Paul Auslander, president of the Financial Planning Association, kicked off FPA Experience 2012 in San Antonio on Saturday by espousing the benefits of the Certified Financial Planner designation and those that achieve it, calling them “practitioners that are committed to lifelong learning and growing” in the profession. Noting the “care and characteristics” the planners he’s met in his travels, he said he’s seen a “groundswell of support to unify the financial planning community behind “one designation, organization and profession.”
“Why shouldn’t there be an uncomfortably high barrier to entry for those that handle the finances of hardworking men and women?” Auslander said to applause in the conferences opening general session. “What people are clamoring for since 2008—access to quality, independent advice with a fiduciary duty—is what we deliver on a daily basis.”
Strongly hinting a possible run for public office in the near-future, Auslander said a lack of financial literacy on the part of many politicians has produced a dangerous situation, and that it’s “time to stop complaining and get involved.”
He then mentioned the pending retirement of FPA’s CEO Marv Tuttle, set to take affect at the conclusion of the conference. Tuttle drew a standing ovation from the crowd for his efforts.
Returning to the promotion of the CFP mark, Auslander noted the changes that have taken place since he gained the designation in 1987.
“We were trailblazers and now it’s the industry; how cool is that?” he noted. “It is something for which to strive, attain, maintain and protect.”
He then announced the election of Janet Stanzak of Minneapolis as the organization’s 2014 president-elect, to follow 2013 president-elect Michael Branham.
“The profession is growing, market demand for our services is growing and the FPA brand is growing,” Auslander concluded. “A single profession and CFP designation for which to organize around demonstrates efficiencies that make it more effective. Our focus is to help families, communities and the country.”