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Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Birth of the Financial Planning Profession

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the birth of the financial planning profession. On December 12, 1969, 13 men met in Chicago’s O’Hare airport to work towards a vision that would transform the financial services industry. That meeting resulted in the creation of the International Association of Financial Planners (IAFP) and the College for Financial Planning. By 1973 the first group of 35 graduates of the CFP course were awarded the CFP designation.  

Prior to the creation of these organizations, and for many years afterward, the financial services industry was largely dominated by Wall Street brokerage firms like Merrill Lynch, EF Hutton and Smith Barney. These firms were driven by the velocity of money, compensated by commissions on trading.

The founders of financial planning believed financial independence involved much more than just managing investment portfolios. Many of these early CFPs formed independent advisory firms to serve consumers free from conflicts of interest.

I’m proud to have been a CFP for nearly 20 years. The foundation of knowledge the designation provides has helped me make a positive difference in the lives of the clients I serve. Thank you to the visionaries, the pioneers of financial planning who had an idea 50 years ago of a better way to help consumers achieve financial success.