Evolve or Dissolve: Rethinking What It Means To Be A Financial Planner with Cary List [Ep34]

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Welcome to episode 34 of The Innovating Advice Show.

I’m joined by Cary List, president and CEO of FP Canada, the national professional body leading the advancement of professional financial planning in Canada.

In this episode, we discuss how financial planning is evolving — echoing many of the themes on this show — and Cary shares how FP Canada, which administers CFP certification in Canada, has revamped their entire professional curriculum to align with the changing skills needed by financial planners.

We also discuss how technology and emphasizing the human element of financial planning creates opportunities to provide holistic human-focused financial planning for people with everyday needs, not just the wealthy.


Guest Bio

Cary List has led FP Canada and its predecessor, the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), since 2006. As President & CEO, Cary has worked to advance professional financial planning in Canada, to ensure that CFP certification is recognized as the standard for financial planning, and to see financial planning recognized in law as a distinct profession.

After completing his undergraduate degree in mathematics, accounting, computer science and statistics from the University of Waterloo, Cary started as a chartered accountant. He moved to financial planning in the mid-1990s. For 10 years, he developed financial planning practices and business education programs in the Greater Toronto Area.

Cary earned his CFP designation in 1997 and began volunteering for FP Canada’s predecessor organization (FPSC) in 1998, joining the organization’s inaugural Panel of Examiners. Cary joined the FPSC staff in 2002 as the organization’s Vice President of Standards. He became COO in 2004 and President & CEO in 2006.


00:32 – Introducing Cary List

02:20 – Rebranding into FP Canada

03:55 – What the future may hold in a world that is changing dramatically

04:25 – The first key element: the disruption of technology

05:00 – The second key element: the pillars that are breaking down around us

06:15 – Has the caliber of professional education kept up?

07:30 – The impact of technology on financial planning

09:00 – The problem with fintech firms

11:00 – Focusing on the human side of the profession

11:20 – Being a professional financial advisor in this new order

12:50 – Embracing technology

16:35 – What you truly need to become a successful professional

17:00 – Being a financial life coach

17:40 – Being an expert

19:05 – Revamping the curriculum

20:10 – Behavioural economics

21:00 – The importance of practicing empathy

23:06 – Finding support for the new program

25:40 – Creating curriculum modules

26:30 – Getting the program to a broader group

28:15 – Bridging the generational gap

31:50 – The new generation of financial planners

34:05 – Abandoning the notion of the six-step financial planning process

34:37 – Why lengthy reports are a thing of the past

35:25 – Financial planning is for everybody

39:15 – The pilot program

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