Patrick Mahoney and Dennis Moore: Making Financial Planning a Profession

In July 2022, the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the leading membership organization for Certified Financial Planners™, announced it will lead the effort to achieve legal recognition of the term “financial planner” through title protection – the first step to moving from an industry to a profession.

“We believe financial planning is a noble, worthy profession and the title ‘financial planner’ deserves legal protection,” says FPA President Dennis Moore. “Right now, there is no set standard for someone calling themselves a financial planner.”

“Why can anyone call themselves a financial planner?” adds FPA CEO and Board Secretary Patrick Mahoney. “Title protection benefits consumers, financial planners and ultimately the profession. This is going to be the long-term strategic objective of the organization. We are also going to build those standards, those threshold elements of competency and ethics on an inclusive basis.”

In today’s episode, Patrick and Dennis speak with Jamie and Ana about why it’s taken so long to get to this point, what it means to be a financial planner, how gaining legal recognition for the term will help build trust with consumers, FPA’s latest initiatives to support members – including its partnership with Carson Coaching – how to get involved in the FPA and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Legal title recognition is a big step in getting financial planning recognized as a distinct, essential profession.
  • There is a gap in understanding among consumers about what a financial planner does because there is no protection around who can call themselves a financial planner. Title recognition is one step in the education process.
  • Financial planning is important for every household. This is the perfect time to think about the value of becoming a financial planner and to start your own financial planning practice.


“Financial health is just as important as physical and mental health. We want the consumer to know that when they engage with a financial planner, their financial well-being is the focus of that relationship. Title protection is the first step towards achieving that.” – Dennis Moore


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