CFP Exam

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ezmoney's picture
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o.k fine. But none cares about it, and up until 2006 one could have been a high school dropout w/ 3 yrs experience and sat for the CFP.  Based on that I have no respect for it. BTW I have an MBA. BTW a CFA is still below an MBA, CPA, and Lsat.

Dirk Diggler's picture
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ezmoney wrote:o.k fine. But none cares about it, and up until 2006 one could have been a high school dropout w/ 3 yrs experience and sat for the CFP.  Based on that I have no respect for it. BTW I have an MBA. BTW a CFA is still below an MBA, CPA, and Lsat.
Yep.

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Your an idiot.  I bet I can line up 100 MBA's who could never pass
the CFA.  That program is so dam* difficult it cannot even be
considered with an MBA program.  I got an MBA from a state school
going at night while I successfully first built a business in my drunk
early 20's (that was the only good thing bank did for me...pay for most
of grad school).  I went through both the CFA and CFP programs
over the last 15 years and can tell you, the MBA was by far the
easiest.  You don't get asked about your designations because you
do not regularly meet with clients that are aware of their
existence...let alone their importance.  Handle the $150K
rollovers all day long, and leave the rest to professionals...MBA or
not.

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ezmoney wrote:o.k fine. But none cares about it, and up until 2006 one could have been a high school dropout w/ 3 yrs experience and sat for the CFP.  Based on that I have no respect for it. BTW I have an MBA. BTW a CFA is still below an MBA, CPA, and Lsat.
The LSAT?  Are you talking the Law School Admission Test?

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

ezmoney wrote:The CFP is a joke. Noone ever asks about it, meaning at this point no cares about it. It's a designation, and that's all it is. If you want a real degree go get a masters in financial planning. Up until now (2006), one could have 3 years experience, be a high school dropout and still sit for the CFP. It's only in 2006 that you have to now have a undergraduate degree and 3 years experience.
Here are them facts about what it takes to get the CFP designation. For one thing, CFP, you can't "sit" for it without the prerequisites unless you’re in a “challenge” situation. Note that having a Masters in Financial Services or Planning doesn’t qualify you for taking the exam on a challenge basis.
http://www.cfp.net/become/Steps.asp
You’ll notice the prerequisites classes are often run by colleges and universities. I wonder how it could be accurate to call a 2 day, 10 hour exam with a first time pass rate of around 50% when taken by people with the required experience and prerequisite training anything but challenging.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

ezmoney wrote:The CFP is a joke. Noone ever asks about it, meaning at this point no cares about it. It's a designation, and that's all it is. If you want a real degree go get a masters in financial planning. Up until now (2006), one could have 3 years experience, be a high school dropout and still sit for the CFP. It's only in 2006 that you have to now have a undergraduate degree and 3 years experience.
(sigh) Once again, someone throwing stones who has never taken the test.  I have people ask and I have people that care...not the majority, but many of the best prospects, that's for sure.  If no one asks you about it, you probably don't work with a very sophisticated client base, but I guess that's good if you want to make the "ezmoney".

FinclPlngPro's picture
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ezmoney wrote:The CFP is a joke. Noone ever asks about it, meaning at this point no cares about it. It's a designation, and that's all it is. If you want a real degree go get a masters in financial planning. Up until now (2006), one could have 3 years experience, be a high school dropout and still sit for the CFP. It's only in 2006 that you have to now have a undergraduate degree and 3 years experience.
Actually...the CFP marque is a LICENSE...not a designation or degree.  The three years experience has been required for over 15 years...only the college degree requirement in 2007 is a new requirement.
I have also observed that the only people who think the CFP is a "joke" are those who haven't taken the time...or expended the effort to EARN it...and/or in all probablity...completed any other professional educational program.
Jealousy is not an attractive personal trait.

Indyone's picture
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BTW, I'm not going to knock the difficulty of you getting your MBA (although I am sorely tempted, given some of the pathetic losers I've met who have an MBA), but I don't see much application for an MBA in this career.  At least the CFP is relevant to what we do for a living.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

ezmoney wrote:The CFP is a joke. Noone ever asks about it, meaning at this point no cares about it. It's a designation, and that's all it is. If you want a real degree go get a masters in financial planning. Up until now (2006), one could have 3 years experience, be a high school dropout and still sit for the CFP. It's only in 2006 that you have to now have a undergraduate degree and 3 years experience.
Do YOU have that 'real degree'?

