One day in 1969, a group got together to discuss financial planning and ultimately what such a profession could look like. This led to the creation of the International Association for Financial Planners (IAFP) as well as the College for Financial Planning and the Certified Financial Planner designation. Once the first group of Certified Financial Planners earned their designations, they created the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) in 1973. Fast forward to the year 2000, and the IAFP and ICFP merged to form the Financial Planning Association (FPA). I have been involved with the FPA since college and have served on two different boards for local FPA chapters and am now serving my first year on the national board of directors. FPA’s primary aim is to elevate the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning.
I mention all of this just to give a very brief snapshot of the history of financial planning. Although financial planning is still a young profession, it is a profession that people are passionate about and one that has numerous career paths and opportunities. Of course, the financial planner path is the most recognized. There are great financial planning programs available at universities, such as the Personal Financial Planning Department at Texas Tech University. These programs not only give the students the tools and knowledge to become a financial planner, they are helping to mold the future of the profession. That being said, though, there is more to the profession of financial planning that just financial planners. Many of these other career paths are often overlooked but that does not diminish their importance to financial planning, serving clients, and the success of a financial planning business.
Other career paths in the profession include operations, compliance, and technology to name a few. Each of these are important roles in any financial planning firm but are also bigger pieces to the overall profession. For example, more and more technology solutions are being developed for use in the financial planning profession, from financial planning software to portfolio management. These technology companies are looking for people that not only have a knack for IT but also understand financial planning. Other such opportunities are available in other avenues of financial planning, such as with compliance-focused firms and custodians.
Here at Quest, we know the value that each of us play in executing our core focus of making a difference in the lives of others. Of course we have our planning teams, but we also have our operations team that helps in serving our clients. Our operations team makes sure everything from technology to compliance to all daily operations run smoothly
Although you may never see those people behind the scenes, please know that they are just as passionate about financial planning and play a vital role in the impact it has. And, for those interested in the financial planning profession, just know there are so many paths available.
As the FPA’s primary aim alludes to, there is power in financial planning. We at Quest believe in that power and the value that financial planning brings. And, although the front stage financial planner is the most visible and popular career path in this great profession, it takes everyone playing their roles to effectively execute on bringing that power and value to life.
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.