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Professional Organizations for Financial Advisors

SmartAsset: 5 professional organizations for financial advisors

Joining one or more professional organizations can be a smart move for any advisor who’s interested in scaling. Financial advisor professional organizations often provide opportunities for networking, enhancing your education and building a sense of community. If you’re looking for a way to connect with other advisors or stay in tune with industry trends, it’s helpful to know which organizations are worthwhile.

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Is Joining Financial Advisor Professional Organizations a Requirement?

Becoming a member of a professional organization for financial advisors is not a requirement for doing business. There are, however, some benefits to joining one or more professional associations or organizations. Here are some of the most important.

  • Networking: You’ve likely heard that it’s who you know, not what you know, that matters in business. And that’s true to a degree. Networking can be instrumental in driving new business and exploring opportunities for growth. Professional associations can make it easier to network online through forums or virtual communities. They can also be helpful offline through in-person conferences, workshops or meet-ups.
  • Education: Financial advisor professional organizations may offer a chance to increase your knowledge or expertise in a particular area through workshops, webinars or special training. They may also make it easier for advisors to keep pace with the latest news or trends through email newsletters, blog posts or podcasts.
  • Credibility: Building trust can be essential to your success as an advisor. And it’s important to establish yourself as a reputable source for advice. Belonging to one or more professional organizations for financial advisors can make you appear more credible and reputable in the eyes of current clients and prospective clients alike.

Top 5 Financial Advisor Professional Organizations

SmartAsset: 5 professional organizations for financial advisors

1. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors was founded in 1983. And it is the leading association for fee-only financial advisors in the U.S. The organization’s mission revolves around three central values and members are expected to be:

  • Beacons for independent, objective financial advice
  • Champions of financial services delivered in the public interest
  • Standard bearers for the financial planning profession

Membership is open to students, academics, and individuals who are seeking employment with a financial planning firm and actively practicing fee-only financial professionals.

2. The Financial Planning Association

The Financial Planning Association is a top membership association for certified financial planners (CFP). Aside from CFPs, membership is open to four other different groups, including:

  • Allied professionals who work in the financial planning or financial services industry
  • Aspiring certified financial planners
  • Academics
  • Retired certified financial planners

In terms of benefits, members enjoy access to the FPA job board and the FPA marketplace, where they can purchase products and services necessary to run their business at a discount. Members can also take advantage of insurance programs to protect their businesses and employees and get support services.

3. National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is dedicated to advocating for a positive legislative and regulatory environment within the financial services industry. The organization offers services to help members enhance their business and professional skills while upholding the highest ethical standards in their practice.

Individuals can join NAIFA as an associate or a producer. Producers also have the ability to hold leadership roles in NAIFA while associate members do not. Membership benefits include specialized training, education programs and events which are all designed to help financial professionals further the organization’s mission.

NAIFA members can take an active role in the organization by volunteering to serve on committees or participating in leadership development training.

4. Society of Financial Service Professionals

The Society of Financial Service Professionals brings together financial professionals from different backgrounds to offer opportunities for networking and expanding their education. Membership in the society is open to professionals who hold designations like CFPs, chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified public accountants (CPAs) and more.

Members can enjoy special discounts and access to educational resources. The main highlight, however, is the chance to network with other financial professionals across different disciplines.

5. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

The CFP Board sets the standards for and administers the certified financial planner exam. It’s important to know this isn’t a membership organization. But it’s still worth mentioning as one of the best resources for financial advisors.

When you earn your CFP certification, you can gain access to numerous resources that can help you on your career path. For example, you can get access to industry news and updates, tips on marketing your advisory business and review job opportunities on the CFP job board.

Bottom Line

SmartAsset: 5 professional organizations for financial advisors

Joining financial advisor professional organizations could help you to broaden your horizons. This is especially true if you’re able to make new connections, gain new knowledge or pursue different job opportunities. Comparing the benefits each organization offers can help you narrow down which ones you might consider joining.

Tips for Growing Your Business

  • Outsource your marketing. SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.
  • Use your time and resources wisely. If you’re limited as to how much time and money you can invest in things like marketing your business, consider how you can do it more cost-effectively.
  • Increase your digital footprint. People who need financial advice are increasingly looking for it online. If you haven’t searched for yourself, take time to do so and see what comes up. Consider how you can improve your branding. And make yourself more visible in search to help drive more traffic your way.

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