Financial planning is a new profession with a short but important history. Born from changes specific to corporate provisions to employees and the regulations pertaining to insurance companies and broker-dealers, the profession has begun to transition from its origins which focused on sales to a more noble goal of professionals who provide competent and comprehensive advice. However, this transition has not fully taken place and many who hold themselves out as “financial advisors” are in fact simply representatives (agents) of an insurance or investment company, whose education is oftentimes limited to only what has been provided to them by said company.
Back in the late ‘60s, a group of advisors gathered to trail blaze a new path for financial advice (The History of Financial Planning, 2009); the Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP ®) designation emerged from their efforts. Those possessing the CFP ® have demonstrated a commitment to financial planning and shown sufficient competency to an independent third party (namely the CFP Board) that they have the education to provide professional, comprehensive, competent, and objective advice.