General Questions about XYPN and Membership
How can I get an in-depth view of the XY Planning Network?
We have a 30-minute introductory video that gives an in-depth look at the XY Planning Network, member benefits, costs to join, etc.
I don’t have a firm yet – can I join XY Planning Network?
Absolutely! We will help you set up your firm, register it with your provincial regulator, and help launch, market, and grow your business.
What level of compliance support is provided to members?
We provide full compliance support to all of our registered members. For members without a firm, we will walk you through the registration process. All members receive access to the compliance section of our members-only forums which allows you to interact with our compliance team. Each year, we will help you update your ADV and file the annual update which is required for all firms.
What is the process for joining XY Planning Network?
Step 1: Fill out Membership Application. This will take 5-10 minutes. You will be redirected to a page to pay a $100 application fee. The application fee will be credited back to you upon being accepted.
Step 2: XYPN staff will review and process your application within 24-48 hours.
Step 3: You will receive an e-mail with your acceptance (or denial). This e-mail contains a link for you to sign a Fiduciary Oath, which you will need to sign before processing you as a new member can continue.
Step 4: After signing the Fiduciary Oath, you will receive an e-mail with access to the private members-only forum, and information for how to register for New Member Orientation with an XYPN staff member.
I currently work for another firm. Can I join but keep my membership status private?
Absolutely! When you fill out the Membership Application, you will have the option to have your membership listed as private. This can be changed at any time once you are ready for your membership to be made public.
Do I need the CFP® to become a member of the XY Planning Network?
No, you do not! We are supportive of the CFP® designation, and view it as a certification that all financial planners should obtain. However, the only member benefit tied to having the CFP® is the ability to be listed on our Find A Planner Portal.
When do I get access to the various member benefits?
You will get access to the technology suite, marketing benefits, compliance, E&O insurance policy, the members-only forums, and more immediately upon being accepted into XYPN.
Do members have to be fee-only to join XY Planning Network?
Yes, you must be fee-only.
How do you define fee-only?
Fee-only means that you don’t sell products to or make commissions from your clients. You have a fee and you stick to it! It is essential a test of Who pays you.
The US CPF Board defines “Fee-only.” A certificant may describe his or her practice as “fee-only” if, and only if, all of the certificant’s compensation from all of his or her client work comes exclusively from the clients in the form of fixed, flat, hourly, percentage or performance-based fees.
Financial planners can be broadly divided into two categories: 1) those who are compensated with commissions from recommending specific investments to clients, and 2) those compensated with a fee for providing objective investment advice.
Our members must be paid in fees rather than commissions, because a planner who is paid in commissions has an incentive to recommend the investments that he or she receives the highest commissions for, rather than the investments that are best for the client. By charging an hourly fee or a fee based on a percentage of the client’s assets under management, the planner’s incentives are aligned with the client’s incentives.
Do I need to wait until I have the CFP to join?
No! In fact, we recommend that those working through the CFP® curriculum join XY Planning Network before they plan on launching. Those who don’t have their CFP® or RFP and choose not to get the designation, will enjoy all member benefits of XYPN except a listing on our Find A Planner Portal.
What is required to receive full business start up support?
We require a 12-month membership agreement. That’s it!
I don’t plan to use all of the technology on your platform. Can I get a discount?
No. Our technology platform is included in membership and will not be discounted based on use.
What about referral fees received from Portfolio Managers?
Fees received from another organization for referring your client to them violates the concept of Fee-Only.
However, in Canada most agreements with Portfolio Managers are characterized by the regulator as referral agreements, when many are indeed something else. Individual agreements must therefore be reviewed.
Often the standard practice of receiving a set amount from the Portfolio Manager for each client referred to them, would generally fail the test of fees paid only by the client.
Starting Your Own Financial Planning Firm
How much does it cost to start a firm?
It certainly depends on your unique situation, but we find most members spend $4,300 upfront and $850/month in their first year. This includes XYPN membership! Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you with first year projections.
How long does it take to get a firm up and running?
It generally takes 10-12 weeks from the date you join XYPN to the date your firm is officially launched. This timeline will depend on how much time you have to dedicate to the compliance process, building your website, etc.
How many clients should I expect to bring on in my first 1-3 years?
This will certainly depend on your hustle, but most of our newer firms bring on 18-24 clients/year for their first couple of years.
Should I have a side income when starting my firm?
One of the greatest predictors of success for your new firm is your ability to avoid taking a salary for 18-24 months. Having a partner with a stable income or adequate savings are great safety nets. Another option is to find a side job (or “side hustle”) so you have enough income to cover your personal expenses, and therefore avoid taking a salary early on. Not only does this take away the stress of paying your bills, but it will also give you something to focus on besides your business which can be really helpful.
I currently work for another firm. When do I have to tell them I’m leaving?
You can join XYPN and work with our compliance experts to prepare all of your compliance documents. You can be working on your website, defining your service model, and more — all while working for another firm. However, when you send your compliance documents to the state, your firm will generally be sent a notification that you are attempting to register with another firm. Because of this automatic notification, you will want to have a conversation with your firm before sending your paperwork to the regulators.
What support do you provide new firm owners?
In addition to all of the resources we provide, including access to current members through the forums, you will placed into a Launchers Study Group. We will connect you with 8-12 planners planning to launch around the same time, and you can meet weekly to discuss your progress. This group will serve as your sounding board and cheerleader, while keeping you on track with your business launch.
Joining XYPN with an Existing Financial Planning Firm
Does membership make sense for larger firms?
We certainly think so! The vast majority of the member benefits prove very useful to larger firms:
- Access to Fee-Only coaches that are experts in working with next-generation service models,
- Marketing – Access to marketing education, resources, and a listing on our Find A Planner profile, all benefit your firm as you look to grow your base of clients.
- CIFPs Membership – Members receive a paid membership to CIFPs. If you have multiple planners in your firm that are members of CIFPs, we will simply pay your membership fee.
- Technology – We provide a suite of technology that is best-in-class for serving next generation clients, in addition to discounts on many of the most popular technology programs available.
- Community – All XYPN members can join the members-only forum, which will give you exclusive access to the only community of fee-only planners dedicated to working with fee-only clients.
Do you have a membership option for firms with multiple planners that all want to join XYPN?
Planners in a firm that has already joined XYPN will receive a discounted membership fee of $450/month (a $50 discount).
We are a large firm with multiple advisors. Do you have a corporate membership?
What Are the Next Steps?
There are a couple of ways that you can learn more about the XY Planning Network:
- Member Perspective Calls: Each month, we host a free call with two members of the XY Planning Network. You can call in and ask them any questions that you have about membership in the XY Planning Network, what it means to start a business, or any other questions that you have!
- Schedule an Intro Call: Follow the link to schedule a call with co-founder Gordon Stockman to learn more about how XY Planning Network can help you start, run, and grow your financial planning firm.