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LorenDunton.gif (19047 bytes) Show Respect for Dunton’s Legacy  

As a two-decade member of the financial planning community, I enjoyed Catherine Newton’s article on the history of the organization in the December 1999 Source Book 2000. However, I was troubled by the (usual) cheap shot in reference to Loren Dunton—that is, his "checkered past."

Loren introduced me to the International Association for Financial Planning. I later became president of the San Francisco Chapter and was active in many national projects and initiatives.

Unknown to most is that Loren and his wife Marta were my clients. I was privy to information, which, with Loren’s passing, seems appropriate to share now. If you knew what drove him, Loren’s missionary zeal would not be perceived as slick salesmanship, but rather a lifelong commitment to help others not repeat his mistakes.

If my memory serves me, here’s the inside story: Loren was an early convert to the "buy term and invest the difference" school but took it to the extreme, foregoing property insurance in the quest to increase his cash flow available for investment. Unfortunately, his uninsured house in Marin was lost to a mudslide. The incident ended his first marriage. Shortly thereafter, Loren took a long sailing trip, saw his vision quest and returned to launch the predecessor to the FPA. But for Loren’s inspiration, we might not exist as a profession. I would hope we’d show more respect for his legacy.

John R. Austin, CFP
Bethesda, Maryland

Original Source: - 2000 April Issue - Article 17, Journal of Financial Planning.

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