NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor
Opportunity to network with like-minded professionals
Marketing support via NAPFA’s Media Request and Public Relations Outreach programs
Access to the Members portion of the web site - including the popular Discussion Forum and Resource Center where members share ideas and solutions
Use of the “NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor” logo to prove you meet the highest standards in the financial planning profession
Participation in NAPFA's (Find An Advisor) Consumer Referral System
Reduced registration fees for NAPFA conferences and Cutting Edge Webinars
Use of the Fee-Only certification mark
Subscription to The NAPFA Advisor and What’s New at NAPFA
Membership certificate suitable for framing
You must agree to follow the NAPFA Fiduciary Oath.
Advice across Disciplines
NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors are broadly trained to bring together and apply the separate disciplines comprising personal finance—income tax, financial position and cash flow, retirement preparation, estate planning, investments, and risk management. NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors and their associated firms help clients by offering a full range of coordinated advice on issues surrounding a client’s personal financial situation—not limiting their advice to marketable financial assets alone.
Bachelor’s degree, in any discipline from an accredited institution.
Specialized Education Requirement
The applicant is required to have a CFP® certification.
This top level of membership requires a broad-based advanced education in financial planning and three years of comprehensive planning experience. Applicants for NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor status must demonstrate the ability to take a comprehensive approach to financial planning by either submitting a sample comprehensive financial plan or participating in a peer review dialogue with a third party Plan/Peer Reviewer.
If you choose to submit a comprehensive financial plan, you may submit your own work product, or work you supervised. Options for submission are:
1. Case submission (including case notes, recommendations, and any additional documents related to the work performed for a client over a period of time).
2. Traditional financial plan submission.
3. Financial Plan based on a fact pattern provided by NAPFA.
Continuing Education Requirement is two-fold @ 60 hours total
Thirty-two (32) core hours include a minimum of five credit hours in each of the following core areas: Insurance & Risk Management, Investments, Income Tax Planning, Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, and Communications; and a minimum of 2 hours in Ethics of Financial Planning.
The 28 additional hours may be earned in either seven elective or five core areas.
An individual must have had at least 36 months of experience being primarily engaged in the provision of comprehensive financial planning services, which experience must have been attained within the past 60 months and must include the most recent 12 months.
Compensation by Fee Only:
NAPFA’s definition of a Fee-Only Financial Planner— NAPFA defines a Fee-Only financial advisor as one who is compensated solely by the client with neither the advisor nor any related party receiving compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product. Neither Members nor Affiliates may receive commissions, rebates, awards, finder’s fees, bonuses or other forms of compensation from others as a result of a client’s implementation of the individual’s planning recommendations. "Fee-offset" arrangements, 12b-1 fees, insurance rebates or renewals and wrap fee arrangements that are transaction based are examples of compensation arrangements that do not meet the NAPFA definition of Fee-Only practice. If you have questions about specific compensation arrangements, please contact the NAPFA Membership Manager.
Prohibition of certain ownership interests and employment relationships—Neither a member nor an affiliate may own more than a 2% interest in, or be employed by, a financial services industry firm that receives transaction based compensation. A related party to a member or an affiliate may not own more than a 2% interest in a financial services industry firm that receives transaction based compensation as prohibited by NAPFA; and to whom the member or affiliate makes referrals or otherwise directs business.
If you have questions about prohibited relationships please contact the NAPFA Membership Manager.
Compliance with NAPFA standards and industry regulations -
Members and Affiliates
must abide by the NAPFA Code of Ethics, Standards of Membership and Affiliation, Bylaws, resolutions adopted by the Board and all rules set forth in the NAPFA Policies and Procedures Manual.
agree to comply with all federal and state statutes, rules, regulations, administrative and judicial rulings, and other authorities applicable to the provision of financial planning or advisory related services.
agree that they will make all appropriate filings, amendments and renewals as appropriate to required filings with regulatory authorities. This shall include, but is not limited to, Form ADV. As a condition of NAPFA membership, any and all Form ADV filings may be reviewed by the Membership Task Force.
Prompt notification of certain disciplinary and legal events—
Members and Affiliates have a continuing obligation to inform the NAPFA National Office, in a prompt manner and in writing, of significant disciplinary and legal events. These events include, but are not limited to, the following:
any disciplinary inquiry or proceeding initiated by any federal, state or local civil or criminal authority or regulatory body, including any inquiry or proceeding relating to the firm with which the individual is associated;
any disciplinary inquiry or proceeding initiated by a credentialing or membership organization or authority to which the individual is subject, e.g., Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, State Board of Public Accountancy;
any bankruptcy, receivership, or other type of assignment or arrangement for the benefit or protection of creditors of the individual or any entity in which the individual holds an interest of 5% or more.
Annual Dues: $625
One time non-refundable processing fee: $150 ($75 if there is at least one NAPFA member in the firm)
NAPFA reserves the right to decline membership if the applicant has failed to comply with statutes or regulations governing the profession, or has been unsuccessful in the defense of civil claims arising from professional services, unless such violations or claims are not material.
Contact NAPFA’s Membership Manager for more information.