Former Investment News reporter Charlie Paikert, now writes for Reuters, and yesterday wrote a story singling out the CPWA designation as "a widely-recognized title in the industry for its focus on solving wealthy clients' complex needs beyond merely managing a portfolio."
But the way CFPs are positioned is not great for those holding that designation.
The consumer press is generally blind to distinctions among professional designations for financial advisors, but this story breaks with that history and indicates the consumer press may actually be getting smarter about professional issues.
How often do you see coverage about differing designations of financial professionals? Have you ever seen a story explaining the difference between a CLU or ChFC versus a CFP?
In paying respect to the CPWA, a new designation created by the Investment Management Consultants Association, Paikert may have overstated how well recognized it is.
My guess is most people have no idea that a CPWA is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor and calling it "widely recognized" is a stretch.
But Paikert's short article does succeed in raising the issue that professional designations for advisors are different. He touches specifically on the CFP versus the CFA certification, and then singles out CPWAs for being focused on issues relevant to ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
If the consumer press starts picking up on the theme that the CFP is not the best designation for advising UHNWIs, that would indeed pose a serious issue to the CFP designation's dominance as the premier designation for advisors.