ezmoney's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

The cfp isn't even relevent for what we do daily. btw i see alot of clients @ the 200k level. it's just that noone cares about the cfp. thats not to say that won't change but today even big money doesn't ask about a cfp. I have been in this biz for almost 4 years with a respectable aum and only two clinets ever asked me about the cfp. they still became clients. one day i'll sit for the exam. 

troll's picture
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joedabrkr wrote:
ezmoney wrote:The CFP is a joke. Noone ever asks about it, meaning at this point no cares about it. It's a designation, and that's all it is. If you want a real degree go get a masters in financial planning. Up until now (2006), one could have 3 years experience, be a high school dropout and still sit for the CFP. It's only in 2006 that you have to now have a undergraduate degree and 3 years experience.
Do YOU have that 'real degree'?

 
hmmmm.....I sense a little backing and filling here....
First it's not a "real degree" and if we want a "real degree" we should get a masters in financial planning.
So when asked if you have that "real degree", much less the "joke certificaton", you change your tune and start talking about how it isn't really relevant any way.
hmmmmm.....
That combined with your other post today complaining about how boring it gets to have endless meetings with one prospect after another referred to you by the tellers(and I'm sure endless hours filling out annuity paperwork too), and I'm starting to get the picture...

Indyone's picture
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ezmoney wrote:The cfp isn't even relevent for what we do daily. btw i see alot of clients @ the 200k level. it's just that noone cares about the cfp. thats not to say that won't change but today even big money doesn't ask about a cfp. I have been in this biz for almost 4 years with a respectable aum and only two clinets ever asked me about the cfp. they still became clients. one day i'll sit for the exam. 
Possibly the reason you've only had two clients ask is that most of those who care, have already sought out an advisor with a CFP credential.  For example, anyone can go to www.cfp.net , key in their zip code and find a local CFP.  They might see a local CFP advertising in the yellow pages or the newspaper and contact them that way.  They might be referred by another satisfied client who is sold on the idea of having a CFP for an advisor.
It is unlikely that you will ever see these folks, but don't assume they don't exist.

troll's picture
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ezmoney wrote:The cfp isn't even relevent for what we do daily. btw i see alot of clients @ the 200k level. it's just that noone cares about the cfp. thats not to say that won't change but today even big money doesn't ask about a cfp. I have been in this biz for almost 4 years with a respectable aum and only two clinets ever asked me about the cfp. they still became clients. one day i'll sit for the exam. 
I have a feeling you'll change your mind about how relevant it is  if you ever look into it closer. BTW, you don't appear to be quailifed to "sit" for it, you'll have to do the prereqs.

ezmoney's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

I am very well qualified to sit for it, thank you. I have a bit more education than a high school diploma. I just don't feel it is relevent at this point. btw who the hell knows cfp.net? not your average investor that's for sure.
Yes I do have a real degree. Three of them, and I can sell in case you were wondering.

troll's picture
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ezmoney wrote:
I am very well qualified to sit for it, thank you. I have a bit more education than a high school diploma. I just don't feel it is relevent at this point. btw who the hell knows cfp.net? not your average investor that's for sure.
Yes I do have a real degree. Three of them, and I can sell in case you were wondering.

I never doubted that you have a degree. The point is you simply don't have one that would allow you to "sit" (assuming you mean take the exam via a challenge). Again, read the link I gave you about how you earn a CFP designation. You‘d have to go through the academic prerequisites.
You seem to be all caught up in the oversight the CFP board allowed in letting people not holding a degree take the exam after they’ve met all the other criteria. That obsession has blinded you to the fact that there’s substantial course work required (in most cases two years), in addition to three years experience and then there’s the 2 day, 10 hour exam with a 50% first time pass rate.
 

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

It is only relevant if you take the time to inquire about a clients total situation.  It probably isn't relevant if your just pushing fixed annuitties.  I use alot of what I learned on a daily basis.

TexasRep's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-18

 
has anyone used or heard about the effectiveness of the CFP prep products from the Boston University Online CFP Program ? These guys are prolific spammers, but they're relatively cheap, CD/online based and self-paced, which suits my schedule better-
reviews??
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

TexasRep wrote: 
has anyone used or heard about the effectiveness of the CFP prep products from the Boston University Online CFP Program ? These guys are prolific spammers, but they're relatively cheap, CD/online based and self-paced, which suits my schedule better-
reviews??
 I am using the program and have completed two modules so far.  All together I'm happy with it.  Although, as I've gotten busy the last few months I've fallen behind in my studies.  I suppose that's an occupational hazard.

downtown's picture
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I dont know about that particular program. I took a review course just before the exam. The review course was the most helpful program I took. 

