History of NAPFA

Since 1983, consumers across the country have looked to NAPFA for access to financial professionals who meet the highest membership and practice standards for professional competence, client-focused financial planning, and Fee-Only compensation.

It all began at a Society of Independent Financial Advisors meeting in 1982 in Atlanta. These independent-minded advisors did not yet have a name for what they were doing, but they knew that accepting commissions for the sales of financial products was putting them in direct conflict with the best interests of their clients. How could they serve the client first, yet have their compensation vary by what they sold to the client?

These planners began to exchange ideas about how to provide high-quality, long-term financial planning and access to a full range of investment and insurance products—but without the influence of commissions. Finally – and after much discussion – in February of 1983, NAPFA was born. The leaders of this new “Fee-Only” planning model organized a meeting in Atlanta. More than 125 people responded to their general invitation to anyone interested in starting a Fee-Only financial planning firm.

In the intervening three-plus decades, NAPFA has grown its membership to more than 4,400 NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors, NAPFA Associates, and Student and Academic Affiliates nationwide.

NAPFA holds two national conferences and four regional symposia each year, offers continuing education through multiple outlets, serves as a conduit for consumers seeking trusted Fee-Only advisors through the Find an Advisor platform, educates the public on the benefits of working with Fee-Only advisors, and works with the media to promote NAPFA as the go-to source for financial planning expertise. NAPFA also advocates for public policy important to the financial planning profession and consumers, as a whole, through its active participation in the Financial Planning Coalition.