Is Financial Planning a Profession? Does it Matter?

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The Financial Planning Association (FPA) president, Skip Schweiss, wants planners and consumers to know financial planning is not yet a profession. He believes fervently it should be and wants to help get it there. Who will listen?

Last month, President Biden was inaugurated. He launched his administration with some 40 executive orders. Coincidental but less noticed, the FPA’s new president, former TD Ameritrade executive Skip Schweiss, was also “inaugurated.” Schweiss launched his administration with several interviews and a priority topic was the state of financial planning.

In an FPA interview, Schweiss offered views on financial planning becoming a profession.

The FPA’s views matter; Schweiss’ remarks hit key points. He is evidenced-based, serious and sober; his views reflect the enormity of the task at hand. They also conflict directly with the views of the CFP Board.

As FPA’s chief advocacy officer, Schweiss notes, “Whenever I talk to a member about advocacy, the one thing that seems to come up most consistently is being recognized as a profession. That, for me, has become number one after a lot of listening to our members.”

Schweiss continues, “Eventually we want to be considered as a true profession. We deserve to be like doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Teachers are a profession; they have certain academic, requirements, and continuing education requirements – all those things that go with being a profession. That’s a longer-term goal. We’re not going to become a profession this year, but we can continue to move the ball down the field.”

Schweiss’ views are mainstream and are shared by planning guru, Bob Veres.