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Guide to Careers in Financial Planning


The Guide to Careers in Financial Planning provides students, recent graduates and career changers with information on starting and sustaining successful financial planning careers.

Developed by the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, the guide introduces readers to the financial planning profession and:

  1. Identifies different entry points and typical career tracks.
  2. Explores the types of companies that employ financial planners, from large to small.
  3. Highlights the personal and professional benefits of a career in financial planning, and the benefits of obtaining CFP® certification.
  4. Provides details on where to find financial planning careers, including questions to ask in a job interview.

The guide is based on research the Center commissioned from a team of academic scholars and industry experts. The research captured the workforce development practices of a broad variety of financial services companies as they recruit, train and develop the next generation of financial planning professionals. It included interviews with 77 company executives, talent recruiters and financial planners, representing 42 companies across the financial planning profession.

The Center is thankful to BNY Mellon Pershing, the guide’s Signature Sponsor, and The Ensemble Practice for their support of the guide’s development, Supporting Sponsors Merrill Lynch and Facet Wealth, as well as Center’s Founding Sponsors Northwestern Mutual, Envestnet and Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services.

Guide To Careers In Financial Planning



Alanna Rumler, CFP®, ChFC®
Financial Advisor
Northwestern Mutual
Davenport, IA

Q. What do you love the most about your career in this particular business model?

It gives me the flexibility to really design my life. I can live the life I want and still be a part of a reputable company, Northwestern Mutual, which has great products that I believe in and that I’m confident putting in place and in representing. There’s enough structure to be able to plug in, but I can still make my own decisions. Really, I’m in charge of who I meet with: the clients I want to empower. I have a passion for working with women and meeting with people who may not traditionally be at the table. I wanted to go and attract those clients who may be underserved. It’s also a rare opportunity when you don’t need capital to start your own practice, so I was able to jump into the professional world as a business owner. I’ve tried to make the most of owning my own business and using the flexibility to serve my clients and live the life I want.

Q. What part of your job are you most proud of?

I am proud to be a female financial planner in an industry where there aren’t a lot of us (yet!). I see myself as a trailblazer for women in this career and hope to show them what’s possible. I’m also proud of seeing the results from the tangible service of being with clients, partnering with them, and seeing all that they accomplished with the use of a comprehensive financial plan. It’s remarkable being able to tell someone, “You can retire.” These are huge life moments which I get to be there for, for so many people, in the highs and lows of life.

Q. What elements of the job make it a satisfying career?

My goal is to help my clients live their best life. If I can make that happen on the back end and tell them, “you can do it, you can go on that vacation, you can buy that house, you can send your kids to college,” that’s amazing. It’s super satisfying to see people hit their goals. And in reality, they’re doing the work, I’m just guiding them. Everyone is on a different journey, and if I can just help them get there faster, to their ideal life, that’s my goal.


Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries, including Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC), Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, and member of FINRA ( and SIPC (, and Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC), a federal savings bank. NM and its subsidiaries are in Milwaukee, WI.

Alanna Rumler is an Insurance Agent of NM and NLTC. Investment brokerage services provided as a Registered Representative of NMIS. Investment advisory services provided as an Advisor of NMWMC.