DEFINITION of 'Financial Planning Association'

A U.S.-based professional organization formed in the year 2000 that helps members of the public find an ethical, objective, client-focused financial planner. The FPA also educates the public through seminars, literature and audiocasts about the importance of financial planning and the benefits of using a professional financial planner.

BREAKING DOWN 'Financial Planning Association'

The Institute of Certified Financial Planners and the International Association for Financial Planning joined together in 2000 to create the FPA. FPA members must follow the organization’s code of ethics, which requires financial planners to provide their services with integrity, objectivity, competence, confidentiality, fairness, professionalism and diligence. Members must be honest and unbiased with their clients, and they must provide financial advice that is in the client’s, not the advisor’s, best interest. Additionally, they must not provide advice in areas where they are not competent, and they must agree to continually expand their professional expertise. FPA members must provide impartial and thorough advice and disclose to clients any potential conflicts of interest. They cannot disclose a client’s information without permission, and they must always behave in a way that reflects highly on the financial planning profession.

The FPA offers a free online search tool to help individuals find an ethical financial planner. The FPA has regional chapters that facilitate personal interaction among financial planners, and student chapters at universities connect future financial planners with ones already working in the field.

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