What is the Financial Planning Association (FPA)
The Financial Planning Association is the largest membership organization dedicated to supporting personal financial planning experts in the nation. While it is generally thought of as the group for CFP® practitioners, you do not have to be a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ to belong. People who support the financial planning process are able to join as well. There are about 95 chapters nationwide and tens of thousands of members. There are about 15,000 members who are a CFP® practitioner. Other types of professionals that are members are attorneys, CPAs, insurance agents, investment company representatives, and others.
Stay up to date on financial planning topics
The St. Louis, MO chapter has a monthly meeting. Each month there is a different guest speaker, usually someone local, sometimes someone from out of town. This is a good way to stay up to date on various subjects. Past topics have included; a tax update with a focus on estate planning, a health insurance reform update, economic update, and Medicare information. Future topics this year include; the banking crisis, alternative investment strategies, long-term care protection planning, tax traps in annuity planning, and Modern Portfolio Theory 2.0. I earn continuing education credit hours for attending these educational meetings, which is fortunate because I need many hours as a requirement for my designations and memberships in some organizations.
Financial education resources
This is an industry that is full of constant change so reading is a must. As a member I receive a subscription to the Journal of Financial Planning, access to research and whitepapers, and a daily retirement planning newsletter e-mail. I also receive subscriptions to Kiplinger’s, Bloomberg Businessweek, Money, and Smart Money, so that I can stay on top of what my clients are reading.
There are different reasons that I am a member of each of the professional organization to which I belong; the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Garrett Planning Network, and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). The primary reason I belong to the Financial Planning Association is for the educational benefit to me which of course benefits my clients in the long run.