Over the past decade, FPA and the Journal of Financial Planning have conducted an annual Trends in Investing Survey of members to understand better where financial planners are guiding their clients to invest today and where they will be investing in the coming year. It also looks at planner sentiment on the economy and other trending issues. If you have not yet checked out the full report or the feature about the research in the June issue of the Journal, you should. It’s interesting research that is highly relevant to the work you do for your clients, especially so in these challenging times.

I bring this up because reviewing the report, specifically the data about planner sentiment on the economy, got me thinking about FPA and my long-term sentiment about the Association. The report shows that while planners are not necessarily bullish nor bearish about the economy over the next six to 12 months, they are more bullish about the economy over the next couple of years. While I am certainly bullish about FPA in the short term, as I look at all we are doing to reassert the Association’s place in the profession, I firmly believe FPA’s best years are ahead of us. From practice support and learning to advocacy and networking, great things are happening today that have set us on a path for long-term success.

While you will read more about some of the more recent activities in the ‘In Case You Missed It’ section of this CEO Update, I want to invite you to join FPA leadership for our annual ‘State of FPA’ Virtual Update that will take place on Thursday, July 21 at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT). During this 45-minute update, you will hear about the work of the Association over the first half of the year, the now available 2021 FPA Annual Report, and the recently finalized 2021 audited financial statements, including an overview of those statements with Capin Crouse, LLC, FPA’s independent external auditor. I strongly encourage you and all members to register for the update and join us on July 21. And when you register, be sure to let us know what questions you have for us. We will address some of those as part of the presentation and include some in the open Q&A at the end of the update.

2021 FPA Annual Report

As mentioned, the 2021 FPA Annual Report is now available. The report provides an overview of the Association’s work in 2021, including the various programs and services that FPA developed to support you and build the value of membership. The report also includes a snapshot of FPA membership as of the end of last December and a look at our 2021 audited financial statements. In the CEO Update for Q1 2022, I highlighted that last year’s theme was stabilization. The events of the past couple of years, some due to the pandemic and some self-inflicted, impacted FPA from membership and financial perspectives in 2019 and 2020. But as you will see in the report, we were able to stabilize those critical areas. And the work we do today will continue to build on that progress in the years ahead.

In Case You Missed It

The FPA team, including some amazing volunteer leaders, has worked hard over the past few months to drive more excellent value in membership and position the Association as a force in the profession and society.

  • New College Planning Certificate for FPA Members: To help you serve your clients’ needs with college-bound children, FPA has partnered with College Aid Pro™ to launch College Planning Made Easy: An FPA Certificate Program. The course qualifies for 4.5 CFP® CE credits. It provides a deep dive into the technical aspects of navigating the college funding maze, including practical talk tracks and exercises to help you connect with your clients and guide them through the behavioral and emotional aspects of the college buying decision. We are thrilled to have partnered with Joe Messinger, CFP®, and his team at College Aid Pro™ to bring you this program. With over 44 million student loan borrowers in America and outstanding education debt exceeding $1.7 trillion, this new certificate will position you as a planner who can help.
  • The FPA Virtual Externship is Once Again Underway: As you know, FPA partnered with Hannah Moore, CFP®, to launch the FPA Virtual Externship in 2020 in response to the cancellation of traditional internships due to the pandemic. Over the past two years, FPA’s Externship Program has been met with great enthusiasm by attendees, our members, and our ever-important chapters. I am pleased to share that our 2022 Externship Program is officially underway, with 677 ‘externs’ participating! Over eight weeks, Hannah and many other professional leaders are taking our externs on a deep dive journey into financial planning that is considered by many to be an important initiative for the Association. We look forward to sharing the results of the Externship in the coming months.
  • The Power of Advocacy on Display in Kentucky: At this point, you may have heard about the successful lobbying effort FPA, and the FPA Political Action Committee, engaged in to have the taxation of personal financial planning and investment planning services removed from House Bill 8 in the Kentucky legislature. This was an important initiative for the Association and demonstrated the power of advocacy for our members. Had we not been successful in our work in Kentucky, it likely would have set a precedent for other state legislatures. FPA will continue to provide our members with a voice and is ready to deploy its resources to protect you and your interests.
  • Honoring an Injured Navy Veteran: One of the great honors and responsibilities I have as your CEO is representing FPA and our profession at public events. On April 2, I had the privilege to attend and speak at a Homes for Our Troops “key ceremony” for Navy Hospital Corpsman Joel Booth and his family in Morrison, Colorado, where they received a new home built by donations to this worthy cause. As the father of a naval officer, the opportunity to participate in this particular occasion meant a lot to me. I was proud and humbled to honor a hero like Joel and gratified by the work FPA members like Sara Gardner, CFP®, who worked closely with Joel on his financial plan as a requirement of the program, are doing to ensure our profession well serves injured veterans.
FPA CEO Patrick Mahoney honors Navy Hospital Corpsman Joel Booth

If you have questions or want to share your ideas on how FPA can continue to serve you, the financial planning community, and the profession, please share them.

Thank you for the privilege of your membership.