For young professionals new to the financial services industry, choosing an association, or multiple associations to belong to can be daunting. There are dues; value of membership; size and accreditation to consider before making a decision.
Before jumping into a professional association, compare and contrast each group with your own professional wants, needs and specialties to find the one(s) that best suit your professional aspirations.
Financial Planning Association, FPA
Membership size: 23,000
Dues: $375 per year and chapters assess separate dues that are determined by the chapters.
Mission Statement: To elevate the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning.
Benefits/Value: The opportunity to engage with other financial planners in your area, attendance to FPA’s signature events including the FPA annual conference, FPA retreat and NEXGEN gathering.
Million Dollar Round Table, MDRT
Membership size: 66,000 members worldwide
Dues: $550 for applications completed online or postmarked by March 1. After March 1, dues are subject to a $200 additional fee.
Mission Statement: To be a valued, member-driven, international network of leading insurance and investment financial services professionals/advisors who serve their clients by exemplary performance and the highest standards of ethics, knowledge, service and productivity.
Benefits/Value: Access to MDRT’s global member network, attendance to annual meetings and research shows, online educational content (podcasts, videos, etc.) and a copy of MDRT’s Round the Table Magazine.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, NAIFA
Membership size: 30,000
Dues: National dues are $402. Local and state dues vary based on chapter and state.
Mission Statement: The mission of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of our members.
Benefits/Value: NAIFA offers its members an opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the profession through Advocacy coalitions, congressional councils, legislative action center and the opportunity to engage decision makers at the state and federal level. Additionally, NAIFA has online and in-person resources for professional development and for practices.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, NAPFA
Membership size: 3,000
Dues: $695 plus a one-time, non-refundable processing fee of $150 ($75 if there is at least one NAPFA member in the firm).
Mission Statement: We provide networking opportunities, education, business development, and advocacy to promote the professional success of fee-only, comprehensive financial advisors.
Benefits/Value: NAPFA provides members a free subscription to Advisor Magazine, discounts on products and services and access to discussion forums and professional development opportunities.
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, SIFMA
Membership size: 13,000
Dues: Dues are confidential and are relayed to applicants at the time their application is processed.
Mission Statement: SIFMA is the voice of the nation’s securities industry, bringing together the shared interests of hundreds of broker-dealers, investment banks and asset managers. We advocate for effective and resilient capital markets.
Benefits/Value: SIFMA members have access to engage in peer-to-peer networking, attend educational seminars, conferences and events and receive member newsletters.
Society of Financial Service Professionals, FSP
Membership size: 8,400 (according to 2017 financial audit)
Dues: $380.00 National Dues, (regular); $1920.00 National Dues, (premier); $190.00 National Dues (retired or disabled)
Mission Statement: FSP’s mission is to promote professionalism among its members by:
- Cultivating mutually beneficial relationships among credentialed financial service professionals
- Delivering top-quality continuing educational programming
- Establishing the highest standard of ethical conduct
The Society of FSP’s core values are relationships, education, and ethics.
FSP’s goal is to help financial service professionals deliver the highest level of client service possible.
Benefits/Value: FSP offers members the ability to collaborate with multi-disciplinary professionals, expand your knowledge base through FSP’s online library and Journal of Financial Services Professionals and attendance to Journal Live conversations.
Women in Financial Services, WIFS
Membership size: 800 members
Dues: $238 national dues; local dues are dependent on the chapter selected
Mission Statement: Through leadership in attraction and retention and a unique focus on mentoring and networking, WIFS is the largest women’s association empowering women financial professionals to succeed.
Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) was founded in 1936 and is an association of financial services professionals working together to attract, develop and advance women. We champion career opportunities, provide professional development and represent women’s interests to the profession. No other financial services professional organization provides programming designed for women, by women.
Membership is comprised of industry leaders, client facing and allied professionals who benefit from National and local chapter services. Our vision is to be the global change leader inspiring women to achieve their dreams.
Benefits/Value: The opportunity to advocate for women in the profession, access to educational and mentoring opportunities and the ability to lead and develop professional skills through leadership development roles.
AdvisorNews Managing Editor Cassie Miller may be reached at cassie.miller@Adnewsfeedback.com. Cassie has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. Follow her on Twitter @ANCassieM.