Financial Planning: An Orphan Looking for a Home – Part 6 in an 6 part series

Editor’s note: Portions of the following posting by Susan Tillery, CPS/PFS, CFP, appeared in the January 2011 edition of AICPA Wealth Management Insider Newsletter.

Clearly, financial planning has not yet arrived as a profession. Its structure (asset management and/or product placement, or fee for advice) has not been decided. Perhaps another platform is available. I would propose it is a platform that only CPA’s can build. It can be built by CPA’s who will seize this moment in time; who will “adopt” financial planning and  take it to the professional level by offering “true fee-only” independent, objective financial planning.

The CPA is the clients’ trusted advisor and no one is more qualified and suited to offer comprehensive, independent, objective financial planning to your clients than they are. A CPA can attain the AICPA’s PFS designation and help present financial planning as a true profession by taking it to this next level. The CPA/PFS can help keep financial planning from being given over to the regulators. The AICPA has been working very hard to keep this from happening.  They even submitted a comment letter to the SEC strongly opposing the creation of a possible FINRA or other self-regulatory organization oversight for investment advisers. Why? Because this will take financial planning down a level. [Read more…]

Financial Planning: An Orphan Looking for a Home – Part 5 in an 6 part series

Editor’s note: Portions of the following posting by Susan Tillery, CPS/PFS, CFP, appeared in the January 2011 edition of AICPA Wealth Management Insider Newsletter.

Financial planning needs to be a “stand alone” discipline devoid of conflicts of interest and the moral dilemmas which accompany them.

Financial Planning, without national certification, without universally recognized standards, and without recognition as a profession, has found itself in the midst of a storm of regulatory inquiry. Everyone from consumer groups to Congress wants to regulate this orphan of professional disciplines.

The sky is not falling; the world is not coming to an end even though the media and some financial advisers continue to create a state of fear to facilitate their own agendas. The reality of what is actually happening is that the financial services sector is in the midst of a great moral dilemma. The exact meaning of a dilemma is a situation in which you have to choose between two equally unpleasant alternatives. [Read more…]