Hello and Happy New Year! As we kick off 2018, I want to express my gratitude to Bryan Beatty, our outgoing President. Uncertainties in our profession have created new challenges for the field, but Bryan’s exceptional stewardship, coupled with the tireless efforts of our Board of Directors, helped our chapter successfully navigate these issues. Thank you, Bryan, and the rest of the Board, for all your efforts and success over the past year.
To be sure, the uncertainties we faced last year still linger. While some may have been delayed, we are still coming to terms with a profession that I believe is entering its adolescence. Investment advice and planning has been around for many years, but as a profession, Financial Planning is relatively young. A profession requires education, specialized knowledge, certifications and continued learning and for those who have made a commitment to comprehensive financial planning and made it the center of their practice, I believe the label appropriate.
While we understand the commitment to knowledge and excellence our profession requires, the public may not always recognize this. To elevate our profession in the eyes of the consumer, we have some important work to do. As Financial Planning matures, we will have to accept standardization of certain aspects of our work. Whether it’s standardized titles that easily convey information such as education and expertise (Financial Planner and Investment Advisor, for example) or standardized responsibilities owed to our clients (such as that of a fiduciary), I believe it wise to not only accept these changes, but to champion them. As professionals, we should view leading these efforts as essential to building trust with consumers. Not surprisingly, the devil will be in the details. The Financial Planning community can play a vital role in crafting these policies so we can help consumers make informed decisions and feel confident in seeking the guidance they need, while also ensuring that the policies stay true to our profession, do not create barriers to efficiently running our firms, or impede the way we serve our clients. It is better to have a seat at the table than to have rules levied upon us by outsiders or other conflicted parties who don’t fully understand what we do. This is one of the primary reasons I am an active and engaged member of the Financial Planning Association - so I and the many professionals like me have a voice.
This year’s Winter Symposium on January 26th promises to be one of the best Financial Planning conferences of the year. Come and learn from luminaries such as Mark Tibergien, Amy Florian and Michael Kitces among others. We will also present our Outstanding Service Awards to three Outstanding Members: Barry Glassman, CFP®, Ken Robinson, CFP®, and Eleanor Blayney, CFP®. Please see our announcement about these Outstanding Members in this Newsletter.
And don’t miss our annual Career Day on February 16th where you’ll have the opportunity to meet many talented students and job seekers, as well as hear from author and retirement expert Jonathan Guyton. In March, we will welcome Ben Lewis, Director of Public Relations for FPA, to present another much needed and informative Media Training program. More programs for 2018 will be announced soon, so stay tuned!
Our profession comes with great responsibility, and we change lives every day by creating more secure futures for our clients and their families. Thank you for all you do to represent our field with the highest standards of professionalism and excellence, and I wish you all a happy, healthy, and successful New Year!
Howard Pressman, CFP®
2018 FPA NCA President