The Financial Planning Association thinks that video might be the next frontier of the financial advice business. Led by association spokesman Brad White, a former television news correspondent with CNN, the FPA in June launched its own channel on the popular YouTube video site that aims to broaden the group's message.

   "Trade groups like FPA think in terms of publications," White says. "YouTube shouldn't replace textual messages, but it can reach a new generation of financial planners or those studying to be financial planners who don't go to traditional news sources."

   YouTube's fare ranges from the sublime (or at least fairly interesting) to the ridiculous, and how videos on asset allocation and tax-loss selling would play remains to be seen. But while financial topics don't seem like fodder for riveting video, YouTube is no stranger to the financial genre. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, for example, established its own channel in April 2007. It's current playlist contains seven well-crafted CPA profile videos.

   A recent search of financial-related videos found a variety of offerings ranging from dry presentations on fair value accounting and assurance services to strange "accounting comedy" schtick by someone with the handle of Saint Ram Bone.

   And an American Business Review video describing what a certified financial planner is and how to chose one was uploaded to YouTube in 2006. One of the viewer comments on that video says, " I want to be a financial planner.. i just dont [sic] know where to start. Should i goto [sic] a university or will a 2 year college do?"

   The FPA hopes its video messages will spread the good word about financial planning. "We're trying to get more traction for the videos we're making here at FPA that we've burnt to DVDs and sent around," says White, who worked on CNN's investigative unit during the 1980s and later was the news network's Central European correspondent from Frankfurt when the Berlin Wall fell. He later ran his own documentary production company for about 10 years.

   White's 16-year-old son, Skye, suggested putting FPA videos on YouTube, and the more he looked into it the more he liked the idea. His son is into computer graphics, and over a weekend in mid June they developed the FPA channel and uploaded it on YouTube. The playlist for the channel, FPATelevision (, currently consists of a handful of videos--two are in-house productions on FPA's pro bono and government relations efforts; the other three are humorous FPA television ads from Australia.

   "The idea is that we're doing great projects on issues to rally around in the areas of pro bono and advocacies," says Marv Tuttle, FPA's executive director. "It's a great way to show the public we're doing good things."

   From August 5 through September 28, FPATelevision is running a contest for the best video on "How not to do financial planning." It's open to all FPA members or video production teams that include at least one FPA member. The winner gets one free registrations to FPA's national conference in Boston in October, along with one LCD or high-definition TV.