In order for the Financial Planning Association of Canada™ to meet its stated mission and vision, we have outlined what we believe the optimal state of the Financial Planning profession should look like on multiple fronts. FPAC works with governments, regulators, certifying bodies, and education providers to make these objectives a reality. The following is a short summary of our Policy Objectives, which we hope to achieve over a period of years. For more details, please review our charter.
The legal requirement that the delivery of financial planning services and delivery of personal financial advice be limited to those who hold pre-defined financial planning qualifications.
Adoption of a Fiduciary Standard
A fiduciary standard should be implemented and enforced, either through self-regulation or by law.
- Completion of a relevant undergraduate degree sufficient to challenge a certifying examination
- Certification as a CFP, RFP, or Pl Fin
- A Mandatory apprenticeship period.
- Annual Continuing Education.
- An Annual Ethics Attestation.
Career Path Development
The development of clear career paths and criteria for financial planners including:
- Apprentice Financial Planner.
- Financial Planner.
- Senior Financial Planner.
- Title standardization.
- Implementation of a national registry of Financial Planners.
- Full disclosure of all compensation and expenses in dollars and percentages.
- Standardization of Compensation Structure and Service Offering Terminology.
A regulatory ban on:
- All forms of embedded compensation.
- All forms of “soft-dollar” compensation.
- Incentives to clients (trustee fee and transaction waivers) for the use of proprietary products and programs unless said benefits are offered to all clients.
- Explicit or implied incentives payable to planners to sell proprietary products.
- New Issue placement compensation.
- Manufacturers paying any expenses, providing gifts, trips or any other form of “perk” to advisors.
- Multi-level marketing.
Mandatory standardized fee schedules by advisor practice.
Insurance compensation reform:
- The creation of fully disclosed flexible compensation that permits level, adjustable, and no compensation policies.
- The end of lifetime vesting.
Career Track Development
To attract the best and the brightest to financial planning, firms must do a better job of developing career tracks and providing apprenticeship programs.
Empirical Evidence Requirement
The professionalization of financial planning requires that we move beyond “rules of thumb” and mental shortcuts toward evidence-based decision-making. All recommendations made to clients are supported by empirical evidence that is specific to the client’s situation, including:
- Financial recommendations based on planning work completed.
- Investment recommendations based on academically verified approaches risk profiling tools, combined with additional information provided by the client.
- Insurance needs analyses.
Body of Knowledge Development
All industry associations should support and undertake objective academic research to create data-driven, scientifically tested support for planning tactics.
Finance Industry Ecosystem Development
Ongoing engagement with governments, regulators, service providers, tech startups and academia should take place in order to build the support structures required in order to implement current and future policy objectives.
A national self-regulating organization that has jurisdiction over all financial planners should be developed.