Financial advisors seeking professional support outside of their own business can join one or more of several major organizations dedicated to advancing financial planning in various capacities, such as fee planning, general financial services, and insurance sales.
Although it is not necessary to join all of them, membership in each major professional association has some benefits that can help consultants develop their practices. The following are four influential financial planning-related institutions:
- Joining a professional association can help bring industry support, quality networks, continuing education, and potential customers.
- In the financial services industry, consultants may consider joining multiple national and regional associations.
- FPA, NAIFA, NAPFA and Financial Services Professional Association are just four of the most respected associations, which we will discuss in turn below.
Financial Planning Association (FPA)
The organization considers itself the authoritative association of Certified Financial Planners (CFP®). It was established in 2000 by the merger of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) and the International Association of Financial Planning (IAFP). It is dedicated to improving the CFP® certificate and the entire financial planning profession. The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has launched a new website for consumers to educate users on the value of financial planning and the specific ways it can benefit them. The site has a variety of interactive tools, including tutorials, articles and other literature, podcasts, a search engine for financial planners, and more.
Professional members can get a lot of benefits and tools that can help them grow their business and become better consultants.After the 9/11 attacks, the organization created the National Planning Support Center, where FPA members provide free services Provide financial planning for victims of terrorist attacks and other types of disasters.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers (NAIFA)
Founded in 1890, the organization is the oldest professional financial consulting association to date. NAIFA aims to provide professional and legislative support to insurance professionals, welfare experts and financial consultants. The organization recognizes the key role of insurance in financial planning and seeks to strengthen the insurance industry by promoting ethical behavior among its members and helping its members improve their business skills and education.
The group’s members include insurance agents, financial advisors, multi-line agents, health insurance professionals and employee benefits experts, exclusive and independent financial advisors, business novices, industry leaders, and everyone in between.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
Unlike FPA or NAIFA, they both work with several different types of advisors and use various types of platforms, such as broker-dealers, independent marketing organizations or registered investment consulting companies (RIA), National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)) Created specifically for the benefit of financial planners, they charge a fee for planning services and do not charge any form of commission.
Members do not need professional certificates, such as CFP® or Chartered Life Insurer (CLU), but members must sign and abide by a strict trust oath every year. There is also a code of ethics that requires full disclosure of any possible conflicts of interest to customers.
According to the organization’s website, NAPFA’s stated values are:
- Be a beacon for providing independent and objective financial advice to individuals and families.
- Become a supporter of providing financial services for the public interest.
- Become the standard bearer of the emerging financial planning profession.
Financial Services Professional Association
The Financial Services Professional Association (FSP Association) is the second oldest financial services professional association. It was founded in 1928 by the first graduate of Bryn Mawr American College in Pennsylvania. Today, it has 150 chapters nationwide and more than 11,000 members.
This group is the only group that requires all members to hold current certificates, such as CFP, CLU or Chartered Financial Advisor (ChFC). It also has a professional code of conduct and a diversity statement. The FSP Association has a multi-disciplinary community of financial professionals, including certified public accountants, lawyers, insurance experts and financial consultants from various disciplines.
Although these four organizations are by no means the only associations available to financial services professionals, they are among the most respected and well-known associations in the industry today. Each of them has a local chapter, meets regularly and sponsors local events. To find a club near you, visit each association’s website for more information.