Did you know that anyone registered to sell investment products can call themselves a "Financial Advisor"? It's a very broad term that can mean any number things regarding a persons experience and qualifications. On the other hand, the term CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ means something very specific. It means experience and accountability.
To become a CFP®, a candidate must have a college degree, work in financial planning for a minimum of 3 years, and complete a very heavy load of course work before being able to sit for a lengthy set of exams. It's like the bar exam of financial services. After passing the exam, a CFP® can lose their accreditation for professional missteps such as negligence and/or unethical behavior.
Another key distinction is that a CFP® serves as a FIDUCIARY for their clients. That means that they are required to put their clients' best interest above their own in all situations. Non-fiduciaries are required to make recommendations that they can justify as suitable for a client. Fiduciaries are required to make recommendations that serve the client in the best possible way. It may sound like a small distinction, but it's an important one.
Of course you do not have to be a CFP® to put clients needs first, but knowing that my clients trust me has always been at the very top of my priority list. It was that desire that led me to become a CFP® in 1997. I have helped clients through the dot com bust, the tragedy of 9/11, the housing bubble crash of 2008, and now the coronavirus. Over the years the market has seen it's ups and downs, but my commitment to doing the absolute best thing for my clients remains unwavering.
If you know someone who would benefit from our services during this trying time, please pass our information along. Cameron and I would love to speak with them.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and stay the course.