Members of the Financial Planning Association discussed how financial advisors can serve the middle market with a member of President Obama’s economic team Monday as part of the first FPA Advocacy Day.

The Monday meeting was preliminary to FPA members meeting with members of Congress on Tuesday to raise awareness of FPA and the financial planning industry. Sixty-five FPA members from 21 states will take part in the events.

Members met with John Friedman, assistant to the president on economic policy, who asked about the challenges financial planners face in providing services to middle-class Americans.

The financial planning business model is evolving, according to Michael Branham, FPA chairman. Starting as a commission-based industry, it has changed to fees based on assets under management. But it is continuing to evolve with some adopting hourly or monthly fees that better serve the middle class that is in need of financial planning advice rather than investment advice, Branham says.

Other issues that will be raised include the FPA support for user fees to provide adequate funds for the SEC to properly regulate advisors.

Advocacy Day also serves as a training ground for the FPA members who can take advocacy techniques back to their state chapters, says Janet Stanzak, FPA president. The FPA, which represents 23,000 members, wants to be ready to react when issues affecting financial planners are raised both at the state and federal levels.

“We want to be a resource for members of Congress when it comes to issues involving financial services,” Branham says.