The Financial Planning Association announced Wednesday that it has released an updated version of its online planner search tool in order to help American consumers find financial planners more easily.
The enhanced version of the FPA’S PlannerSearch service now allows consumers to look for a planner based on criteria such as:
- How planners charge, whether using fee-only or other compensation methods
- Whether a planner offers a free initial consultation
- What specialization is offered, in areas ranging from budgeting to retirement planning
“FPA’s research shows that nearly 90% of consumers who have a comprehensive financial plan feel that they have clear financial direction in their lives,” said Denver-based FPA Chief Executive Marvin Tuttle (right) in a statement. “PlannerSearch is designed to help even more Americans connect with an expert planner to help them secure a path for their financial future.”
Interviewed in New York about the updated PlannerSearch, Tuttle compared it to online, user-friendly search tools for doctors. As the certified financial planner profession matures, he said, the FPA is studying new ways to help CFPs refine their practice management.
These efforts involve “looking at practices as a full-fledged business,” much as doctors do, Tuttle said. The FPA is seeing more of its 23,000 members hire operations managers who can run CFPs’ offices so that the planners can focus on planning.
The FPA’s PlannerSearch tool is already so powerful that a Google search of the term “find a financial planner” pulls up PlannerSearch at the top of the first Google page.
Advisors who are interested in signing up for PlannerSearch must be FPA members with the CFP designation and must be affiliated with a state or SEC-registered investment advisor or a state or federally chartered trust or banking institution, unless they are otherwise exempt from registration.
Read Busy Agenda for FPA, Starting With Membership Drop from the June issue of Investment Advisor magazine at AdvisorOne.