CFP Board still has not responded to my posts about its complicated disclosure rules on informing consumers about a Certified Financial Planner’s fiduciary obligation. It’s been eight days since my last post asking whether CFP Board's suggsted disclosure language for CFPs to use in Form ADV misleads consumers.
This is one of those life-lesson posts that I occasionally write about an industry issue while also using it as a teachable moment.
The industry issue is that CFP Board is, at least so far, ignoring serious questions about whether its recommended disclosure in Form ADV for CFP practitioners who are dually registered is misleading to consumers.
The post is important because it highlights the sensitive issue that has been dividing financial advice professionals for decades and remains unresolved: fee-only versus registered reps.
It’s a bad idea for CFP Board to ignore the issues raised in my recent posts or to take so much time to respond. The best minds in the financial advisory business are watching for CFP Board’s answers, and so is the consumer press.
Which brings us to the life lesson: This episode illustrates the power of the Web.
Telling the truth in your blog means the masses eventually will find it.
It does not matter that my posts are almost never mentioned on suggested reading lists for financial planners published by popular industry figures. It does not matter if CFP Board, FPA and other groups representing the fiduciary movement are not providing answers; their silence speaks loudly. Advisors are reading what I am writing because it is original, accurate, sensible, and true.
My point is that truth is the best way to tap the power of the Web. If you tell truth consistently and provide original ideas and valuable ideas to your target audience, you will gain a following and eventually turn them into clients.
Blogging is a great way for an advisor to make his points and gain a following. If you can become the go-to expert in Roth IRA recharacterization, designing Crummey Trusts, retirement communities near Sedona, Arizona and other highly specialized subject areas, blogging about it once a week for a year will help people find you.
But I have to admit that it is not for everyone and I am starting to be convinced that the vast majority of advisors won't be able to succeed at doing it on their own. Still, I want to encourage A4A members to get out there and write a blog that tells the truth about issues most other advisors do not or cannot address.