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New CFP Board Guide Provides Career Path for Young Advisors

There are five roles on the career path to becoming a financial planner: analyst, associate advisor, service advisor, lead advisor and partner, according to the CFP Board.

There are more Certified Financial Planners over the age of 70 than under the age of 30. In its latest effort to improve the number of young financial planning professionals, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning has released a new guide to help firms bring younger advisors onboard and provide them with a career path.

“Financial Planning Career Paths: Building More Sustainable and Successful Businesses,” sponsored by BNY Mellon's Pershing, provides five rungs on the path to becoming a partner at a given firm, starting with the analyst role. An analyst then becomes an associate advisor, service advisor, lead advisor and, finally, partner.

“This guide is an essential step in advancing the transition of financial planning from an ‘industry’ that delivers products and services to a ‘profession’ that is an integral part of society through improving consumers’ lives,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board CEO.

The guide goes into detail about how to structure each role, including compensation, and communicate career path opportunities to young planners. It was developed with the help of 30 firms across the industry and includes several case studies from such firms as Vanguard, Carson Wealth and Merrill Lynch.

For example, Yeske Buie, a financial planning firm in Vienna, Va., and San Francisco, has a financial planning resident program. A concept borrowed from the medical profession, the resident position is a three-year program to help planners complete their CFP certification and gain real-world experience in the firm. The goal is for them to move on to other firms or start their own practices when the residency is over.

The CFP Board launched its Center for Financial Planning in 2015 as part of a larger effort to further the development of the advisory profession. The center aims to strengthen the financial planning profession by focusing on three key components: developing and sustaining diversity, boosting NextGen talent and providing an “academic home” for the industry.

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