Film Focuses on Clinical Trials That Might Show Consumers How to Slow and Reverse the Disease
FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ric and Jean Edelman, and Edelman Financial Engines, the nation’s largest independent registered investment advisory firm1, announced they have each committed $1 million in funding for a documentary focusing on groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr. Dean Ornish. The documentary, scheduled for distribution in 2021, is being directed by acclaimed Academy Award-winning documentarian Louis Psihoyos.
Dr. Ornish, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is president and founder of the nonprofit Preventative Medicine Research Institute. He was the first to prove that diet and other lifestyle changes can reverse many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, early-stage prostate cancer, and cellular aging. The “Ornish diet” has been rated by a panel of independent experts at U.S. News & World Report as the “#1 for Heart Health” for the past nine consecutive years. Life magazine has called him “one of the 50 most influential members of his generation” and Forbes magazine says he is “one of the world’s seven most powerful teachers.” His current work, which is the subject of Psihoyos’ documentary, hopes to show that diet can slow, and even reverse, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“We are honored to support a film that can educate and offer hope to millions of people around the world,” said Ric Edelman, who is an award-winning financial planner. “We have seen what Alzheimer’s does, not just to the patient but to the entire family. Through this film, we hope to generate global attention on a solution that can help stop this dreaded disease.”
“The time has come for us to come together to defeat Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Jean Edelman. “Far too many families have been devastated by this horrible illness that robs people not just of their lives but of their dignity. We are proud to be supporting Dr. Ornish in his efforts and telling the world of his remarkable work.”
Alzheimer’s is indeed an insidious disease. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease. It afflicts 1 in 10 people at age 60, one in three at age 85 and half of all people by age 90. Despite billions of dollars spent on research over the past 30 years, there is still no diagnostic tool, no treatment, no cure and no vaccine. The disease is 100 percent fatal.
If Dr. Ornish’s clinical trials are successful, they would be the first demonstrated achievements at combating what an American Enterprise Institute study says is “the most feared of all diseases.”
“Thousands of our clients have been directly affected by Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Larry Raffone, CEO of Edelman Financial Engines. “We have seen first-hand the devastating effects on their families and their personal finances, and we are committed to helping our clients combat and ultimately defeat this terrible illness.”
Psihoyos received an Oscar for his direction of 2009’s “The Cove.” He most recently directed “The Game Changers” documentary featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, showing how world-class athletes rely on plant-based diets to achieve peak performance. “As a documentary filmmaker, my hope is to illuminate an important subject that creates impact and expedites much needed social change,” Psihoyos said. “I can think of nothing more exciting than illuminating Dr. Dean Ornish’s lifestyle medicine program because it could revolutionize our healthcare system by preventing and even reversing some of our most chronic and deadly diseases, including possibly Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Awareness is the first step in healing,” said Dr. Ornish. “We are deeply grateful to Ric and Jean and Edelman Financial Engines for their generous hearts in being the major sponsors of Louie’s new documentary about a new randomized clinical trial my colleagues and I are conducting to determine —for the first time — if lifestyle medicine (eat well, move more, stress less, love more) can reverse the progression of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. If this study is successful, this film will inspire and empower many people worldwide with new hope and new choices, since there are no drugs effective in reversing Alzheimer’s disease.”
Ric and Jean, and Edelman Financial Engines, are dedicated to raising awareness about the devastating financial impact of Alzheimer’s on both patients and their families. This philanthropic funding is part of their efforts to aid the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.
About Ric and Jean Edelman
In 1986, the couple founded Edelman Financial Services at the kitchen table of their one-bedroom basement apartment. The firm merged with Financial Engines in 2017. Edelman Financial Engines is now the largest independent registered investment advisory firm in the nation1, serving 1.2 million clients from more than 170 offices coast to coast, and manages more than $213 billion in client assets (client data as of September 30, 2019). The firm also is ranked #1 by Barron’s2 and has won more than 100 financial, business community and philanthropic awards in its 33-year history.
A #1 New York Times bestselling author with 10 books on personal finance, Ric hosts the country’s longest running radio show on personal finance. He’s also hosted a series and five specials for Public Television.
Ric was named the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in the Nation three times by Barron’s3 and is in the publication’s Hall of Fame4. Widely regarded as among the most influential financial planners in the nation, Ric was named by InvestmentNews one of 20 planners in the nation who shaped the planning profession5. In the fall of 2018, Ric and Jean published The Squirrel Manifesto, their first children’s book. Written for 4- to- 8-year-olds, the book teaches children to “spend a little, save a little and always give back.” Jean also is the author of The Other Side of Money: Living a More Balanced Life Through 52 Weekly Inspirations.
About Edelman Financial Engines
Since 1986, Edelman Financial Engines has been committed to always acting in the best interest of our clients. We were founded on the belief that all American investors – not just the wealthy – deserve access to personalized, comprehensive financial planning and investment advice. Today, we are America’s top independent financial planning and investment advisor, recognized by both InvestmentNews1 and Barron’s2 with more than 170 planner offices across the country and entrusted by more than 1.2 million clients to manage more than $213 billion in assets. Our unique approach to serving clients combines our advanced methodology and proprietary technology with the attention of a dedicated personal financial planner. Every client’s situation and goals are unique, and the powerful fusion of high-tech and high-touch allows Edelman Financial Engines to deliver the personal plan and financial confidence that everyone deserves.
1 Ranking and status for 2018. For independence methodology and ranking, see InvestmentNews Center (http://data.investmentnews.com/ria/);
2 The Top 40 Independent Advisory Firm Ranking issued by Barron’s is qualitative and quantitative, including assets managed, the size and experience of teams, and the regulatory records of the advisers and firms. Firms elect to participate, but do not pay to be included in the ranking. Investor returns/experience are not considered. 2018 ranking refers to Edelman Financial Services (EFS), which combined its advisory business in its entirety with Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA) in November 2018. For the same survey, FEA received a precombination ranking of twelfth.
3 Rankings for 2009, 2010 and 2012. Barron’s ranking has three major components: assets managed, revenue produced and quality of the advisor’s practice. Does not assess investment returns. Quality-of-practice component includes advisor regulatory record. Rankings based on universe of applications submitted through self-nomination to Barron’s.
4 Barron’s Hall of Fame advisers have been ranked for 10 or more years on the Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list. Barron’s listings are based on data compiled by many of the nation’s most productive advisers, which has been submitted to and judged by Barron‘s. Key factors and criteria for each award include assets under management, revenue produce for the firm, regulatory and compliance record, and years of professional experience. This award is not indicative of this advisor‘s future performance.
5 In 2019, InvestmentNews tried to highlight those they thought were influential in molding the industry either through their ideas or actions. Ric Edelman was chosen for creating a successful business model that is pushing the business of financial planning to new heights. Investor experience/returns were not considered.