TexasRep's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: TexasRep wrote:
 
has anyone used or heard about the effectiveness of the CFP prep products from the Boston University Online CFP Program ? These guys are prolific spammers, but they're relatively cheap, CD/online based and self-paced, which suits my schedule better-
reviews??
 
I am using the program and have completed two modules so far.  All together I'm happy with it.  Although, as I've gotten busy the last few months I've fallen behind in my studies.  I suppose that's an occupational hazard.
joe- is that your only gripe?how long did you need for each of the first 2 modules?
some falling behind is probably normal- when are you planning on taking the exam, did you allocate about 12-18 mos?
 

Ready2Jump's picture
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Did Sailor fall off his horse?

maybeeeeeeee's picture
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Dirk Diggler wrote:The CPA exam is the hardest exam I've ever taken. It's harder than the bar exam and is way harder than the little cfp quiz.
How come a CPA flunked the Series 7 from our office?

Indyone's picture
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That's hard to believe.  If that happened, it's most likely because the CPA did not take the seven seriously.  There is no way the seven is even remotely as difficult as the CPA exam.  It's been awhile since I took the CPA exam, but it was damned hard...19.5 hours over two and a half days.  When I finished Friday afternoon, I was drained.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

He was probably arrogant and thought because he had the CPA he didn't need to study.  The topics covered on the 7 have nothing to do with the CPA exam, if you don't study you won't pass no matter what you did before you entered this business.
The 7 is not hard if you study, but it is not a common sense test.

choida's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-11

When completing the education portions of the 4 E's, who can tell which route is better, an in-class program or self-study? I am aware that one person probably can not give reasons for both, but hopefully people on both boats can tell their stories. Any, tips of reviews exams would be helpful as well. I know some of my questions might be explained in the search engine, but I wanted to ask anyways. Thank you registered rep vets.

hubbabubba's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-03

I'm waiting to do the CFP until after CFA.  Someone mentioned they are all hard in different ways.  That's true, but CFA is the hardest.  With the CFA you are exempt from taking all of CFP 'pre-exams' and the depth of finance is significantly greater with CFA.  I know at least 50 advisors who have both CFA and CPA.  All of them said CFA was harder.  CPA has the highest barrier to entry with college coursework requirement.  Having said that, CFP is the gold standard for retail portfolio management.  I think if you are able to obtain any of the designations then why not do it?  What is the downside besides time?  You gain credibility and your clients might actually benefit. I commend the advisor who strives to learn more.  A series 7 just doesn't cut it anymore. 

san fran broker's picture
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bankrep1 wrote:
little quiz, dirk your obviously not a CFP.  The CPA is very difficult, the CFP is no joke.  I know several people who have passed the bar cpa cfp and cfa.  They say they are all different but all respectfully difficult.
By the way Dirk your an asf.  If I met you in real life I would probably punch you just for fun.

I have NEVER heard anyone who had both describe the CFA and CFP tests as being in the same level. The CFA is 3 tests, not one, and the pass rates are FAR LOWER for each level. I have my CFA, and I have done a review class for the CFP (you can test out of the CFP if you have the CFA) and my experience supports that conclusion.

hubbabubba's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-03

Exactly as SF broker said.  Its not even close between CFA and CFP

Geophyrd's picture
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Ok, I'm an old time participant in this site. Mostly, I've been sitting on the sidelines watching.  This is something I'm in the middle of right now.
The CFP is not a joke. Its an incredible amount of information. I've been taking the accelerated Kaplan class and plan to sit for the Nov exam.  The reason the pass rate is 50% is that the Board doesn't let you sit unless you have passed rigorous educational requirements (Six units in Kaplans' course : Fundementals, Income Tax, Investments, Insurance, Retirement Planning and Estate Tax. I've heard other companies use 5 units.)  Regardless of the number of modules, there are (I believe) 108 different areas that the Board tests on.  The test is not easy, but by the time someone is ok'd to sit for it, they've already been through the ringer pretty thoroughly in terms of learning. That is why the pass rate is 57%, not because the test is easy. If you can find statistics from the people that begin the class to those that pass, I'm certain the pass rates are much, much lower.
I took my Series 7 after 2 weeks of study (although I was employed for 60 days). I took the 65 after one weekend of study. I studied maybe a week for the Insurance exams.
I've been studying for this exam since January and I don't know if I'm going to pass.  I've been studying 30-40 hours per week and still can't get my hands completely around it.
If you really think the CFP is easy, quit posturing. Its not. If you're a CPA, you get a pass on the educational requirements. Go take it...but don't throw darts at those trying to pass.
 
