The IARFC® was founded in 1984 as an education and practice management exchange of highly qualified planners that met stringent education, licensing, ethics and continuing education requirements.

In 1993, a new Board of Directors rechartered the Association, clarifying the By-Laws and allowing for the expulsion of non-conforming members.  The revised group had less than 300 members, but over the next six years it codified admission procedures, added benefits and doubled membership.

In 1995, the IARFC participated in its first Cruise/Conference, and these events have been successful in providing continuing education in a very attractive venue.

In 1996, the website www.IARFC.org was launched. A new licensing exam was developed to accept applicants who met all other requirements without having completed a traditional academic course with rigid examinations.

In 1997, the Association held its first Financial Advisors Forum at Yale University, and followed it in 1998 at Stanford, where the attendees paid homage to the founder of the financial planning movement, Loren Dunton.

In 1998, the IARFC created the Registered Financial Associate (RFA®) designation for recent graduates of financial services curricula who had passed exams and prepared plans, but who were without experience.  

In late 1999, the Association offices were transferred to Ohio. Membership was then 648, and it has continued to grow exponentially as new services and courses are developed.

In 2000, the Association expanded its international focus, with courses being offered in Malaysia and Taiwan. By the end of 2007, there were classroom courses offered in twelve countries, including China and India.

In 2008, the Association began offering the Financial Planning Process™ course in the US, which is unique because it requires the submission of both modular and comprehensive plans in addition to coursework and exams.

In 2011, the Association continues to look to the future, building membership and quality discounts and programs for its members. The Business Owner Consulting Workshop developed for financial consultants.

In 2012, the Association once again launched the Financial Planning Competition for undergraduate students enrolled in a curriculum for personal financial planning.

In 2015, H. Stephen Bailey was contracted for the Chairman and CEO Position.

In 2016, the IARFC moved into its new headquarters to 1046 Summit Drive, Middletown, OH 45042. The Ethics Approved Program was initiated.

In 2017, the IARFC filed the MRFC® credential for accreditation with the NCCA. The IARFC Board announced the 2018 IARFC Biltmore Conference. The National Financial Plan Competition was held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC.

In 2018, the IARFC receives NCCA accreditation of its MRFC program. A national conference was held at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC which included the National Financial Plan Competition. The Ambassador Award Program was established.

In 2019, the IARFC purchased and moved into office facilities at 146 North Breiel Boulevard in Middletown, OH. A revised By-Laws was voted in by the Board of Directors establishing a Board of Trustees, defining Chapter Boards, and introducing the concept of regions to increase membership growth. A national conference was held at the Gaylord Resort and Conference Center in Nashville, TN which included the National Financial Plan Competition. Registered Trademarks were awarded for the IARFC and MRFC. A bi-monthly membership newsletter was initiated.

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