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In Advocacy, Everyone Wins​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Letter from 2015 FPA President Edward W. Gjertsen II, CFP®

"You are the first practitioners to meet with us this year and share a different persp​e​cti​ve on financial policy issues. Good to see you again."​​​​​

That was a common statement we heard from federal policymakers and their leg​islative staffers during FPA Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on June 24. The event, which brought together 67 members representing 28 chapters in 20 states, was a testament to the power of FPA's advocacy work and the influence our collective voice has on policy issues impacting financial planners and the profession.

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O​​ver the past two years, FPA has focused on building an advocacy engine at the federal and state levels based on the values and standards that the CFP® marks represent.  I am struck by the progress we have made and​ the passion with which our members represent their profession. When we were on The Hill together, the collective energy was palpable and we conveyed our messages with a single, strong voice. While some members arrived to engage in the advocacy effort for their first time, a vast majority of them came to Washington with hands-on experience​
​because they participated last year or because of their advocacy work in their state capitals the last two springs.​

From February through June, 15 state advocacy days were held from California to Massachusetts, Minnesota to Alabama, and Illinois to Pennsylvania. Each was led by a dedicated group of members within the chapters who, with FPA Director of Advocacy Karen Nystrom, arranged meetings with state policymakers to educate them on FPA, the profession, and the important role financial planners play in the lives of their clients. Results of these state advocacy days have been positive beyond our expectations. We now have FPA members participating in state financial advisory committees and enhanced pro bono partnerships with legislators. And we have influenced potential state legislation, including promoting stronger fiduciary disclosure draft legislation and defeating measures that would tax financial advice services.

When advocacy works, everyone wins. FPA Chapters and FPA State Councils are developing advocacy programs that assert their collective influence at the state level. FPA is firmly placing its stake in the ground as an advocacy force nationally. Policymakers and lawmakers are being educated about our profession so they can better represent the needs of the financial planning community.

I am energized by all that we can do through our advocacy efforts and the lasting impact we can have. But don't just take my word for it. Check out the brief video above of some members who participated in D.C. FPA Advocacy Day. They build a compelling case for why all members should get involved and make a difference – nationally or through their chapters.

As John Gugle, CFP®, an FPA member in Charlotte, N.C., says in the video, "If people really care about financial planning and want to see it flourish, then all members need to get involved."

I couldn't agree more.

Warm regards,​​

Edward W. Gjertsen II, CFP®

2015 FPA President​

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