In any profession, one of the most difficult aspects of a crisis is finding the balance between being present and focused on what is happening now and making decisions and driving progress with an eye toward the future. There has been a spike in financial planning activity as a result of Covid-19, and I believe the positive light shined on the many wonderful aspects of the profession has the potential to begin to change the perspective and perception of some consumers when it comes to the value, importance and even nature of financial planning.

We cannot waste this momentum by treating the pandemic as a moment in time, and simply going back to the way we did things before. Instead, we must work together to raise the profession permanently to a place of recognition and respect, and doing that will require a singular focus on the hallmark of financial planning: the planner/client relationship.

At the Financial Planning Association (FPA), we believe that to elevate the profession we must elevate the professional by helping financial planners pursue mastery in the practice and business of financial planning, and allowing them to build brighter futures for their clients and all who need their service.

If firms, associations, service providers and institutions work together to change the tomorrows of financial planners, helping them become the best planners they can be, they can do the important work of changing tomorrows for their clients. It’s a belief so ingrained in the culture of FPA that we have made “Change Tomorrows” the association’s new mantra, which was announced today as part of a complete organizational rebrand.

To me, “Change Tomorrows” is about so much more than brand positioning. It certainly better defines who we are today, and it’s also an aspirational purpose that articulates what we can and should be for the planning community. It builds a bridge between what a financial planner does, why they do it, and why FPA is there to support them on every step of their journey. It gets to the emotional core of why our members do what they do, which is to transform lives and make a genuine difference to the people they serve. That’s their passion, and they know the more they grow and evolve as planners, the better they can serve their clients.

That’s our focus―our promise―to all we touch as an association moving forward. The FPA brand is, and always has been, about people—the strength and value of many people working together toward common goals. For many of those outside of the profession, this crisis has revealed the dedication that financial planners put into their vocation, and the power of a community made up of people who are always ready and willing to put others’ needs above their own.

So many throughout our organization are already doing incredible work to change the tomorrows of others, and that’s why, even in the midst of Covid-19, this is the perfect time to unveil this message. Let’s celebrate a few of those outstanding planners.

• Kristin Pugh, CFP, of Atlanta believes in the power of pro bono financial planning and spends countless hours volunteering to lead the pro bono program for the FPA of Georgia and serve as chair of the FPA Pro Bono Advisory Committee. Take just a few minutes to talk with Kristin about her passion for pro bono planning and helping others and you quickly understand that she believes pro bono has the power to change the tomorrows of those in underserved communities.

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