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Should a CFP® Be Required to Always Act as a Fiduciary?

Folks interested in engaging a professional for financial planning help and advice should generally seek out the advice of a CFP®. A CFP® has had the education, experience, ethics and exam (the Board’s 4 E’s) that qualifies he or she to hold the mark. We often encourage clients that they should look for this designation at a minimum before engaging with a financial planner and then meet with the planner to decide if the client and planner are a good fit. Due to an excellent marketing campaign by the CFP® Board many clients understand what a CFP® is, what they do, and how they may be able to help. Many folks choose to work with a CFP® because they know that the CFP® is held to a higher standard. Some may believe that the CFP® is always a fiduciary – meaning the CFP® must always put the best interests of […]

Disclosure or Maximum Information?

In the financial services industry there are many products, services, business owners and employees that one would think would have one common goal – the welfare of the people they serve through investments, financial planning, insurance and other financial areas. Unfortunately, in an industry rampant with conflicts of interest it has become the norm, not the exception that people in the industry push forward in spite of the conflicts, not once the conflicts have been disclosed and resolved. Examples of conflicts of interest include salespeople that are paid only if they succeed in selling a client a product. This is what happens in most commission-only sales positions. Other conflicts arise when fee-only planners persuade a client to move their money to the planner in order to help them manage it, when in fact the planner is really not a planner at all, but simply an asset gatherer and the client […]