MINNEAPOLIS – The financial planning profession celebrates a huge milestone – its 50-year anniversary – at the 2019 FPA annual conference.
It was in Chicago in December 1969 that 13 multi-disciplinary financial professionals – all men – met up to discuss the big picture of the personal finance industry. From that meeting, the men decided it was better to make financial decisions in a coordinated, comprehensive, integrated way, and thus the financial planning profession was born.
Prior to the Chicago meeting, if an individual wanted to invest, they had to see a broker. If they wanted insurance, they had to see an insurance salesman.
“No one was taking the bigger picture view and seeing how they’re all interlaced with each other,” said FPA past president Dan Moisand.
Following the meeting, the International Association for Financial Planning was established as well as the College for Financial Planning, the educational arm that led to the Certified Financial Planner designation.
By the early 1970s, the first class of CFPs graduated from the College for Financial Planning and headed out into the workforce.
A decade later, the number of those holding the CFP designation had grown, and with it came the creation of a standards and enforcement board separate from the College. This board was called the International Board of Standards and Practices Served by Financial Planners or IBCFP, which would later become the CFP Board.
As growth continued, another group emerged. The Institute for Certified Financial Planners began vying for the IAFP’s members.
Seeking an alliance, in 2000, a merger of the IAFP and ICFP led to the creation of the Financial Planning Association as we know it today.
Now, financial planning is offered in 130 different degree programs ranging from certificate courses to doctoral studies in the field.
The financial planning profession has been exceedingly influential over the direction of the personal finance and wealth management industries.
In the 1990s, the “life planning” or holistic approach emerged from an early version of the FPA retreat.
Today, as other trade organizations and financial services professionals debate the need for a fiduciary standard, FPA members and CFPs don’t see the need for controversy.
“In this community – the practicing financial planners – that’s something that we coalesced around 10, 12, 15 years ago,” Moisand said. “For financial planning, as a profession, there’s just no other standard that makes any sense whatsoever.”
Moisand is optimistic for the future of the profession. “Demand for the service is going nowhere but up,” Moisand said. “The complexity of personal finance and the continuing trend of putting responsibility on the individual citizen for their own financial help – pensions continue to go away, that’s a megatrend that isn’t going to go away.”
As for his hope for the future of the profession, Moisand said, “I hope that 50 years from now, a lot of these things that cause controversy now are all settled. It’s all fiduciary all the time.”
As the profession celebrates its 50th anniversary, Moisand concludes, “It’s been a helluva ride, the next 50 should be fun, too.”
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.
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