Frank Paré believes financial planners can play a meaningful role in helping to turn around the country's financial crisis. "In our industry, we have so much knowledge in terms of being able to create wealth," says Paré, a planner in Oakland, Calif., "but we also have the skill set to help reduce poverty."

Paré's conviction on this subject has helped inspire groundbreaking partnerships between local and state governments and the FPA to offer free financial planning clinics around the country. Begun in 2006, 20 clinics were offered nationally last year. Now called Financial Planning Days, another 31 were scheduled this year and he hopes more will be offered in 2012. Paré is determined to see these numbers grow. In September, at its annual conference in San Diego, the FPA presented Pare with an award for his advocacy work.

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