Keeping members up to date with changes that affect their profession is a large part of what the Mississippi Chapter of the Financial Planning Association does. Members and other professionals gathered recently to earn four hours of continuing education credits as they learned how changes in the regulatory landscape will affect them. More quarterly forums are being planned for the future.
“Financial planners and advisors of all types – whether they’re registered investment advisers, insurance professionals or investment brokers – are all facing regulatory changes that affect the way they conduct business,” chapter president David Russell said. “The term ‘fiduciary’ used to only apply to certain individuals in the advice business, however the term is now being applied to include a much broader range of activities and touches everyone who holds themselves out as an adviser.”
Legal, compliance and regulatory professionals held panel discussions about various fiduciary requirements as they apply to estate planning lawyers, financial planning, retirement planning advisers and other professionals.
Speakers at the forum included Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann; attorneys Joshua Henry and Trey Dellinger from Wells, Marble & Hurst; John Hill, CPA and managing partner of Wealth Partners; Steven Sharp, senior vice president of investments with Wells Fargo Advisors; and, Scott Reed, CEO of Hardy Reed Advisors in Tupelo.
The Financial Planning Association is the largest membership organization for certified financial planning professionals in the country and also includes members who support the financial planning process. Educators, financial services professionals and students are members of the association. Chartered in 1988, the Mississippi chapter of the Financial Planning Association has more than 100 members throughout the state.
Russell, who is senior vice president/trust officer with Pinnacle Trust in Madison, says FPA is compensation neutral and represents those from diverse backgrounds and business models. “Working in alliance with academic leaders, legislative and regulatory bodies, financial services firms and consumer interest organizations, FPA helps connect all in its membership through a variety of unique and compelling ways,” he said. “Members adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve.”
The Mississippi chapter is unique among other state chapters in that it has a large percentage of allied professional members such as attorneys and CPAs.
“We have always been an inclusive chapter, realizing that clients are best served by a team of advisors who are well educated and credentialed and who are committed to high ethical standards,” Russell said. “Even though FPA publically supports the CFP mark as a financial planner standard, there are many other professionals with other designations who provide equal value to the client relationship.”
He added that the quarterly forums provide valuable networking opportunities in addition to education.
Russell also invites the public and professionals to learn more about the FPA Mississippi chapter by visiting its website at www.msfpa.org.
The site provides consumer and advisor information. “You can access resources to help achieve your financial goals or search for a qualified financial planner in your area,” he said.