The field of financial planning has existed for almost 50 years. It emerged when a small group of advisors working for banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies decided to band together to provide planning services to their clients rather than just selling them financial products. In December of 1969, these financial services industry leaders gathered in Chicago to discuss the creation of a new profession. They created the Society for Financial Counseling, an umbrella organization for a membership association that would eventually be called the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP), and an educational arm that would eventually be named the College for Financial Planning. In 1971, the College created a five-course curriculum leading to the CFP® designation, graduating its first class in 1973. That first graduating class, in turn, formed the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) as an alumni association.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) was formed in in 1983. NAPFA’s mission and purpose was, from the beginning, to support and promote the delivery of fee-only financial planning advice. The IAFP and the ICFP eventually merged in 2000, creating the Financial Planning Association (FPA). The governing body for Certified Financial Planner professionals, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) came into existence in 1985.
At Springwater we are all Certified Financial Planner certificants. We are also members of both NAPFA and FPA. Terry currently serves on the Council on Education for the CFP Board. Jim and Terry have both taught the curriculum for the CFP® certification program. We are fully committed to the practice of financial planning and we are active supporters of our industry organizations.
We are hopeful that one day the field in which we work will become a profession. Webster’s defines a profession as: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation. Wikipedia defines a profession as a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested objective counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain. Professions that come to mind include law, medicine, and academia.
We have been in the financial services industry for many decades. Sadly, we cannot yet say that financial planning is a profession. Until those engaged in the practice of financial planning provide “disinterested objective counsel and service” which is “wholly apart from expectation of other business gain” the industry will fall short of professional standards. We are hopeful that the CFP Board’s efforts to promote the “fiduciary standard of care” in the financial services industry will result in the passage of laws that require all “financial planners” to “act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice.” For more insight please go to the CFP Board website.
(sources: Journal of Financial Planning, Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia)
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