 

knucklehead's picture
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Geophyrd wrote:
Ok, I'm an old time participant in this site. Mostly, I've been sitting on the sidelines watching.  This is something I'm in the middle of right now.
The CFP is not a joke. Its an incredible amount of information. I've been taking the accelerated Kaplan class and plan to sit for the Nov exam.  The reason the pass rate is 50% is that the Board doesn't let you sit unless you have passed rigorous educational requirements (Six units in Kaplans' course : Fundementals, Income Tax, Investments, Insurance, Retirement Planning and Estate Tax. I've heard other companies use 5 units.)  Regardless of the number of modules, there are (I believe) 108 different areas that the Board tests on.  The test is not easy, but by the time someone is ok'd to sit for it, they've already been through the ringer pretty thoroughly in terms of learning. That is why the pass rate is 57%, not because the test is easy. If you can find statistics from the people that begin the class to those that pass, I'm certain the pass rates are much, much lower.
I took my Series 7 after 2 weeks of study (although I was employed for 60 days). I took the 65 after one weekend of study. I studied maybe a week for the Insurance exams.
I've been studying for this exam since January and I don't know if I'm going to pass.  I've been studying 30-40 hours per week and still can't get my hands completely around it.
If you really think the CFP is easy, quit posturing. Its not. If you're a CPA, you get a pass on the educational requirements. Go take it...but don't throw darts at those trying to pass.
 
 

It's a joke in the sense that the joke is on the CFP's because clients don't care about it. I've NEVER been asked if I'm a CFP. People care about trust, likeability, and ability to make them money.

Geophyrd's picture
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I have been asked several times and the profile of the designation(given the advent of the new IAR rules) is likely going to be higher in coming days.

SolarisPWM's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-28

 
For those that have recently passed the CFP and used the American College study program - I would appreciate some guidance.  I'm finishing the 5th module in Sept, and plan on taking the exam next March.  Is it better to start reviewing the 5 modules provided by A/C, or should I jump into a Zahn-like study program immediately?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

 "I have been asked several times and the profile of the designation(given the advent of the new IAR rules) is likely going to be higher in coming days."
Please explain how this is going to change the profile of the designation. 
Like it or not, the public doesn't care and they certainly don't know the difference between quality designations like CFP or CLU/ChFC and the designations that can be purchased for $200 and a day of learning to sell a product. 

bankrep1's picture
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People look for the CFP, they don't look and say you don't have it, I won't do business with you. They never sit down with you in the first place.

I have several clients who specifically cited that was important to them and they tend to be well paid executive types with lots of friends.

hubbabubba's picture
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The CFP is relevant as others have mentioned.  Remember, the series 7 is the minimum requirement to do business in this industry.  For those who are content with the minimum requirement, good luck. 
I don't see how one can possibly at a disadvantage by having the CFP.  You might actually learn a little bit about portfolio management which kinda helps when managing your clients' $$. 

anonymous's picture
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bankrep1, your post makes no sense.  Until they sit down with you, they have no idea whether you are a CFP or an ABC.  My clients are mainly small business owners, but when I worked with corporate types, everything was based upon the quality of the referral and credentials was a subject that never came up.  Even now, the subject comes up once a month at the most.

bankrep1's picture
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anonymous wrote: bankrep1, your post makes no sense.  Until they sit down with you, they have no idea whether you are a CFP or an ABC.  My clients are mainly small business owners, but when I worked with corporate types, everything was based upon the quality of the referral and credentials was a subject that never came up.  Even now, the subject comes up once a month at the most.

Anonymous,

If you're a CFP, you put the initials after your name.

I am assuming you do 0 marketing. I do alot of marketing, I have signs in corporations, brochures that are handed out all over and am sometimes even quoted in magazines and in the local newspaper. This is how people know I am a CFP before I meet with them.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

bankrep1, I will give you the benefit that it may make a slight difference in your advertising.  It does not make a difference when it comes to referrals.
hubbabubba, the knowledge is certainly useful.  The real issue that many advisors have is the control that the CFP BOG wants to take over how people run their practice.  Regardless, the fact still remains that most people don't know nor do they care about a CFP.

bankrep1's picture
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Hubba

The CFP BOG really just wants to make sure your acting like a professional, their requiremnts are voted on by their membership. They have never influenced my business and I am in complete compliance.

