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Financial Planning > College Planning

CFP Board Launches Campaign to Attract Younger, More Diverse Advisors

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CFP Board Center for Financial Planning has launched a campaign to attract younger and more diverse individuals to the industry. Called I am a CFP Pro, the campaign is accessible online and features a diverse group of young people telling their stories about how and why they joined the profession and invites others to do the same.

It was introduced at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, with executives of the CFP Board Center and three young planners, now featured on the website, discussing how they came to be certified financial planners. Aspiring and current CFP professionals as well as college students and professors are encouraged to check out the website, said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, executive director of the CFP Board.

“The financial planner workforce needs to better reflect the population it serves, and this campaign is designed to get careers in financial planning on the radar screens of students and millennials who may not have considered it previously,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller in a statement.

(Related on ThinkAdvisorAddressing the Shortage of Millennial Financial Advisors)

There are currently more financial planners over 70 than under 30, and nearly 20% are approaching retirement, according to the CFP. In addition, women account for less than one-quarter of financial planners and minorities even less than that.

(Related on ThinkAdvisor: New Robo-Advisor Targets Minority Communities)

“The profession is not on track to meet the population it serves going forward,” said Blaine Akin, chair of the CFP’s Board of Directors, at the press club event. The profession needs to “create a more diverse and sustainable profession so that every American has access.”

The CFP Board has been trying. In 2013 the CFP Board introduced its Women’s Initiative, called WIN, to address the “feminine famine” in financial planning, and last June it started a WIN-to-WIN program to connect women wanting CFP certification with mentors who can assist them through the process.

Two of the three young financial planners at the press event launching the new campaign were women and each had founded their own firms geared to millennials.

The new campaign aims to address these challenges by dispelling common misperceptions and highlighting the many benefits of a career as a financial planner, including the ability to make a difference in peoples’ lives, work-life balance and the opportunity for career and financial growth. 

Rianka Dorsainvil founded Your Greatest Contribution (YGC), a virtual comprehensive financial planning firm serving entrepreneurs and professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s that communicates with clients online. But she also mentioned that her very first clients were a 60-year-old couple who hired her because, the husband told her, the couple’s tax advisor and had planner had passed away so they wanted an advisor who could outlive them and pass on knowledge to their children.

Brittney Castro founded Financially Wise Women, a Los Angeles-based financial planning firm focused on millennials and charging an annual retainer rather than an AUM-based fee because many haven’t yet accumulated a lot of assets.

The sole male in the group, Justin Sullivan, an investment advisor and vice president at a wealth management company, also talked about his focus on attracting millennial clients as a member of a club in Atlanta geared to millennials.

All three highlighted how the profession allows them to make a difference in people’s lives while maintaining their own work-life balance – which is also a focus of the campaign.

Current financial advisors who are CFP certified and others interested in learning more are encouraged to share their stories by following the campaign on Instagram @cfpboard_center using the hashtag #CFPPro.

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