The Changing Role of the Financial Planner Part 1: From Financial Analytics to Coaching and Life Planning

Dubofsky, David; Sussman, Lyle
August 2009
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2009, Vol. 22 Issue 8, p48
Academic Journal
This report is the first in a two-part study of the emerging role of coaching in financial planning. This first paper reports the results of our survey, which support the thesis that financial acumen is necessary for financial planning, but not sufficient Implications for training and professional development am extensively discussed in Part 2. An online survey was sent to 38,810 members of the Financial Planning Association and CFP Board mailing list participants, to determine the non- financial coaching and life planning activities of financial planners. The primary research question for this study concerns the changing role of the financial planner and the major implications of that change for the financial planner of today and tomorrow. A total of 1.374 planners completed the entire survey, though 2,006 completed some portion of the survey Approximately 25 percent of the respondents contact with clients is devoted to non-financial issues. About 74 percent of planners estimate that the amount of time they am spending on these issues has increased over the last five year. Most respondents believe that their non-financial coaching and counseling makes them better planners and helps their clients, but am less certain that these activities increase business. Planners help clients with critical issues that reflect human drama and frailties: religion and spirituality, death, family dysfunction, illness, divorce, and depression. Most respondents have at least some training to equip them to help clients with non-financial issues, but 40 percent have had no training or professional development in this area.


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