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Statement of Understanding of the Financial Planning Coalition

Jan 07, 2009

Financial planning is the process of determining whether and how an individual can meet life goals through proper management of financial resources. Financial planning services are critical to the individual and collective financial health of Americans. The financial planning profession provides needed financial literacy to the public, effective methodologies, and guidance in choosing appropriate behaviors and making sound financial decisions. In an increasingly complex world, the profession is valued as essential to the financial well-being of Americans.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and the National Association for Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), leading national organizations representing the development and advancement of the financial planning profession, share this vision and will collaborate as Congress undertakes regulatory reform to achieve the following objectives:

  • Financial planning services are delivered to the public with fiduciary accountability and transparency, serving the client’s best interest first and always.
  • Financial planning services are specifically regulated to distinguish and differentiate professionals who have met essential requirements to practice, including, examination, education, experience and ethics as modeled and enforced by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification (CFP® certification).
  • The public can easily identify who is a financial planner and subject to these standards.
  • The public understands the benefits of and values the services provided by financial planners; views financial planning as a legitimate and accepted profession; and demands competent and ethical professional services provided by financial planners.

Through this shared vision, we resolve to move forward with the best of intent and collective effort to achieve these desired outcomes. We invite all groups and organizations who share in this vision to work with us to achieve these goals for the benefit of the public and the profession.

Signed,

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
Financial Planning Association
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

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Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
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