August 19, 2010
I believe it is within the interest of individual citizens to be able to expect a common set of ethical guidelines and an established standard of care from those who present themselves as financial planners. Individuals who are primarily sales persons, such as insurance agents or registered representatives, should say so. However, if financial planning services are offered, even as an enticement to sales, those individuals, too, should be held to the same standards of ethics and care as others who only offer financial planning services. As my clients understand it, this is to protect them from both the confusion and conflicts that have resulted from the current situation. Many clients have asked what is the difference between one designation or another, and more confusing designations are being created all the time. Isn't this really about protecting and informing the public? Is there no place in the financial services business that citizens can expect that their best interests actually come first?