Thursday, November 5, 2009

Financial Planner - Financial Advisor? What's In a Name?

I just returned from a Scottsdale Soroptomist meeting where I spoke about taking action to have more success in 2010. There were two advisors in the group so I listened with interest when they described what they do. One said she was a Financial Planner and the other said she was a Financial Advisor.  The former has several lettered credentials after her name and the later does not.   The former is an independent with her own firm and the later works in a bank.  Because I work almost exclusively with advisors I know the difference between an independent financial planner and an employee advisor as well as what the various credentials mean.

There are many financial titles that confuse the general public - they don’t know the difference between an advisor and an insurance sales person.  I was at a networking event recently where a loan modification representative called himself a Financial Advisor. Additionally, most people do not know what it means to be a Registered Investment Advisor, nor do they understand the fiduciary standard that goes along with being an RIA.  The credential with the most recognition seems to be the CFP® mark.   

If advisors hope to counteract the negativity hovering around the profession, they need to address how they market themselves.  Advisors with a credential should explain what it means. Advisors should utilize their websites far more than they do now. More content and explanation around credentials and fiduciary standards would help clear up some of the confusion and would serve to position advisors better in the marketplace.    

Marketing Coach for Financial Advisors
Prosperity Coaching LLC

1 comment:

Suzanne Muusers said...

Here's a well written article about this very topic: