|James J. Green|
Of its members, 36% are fee only, while 47% are compensated by fees and commissions, numbers which reflect FPA's "compensation neutral" stance, said current President
Schadle, Gjertsen and 2015 FPA Chairwoman
Members from 57 different FPA chapters are participating in FPA State Advocacy Days in state legislatures across the country from February through early June in the runup to FPA's second annual Advocacy Day in the nation's capital on
Gjertsen said the FPA likes to say "we're the voice of reason" in discussions with policy makers and lawmakers. By "not screaming about compensation," for instance, he said "we get traction with that approach." He says "we're seen as a valued resource" among lawmakers in
Gjertsen said that "since
As an example of FPA's local advocacy, Stanzak said "we got active early on" working to defeat state efforts to impose a tax on financial planning advice. In her home state of
She also noted that the benefits of FPA chapters move up the ladder as well as down. "State advocacy groups repor to the national board," she said, providing valuable input to the FPA Board as it sets national advocacy priorities and can mobilize resources on the local level. Having access to lawmakers and regulators on a regular basis not only allows FPA to influence issues currently in play, but "when something big bubbles up, we have access" to those policymakers. Advisors and Social Media; 'Leading by Example'
As for additional projects, the FPA announced earlier this month that it was conducting a study on social media in a partnership with LinkedIn. The two-part study will explore the use by advisors, both FPA members and nonmembers, of social media in general and its usefulness as a tool to gain clients and grow their businesses.
The second part of the overall study, to be conducted jointly by the
Results of the study will be released during the LinkedIn FinanceConnect meeting in
Speaking of the national membership and the national board, Gjertsen reported that 72% of members are male and 28% are female, but on the national board, "a majority of the Board is women." In fact, he said FPA is "probably the most" diverse in terms of ethnicity and gender and sexual orientation of "any financial services" association leadership. As proof of that diversity, he mentioned two preconference meetings before FPA's national conference in
Gjertsen said the Board's commitment to diversity is "not just talk, but leading by example," and spoke of the importance of fostering the diversification of the financial planning community by "opening the door" of leadership.
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