If you're really that good why would you not want the keystone credential to go along with being that good, then you could rise to the top 1%

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

bankrep1, if you believe your post, then the CFP BOG is going to end up greatly disappointing you.
I'd be willing to bet that a relatively small % of the top 1% of brokers have this "keystone credential".  
Do you have any clue as to how many CFPs can't cut it in the industry?

knucklehead's picture
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"Keystone credential"...that's a good one.

bankrep1's picture
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Very few, most run their own show. It takes 3 years minimum experience, most people wash out before then or cannot afford the cost of becoming a CFP. The top 1% of advisors today will look very different then the top 1% in 10 years.
I had someone referred to me asking questions about their pension, they told me they had a financial advisor in a nearby city who couldn't answer his questions. I explained they are not an advisor just a broker and explained the differences, he transferred his accounts to me without hesitation, I do this every day, the knowledge a CFP has about the broad range of things that affect clients truly has value and it is quickly recognized by prospects.

hubbabubba's picture
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bankrep, I was actually in agreement with you about the CFP being a relevent designation.  I do think that anon also makes sense about the CLU/ChFC designations as well.  Really, my whole point is that it makes sense to continue to improve your skill set (finance/insurance and not just honing your sales abilities).  You are going to need to do both very well as the business becomes more competitive.  For example, I feel sorry for the series 7 reps who think they can put together a portfolio better than the RIAs who hold the CFA (that is the keystone credential in finance). 

bankrep1's picture
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I agree, the CFA is more technical and it prepares you to manage money. The CFP is more broad based and teaches you the important things that affect clients lives.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Bankrep, just curious, did you have an advisory agreement with those clients?  I ask because, obviously, if you don't you are also just a broker and not an advisor in that situation.
We have to keep in mind that the vast majority of CFPs are not advisors. 

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I work in both capacities as a rr and as an RIA. Almost all CFP's are advisors, an advisor is not determined by their pay structure, an advisor is determined by their method of business (this is according to the CFP BOG).

Are you pushing product or helping people set and acheive goals while providing advice on every financial decision that affects them? That is how I determine the difference.

knucklehead's picture
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bankrep1 wrote:I work in both capacities as a rr and as an RIA. Almost all CFP's are advisors, an advisor is not determined by their pay structure, an advisor is determined by their method of business (this is according to the CFP BOG). Are you pushing product or helping people set and acheive goals while providing advice on every financial decision that affects them? That is how I determine the difference.

Yes, I do. Their goals are always the same...make as much as possible for their risk tolerance and protect them from losing money.

NASD Newbie's picture
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bankrep1 wrote:I work in both capacities as a rr and as an RIA. Almost all CFP's are advisors, an advisor is not determined by their pay structure, an advisor is determined by their method of business (this is according to the CFP BOG). Are you pushing product or helping people set and acheive goals while providing advice on every financial decision that affects them? That is how I determine the difference.
I suggest that you are an Investment Advisor's Representative rather than an Registered Investment Advisor.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

bankrep1, I hope for your sake that your post is just trying to test my knowledge and is not serious.
What the CFP BOG has to say is meaningless.  They have no oversight over registered reps and they have no oversight over RIAs.  When you are earning commissions, you are not acting as an advisor.   It does not matter that you are giving them great advice and you have CFP after your name.  You are a registered rep and the standard that you must meet is "suitability".  Without an advisory agreement, you are not an advisor, thus you don't have fiduciary responsibility. 
"Are you pushing product or helping people set and acheive goals while providing advice on every financial decision that affects them? That is how I determine the difference."
The SEC disagrees with you.  Unfortunately, our opinions don't count.  You can't hold yourself out as an advisor to a client if you don't have an advisory agreement.
 

knucklehead's picture
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anonymous wrote:
bankrep1, I hope for your sake that your post is just trying to test my knowledge and is not serious.
What the CFP BOG has to say is meaningless.  They have no oversight over registered reps and they have no oversight over RIAs.  When you are earning commissions, you are not acting as an advisor.   It does not matter that you are giving them great advice and you have CFP after your name.  You are a registered rep and the standard that you must meet is "suitability".  Without an advisory agreement, you are not an advisor, thus you don't have fiduciary responsibility. 
"Are you pushing product or helping people set and acheive goals while providing advice on every financial decision that affects them? That is how I determine the difference."
The SEC disagrees with you.  Unfortunately, our opinions don't count.  You can't hold yourself out as an advisor to a client if you don't have an advisory agreement.
 

Why are we even messing with this guy? He's a bank broker making $50,000 per year, at most.

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