The focus of NAPFA’s decision last week was toward the nation’s lawmakers and regulators as much as it was on the industry itself.
NAPFA’s move to make the CFP® designation the standard bearer for the entire financial planning industry sets NAPFA apart from the FPA.
The FPA does not make the CFP® a requirement for membership and only about 67% of its membership holds the designation.
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The move also strengthened the organization’s relationship with the CFP® Board and the SEC in creating a coalition to forward a uniform fiduciary standard.
But the industry is not so ready to get behind the new focus. The International Association of Qualified Financial Planners (IAQFP) has an alternative designation, the QFP, to advisors who already hold one of five designations—the CFP®, the ChFC, the PFS, or a master’s degree in either financial services or a concentration in financial planning.
The IAQFP has about 100,000 advisors registered at its website. Co-founder and principal of League Financial & Insurance Services Paul League says it’s an ongoing turf war and that the CFP® Board is essentially blocking equivalently designated people from its membership.
These advisors have years of experience and have worked diligently to attain these credentials.
In making the decision to restrict its membership, NAPFA is enhancing a $40 million marketing campaign sponsored by the CFP® Board designed to increase awareness
of the CFP® in the eyes of the public.