organization with some 11,000 members and consists of professionals.
"Virtually all of our members have a credential of some sort -- maybe they are attorneys, maybe they are certified public accountants or etc.," Frack said. "Our members really are geared toward offering the public the very best advice they could render, given the circumstances."
Smith said the group did not expect to turn attendants into professionals, but the panel would provide practical information and be aware of those things which will inevitably affect them over their lifetime.
Glen Coral, financial advisor, insurance professional and incoming president of the Philadelphia chapter of FSP, said the group wanted to reach out to the community to let it know resources are available.
"There's nobody who cannot benefit from talking with a financial service professional and planning; and because of the complexity of the law, the complexity of planning in general and investing, it is important that they talk to a financial professional to help guide them," she said.
Panelists discussed the role of budgeting and saving as the foundation of wealth creation.
"It really starts, grassroots with budgeting; and as you start building some wealth and attaining financial independence, it makes it easier to start investing and to do some more complex stuff down the road," Coral said.
Pastor of Vine Memorial Baptist Church the Rev. James S. Allen said the seminar was comprehensive, with topics such as personal savings, age and handling aged loved ones.
It was a member of Vine Memorial, Ralph Blank, who suggested the presentation to Allen. The church met to discuss the possibility and agreed to do it.
No one expected the seminar would be so well attended.
"What we try to do is identify needs of the people and whatever those needs are we try to deal with them," Allen said.
Blanks is an associate pastor at Vine and a financial adviser with Prudential Life Insurance, a co-sponsor of the seminar. Blanks would not take credit for the idea of suggesting the seminar and said he was approached by a representative of FSP.
"The FSP has made a commitment to focus on the under-served, the community ... informing them and educating them along the lines of financial services and how to protect themselves," Blanks said.