Financial Planners Kept Busy In A Bad Economy
LANSING — Despite the downward spiral that swirled the stock market and the dizzying monetary losses that investors are trying to recover from, certified financial planners haven’t had to stand in the unemployment line.
In fact, the profession seems as strong as ever, even in a battered and bruised economy.
“Our local chapter has not noticed any kind of reduction of people leaving the field,” said Fernando Ortiz, public relations director for the Michigan chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Ortiz also teaches finance at Oakland University and he pointed out that enrollment in the field at his school has been good.
“I have a very full class of people who are getting in the financial services industry, as well as those who are already in the industry that are getting advanced designations,” said Ortiz.
“I think that, perhaps, some people who were considering getting into the field might be reconsidering doing that, just because sometimes getting into a new industry that is based on sales can be a little daunting in a slower economy,” he added.
Heather Almand, public relations manager for the national FPA, has a sense that planners are busier now than they were just a few years ago, as a few recent events have created more demand for their services.
“I travel around the country and talk to our members face-to-face, so this is no hard- and-fast statistic, just anecdotally, I have heard that more folks have a heightened awareness about financial planning,” said Almand.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the events of Sept. 11th. I also think that a lot of it has to do with everything that has happened this year with Enron,” she added.
The FPA is the membership organization for the financial planning community. It was created when the Institute of Certified Financial Planners and the International Association for Financial Planning merged two years ago.
The state chapter was formed at the same time when the Southeastern Michigan Chapter of the IAFP and the Michigan Society of ICFP merged in January 2000.
The FPA has divisions for financial planners, brokers and dealers, corporations and allied professionals, such as accountants, bankers, stockbrokers and money managers.
The group has 28,000 members, 100 chapters across the country, and offices in Atlanta, Denver and Washington, D.C.
“Based on the statistics that we’ve seen in our organization that has over 700 members here in Michigan, as well as what I have seen from my additional activities,” said Ortiz, “I haven’t seen a lot of people leaving the financial services industry.”