With Schwab’s IMPACT conference drawing a record 4,000 attendees, the shifting landscape of the profession is unfolding before us: The Financial Planning Association Experience in September attracted about half as many attendees as did the Schwab conference this year.
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In years past, the FPA annual meeting attracted about as many attendees as the Schwab IMPACT. Clearly, something has changed.
While some excused the light attendance at the FPA meeting by blaming market volatility and the pressure on advisor fees because of the financial crisis, these issues did not hamper the Schwab conference.
Earlier this year, I wrote about a slide in FPA membership
and I’ve speculated that the advent of social media
has allowed financial advisors to come together virtually, which perhaps has hurt FPA membership. But the success of Schwab’s conference, despite these trends, indicates something else is hurting the organization.
Yesterday Advisors4Advisors reported that the Financial Services Institute
has experienced continued growth, and now has 31,500 members. Ironically, FSI, which now has more than the 24,000 members in FPA, is a spinoff of the broker/dealer division of the FPA. Meanwhile, Investment Management Consultants Association is experiencing continued growth in its ranks, according to IMCA CEO Sean Walters.
The advisory profession is changing and FPA has stumbled. Do you think FPA has made some mistakes? Is letting down advisors? How can it get back on track?