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NAPFA Nation Episode #08: “Embracing Fiduciary Excellence: 40th Anniversary Reflections from NAPFA's First President” with Gary Pittsford
Date: August 8, 2023

In episode #8 of NAPFA Nation, one of the founding members and first president of NAPFA, Gary Pittsford, talks with podcast host Marie Swift about his involvement with NAPFA over the past 40 years. He highlights the growth and influence of NAPFA in promoting fee-only financial advice and attracting clients who prefer a fiduciary standard. Pittsford also mentions the significant changes in technology and business models within the industry, and shares his transition from Castle Wealth Advisors, where he served as president and CEO for over 40 years, to assume the role of Chief Valuation Officer at Creative Planning, one of the largest industry leading Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) in the country. Pittsford is glad to be a part of NAPFA’s 40th anniversary celebration and throughout the episode reflects on the growth and evolution of the financial planning profession.

Pittsford shares:

  • How the concept of fee-only financial advising has evolved over the past 40 years
  • Challenges faced in the early stages of NAPFA’s formation
  • Benefits of working with a fiduciary and how that mitigates conflicts of interest
  • Career path ideas for those interested in the financial planning profession
  • Heartfelt thanks for all of the NAPFA pioneers and those who continue to carry the torch today


Key points: Consumers are, more and more, seeking independent financial advice from advisors who prioritize their needs rather than selling products. Pittsford provides tips for finding fee-only fiduciary advisors through organizations like NAPFA and emphasizes the importance of reducing expenses and risk for older individuals. Aspiring advisors are encouraged to join fee-only firms and consider this profession due to the ever-increasing demand for commission-free financial planning and investment services. He emphasizes how meaningful the work can be and the importance in helping clients with their finances. The financial planning profession is becoming more inclusive and diverse, with NAPFA leading the way in their diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Podcast Guest
Garry Pittsford

Gary Pittsford serves as Chief Valuation Officer at Creative Planning – one of the largest fee-only wealth management firms in the nation. Prior to joining Creative Planning, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of an independent advisory firm that provided traditional wealth management and investment management services as well as business valuation services.

He was one of the founding members and the first president of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). In addition, Gary has also served in leadership roles for the National Foundation for Financial Planning and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). His articles have been featured in more than 30 publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, and The New York Times.

Availability: On-Demand
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
No Credit Offered
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