Jeff was recently interviewed by Barron’s again, this time about advisor professionalism, poor training, and malpractice issues among those with designations like CFP, ChFC, and CFA, which are a focus of his ongoing research. He teamed up with two professors and the resulting research into 30,000 Florida brokers uncovered some surprises:
- On Gender: Maleness was the most powerful factor associated with advisor misconduct and that investors are much better off picking a female advisor with a CFP or ChFC than a gender-neutral advisor with a designation.
- On Dual Registration: Holding both commission sales and fiduciary advisor licenses was associated with much higher levels of misconduct
- On Designations: Misconduct went down for ChFCs but not for CFPs –disturbing since the CFP is widely promoted as the “gold standard” of advice
Jeff believes one of the reasons the industry should care about these issues is the social impact. He says, “Money skimmed off in high costs and lost to poor advice won’t be there to help millions of aging boomers pay for their long retirements and expensive health care, right at time when Federal safety net programs like Social Security seemed doomed. This is bad for the boomers and will squeeze Washington even more.” Jeff wants for brokers and advisors to become true professionals, industry-wide and be faithful fiduciaries in all dealings and sees “a real profession developing along these lines, regulated by a state analog to a Medical Association or Bar, requiring at least a Masters degree and maybe a practitioners doctorate…”
Read the entire interview here: Designations and Misconduct: A Surprising Connection