About Us

What is the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®)?

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) connects those who need, support and deliver financial planning. We believe that everyone is entitled to objective advice from a competent, ethical financial planner to make smart financial decisions. FPA members demonstrate and support a professional commitment to education and a client-centered financial planning process.

FPA is built around four Core Values - Competence, Integrity, Relationships and Stewardship. We want as members those who share our Core Values. FPA's primary aim is to be the community that fosters the value of financial planning and advances the financial planning profession.

FPA members include individuals and companies that are dedicated to a client-centered financial planning process. We provide the resources, tools, education and leadership development that is necessary for our members' success. Visit our benefits page to discover all of the benefits of membership in FPA.

Who are FPA Members?

FPA members demonstrate a commitment to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure for financial planning professionals.

FPA's individual members include financial planners, accountants, attorneys, bankers, charitable giving specialists, insurance agents, stockbrokers, money managers, investment consultants, broker-dealer and corporate executives, and others who champion the financial planning process. FPA institutional membership connects firms that support the financial planning process to the financial planning community.

How does FPA Help Consumers?

FPA is the premier resource connecting consumers with financial planners that will deliver advice using an objective, client-centered, ethical process. Through FPA, consumers can:

  • Obtain literature on a variety of personal finance topics
  • Be connected with a CFP professional
  • Simply ask a general financial planning question and receive an answer an FPA member

FPA believes that public service is an important part in building the financial planning profession and has a strong commitment to providing pro bono financial planning in times of disaster and to those in need. FPA's National Financial Planning Support Center, funded in part by grants from the Foundation for Financial Planning, provides one-on-one pro bono financial planning consultations to victims of disaster and the military.

What is the Financial Planning Process?

Financial planning is the process of establishing personal and financial goals and creating a way to reach them. The ongoing process involves taking stock of all your existing resources, developing a plan to utilize them, and systematically implementing the plan in order to achieve your short-and long-term goals. The plan must be monitored and reviewed periodically so that adjustments can be made, if necessary, to assure that it continues to move you toward your financial goals.

What is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Professional?

Also known as a CFP® certificant, in order to be certified to use the CFP marks, these individuals must meet the following qualifications, as specified by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board):

  • Examination - An individual must successfully complete CFP Board's comprehensive certification examination, which tests the individual's knowledge on a multitude of key financial planning topics.
  • Experience - Depending on the level of degree work completed in a collegiate setting, an individual must acquire three to five years of financial planning-related experience prior to receiving the right to use the CFP marks.
  • Ethics - An individual must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board's Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. This voluntary decision empowers CFP Board to take action if a CFP certificant should violate the code of ethics. Such violations could lead to disciplinary action, including the permanent revocation of the right to use the CFP marks.
  • Education - A CFP certificant must obtain 30 hours of continuing education every two years in the body of knowledge pertaining to financial planning areas such as estate planning, retirement planning, investment management, tax planning, employee benefits and insurance.