Consumers Connect With CFPs, CIMAs, CPAs Based On Continuing Ed Hot

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A4A began at the nadir of the financial crisis in October 2008 as a way for independent advisors to share ideas amid a dark time, and it has grown into a network of real financial professionals, coalescing around treasured core fiduciary values: quantitative analysis, economic fundamentals, tax and financial planning, and low expense investing. Now we're about to open windows into the A4A community for consumers, setting a new standard for continuing education providers of professionals and doing good.    

I’m the founder of A4A and thank you for your support. It's a privilege. Thanks also  to Fritz Meyer, Bob Keebler, CPA/PFS, and Craig Israelsen, Ph.D. A4A would not be here without you.  

Over the past decade, Advisors4Advisors reinvented continuing education of CFPs, CPA/PFSs and CPAs, CIMAs, CFAs, retirement income specialists and other real financial professionals by offering unlimited credit 24/7 using any device for $5 a month — an all-you-can-eat buffet of continuing education tightly focused on strategic investing and financial planning. This video below explains what we've been doing and where we are going.

A4A is disrupting continuing education of financial planning and investment professionals by giving you the content you need, and nothing more. Nothing complicated. A4A is a one-trick pony, but it’s no easy trick. Delivering the facts you need to practice ethically in the least amount of time possible is hard. 

From inception a decade ago, A4A was run on rules imposed by the Internet. The Web is reinventing business, creating new opportunities. Being an online-only CE system enabled A4A to cut out a traditional middle man: multinational publishing companies, professional associations, and trade magazines. Continuing ed credit is delivered by A4A with less overhead than traditional providers. A4A's could give advisors unlimited credit 24/7 at a small fraction of the cost of attending conferences or local events.  

Moreover, A4A’s business model was based on telling the truth. Like its members, A4A is not dependent on any products, companies, or hidden agendas. It's financially independent. Embracing transparency from the start, A4A let members decide on the best educators through a five-star rating system.

Only in America, however, could a reporter with strong tech skills collaborate with a network of independent thought leaders to build a self-selected group of real financial professionals. Only in America could Fritz, Bob, and Craig create a news stream with a compulsive truth teller like me and make money at it.

Instead of being lumped in with dozens of  instructors, Fritz, Craig, and Bob could be paid based on their value to a tiny fraction of  continuing ed buyers. The big companies don't have A4A's tight focus. Moreover, the most valuable revenue from Fritz, Bob, and Craig is in spinning off their stream for clients of advisors. That's not what trade magazines or traditional continuing ed providers do. A4A is information arbitrage: buying information on one market and selling it on another market, where it's valued more dearly. A4A adds value in moving the information to consumers based on news judgment of a journalist.   

A4A departs from traditional CE curriculum. Financial planning best practices are taught in the context of what’s happening now. A4A’s breaking news analysis about the economy and markets from Fritz Meyer, and its tax and financial planning classes from Bob Keebler, brought the real world into the classroom at the moment it was needed. A4A is a CE vendor that emails you breaking news about Brexit, the elections,  tax reform and the next big thing. Meanwhile, Dr. Craig Israelsen, an academic who publishes research his research every month for over 20 years in Financial Planning magazine, has been sharing research about model portfolios that you can implement for just nine basis points.   

The revolution is over and we’ve won; A4A is now a sustainable independent enterprise. While the past 10 years is a good start, we are now opening windows to A4A’s community of professionals to consumers.  We’ve created two new websites connecting consumers with A4A members. All current A4A members can now be listed in a directory at RealFinancialProfessionals.com.

A badge and listing on realfinancialprofessionals signifies your commitment to best practices of professionals pursuing clients’ best interests. 

Consumers can easily search for your disciplinary history on regulatory sites, but paying for continuing ed aligned with the best interests of consumers is evidence of an ethos --  a belief system requiring good intentions. RealFinancialProfessionals is not a gimmick, and it's different from five-star wealth advisor badges that offer little or no assurance to consumers.     

At realfinancialprofessionals, consumers can search a directory by zip code. A listing verifies who you are — your name, location, professional designation, and links back to your website. This helps you get found in searches.

Your public profile is fed from your image and other information you have uploaded and posted on A4A. To edit your profile in A4A  — to change your picture, name, designations, and other personal information — please log in and click on Account and then Edit Profile.


In addition to a free listing, A4A members receive a free website badge.

In addition to realforprofessionals, membership in A4A now makes you eligible for a free listing and badge at lowexpenseinvesting.com.

This is an annually updated list of the A4A members in the top third for continuing education credit hours. Being in the top third for credit hours on A4A displays an ongoing  behavior.

Finding a financial professional actively committed to strategic low expense quantitative analysis based on economic fundamentals, tax efficiency, and financial planning is like searching a for needle in haystack. LowExpenseInvesting.com makes you visible to consumers looking for someone with these values. This is a very special list of advisors and it’s a privilege to connect consumers with you.

Existing members must activate the new listings and badges. To opt in, go to your profile in A4A, and under the Connect tab, check the box. That’s it.

Just log into A4A, click on account in the top menu and in the Connect tab just check the boxes.

If you are among the top 33% for continuing education credits in 2017, your badges will appear in your profile and you will be listed in the directory at lowexpenseinvesting.com.

To display the badges on your website, just copy the script and paste it in the HTML on the any page. We give you several standard sizes of badges and you can edit the size if needed.

Both consumer sites welcome blog posts. Guest posts include your profile information and a link to your website.  Posts are moderated by editors and will need to be substantive and not promotional. Post generates a link back to your website, which boosts your firm’s search ranking.

The last new benefit of A4A membership will be completed by the end of June 2018. It’s a new series of webinars about content marketing and search engines. Again it’s free with your A4A membership. 

These webinars are about how to use search engines to boost your website’s search engine rankings. The search engine webinars teach proven techniques for improving rankings of any website. These webinars empower you to optimize content you create instead of hiring a consultant, of the classes should arm you with enough information to hire search engine consultant without getting ripped off. 

What you’ll learn can be applied on any WordPress site or on the Advisor Products platform. (Advisor Products content management system gives advisors tools to apply SEO and email newsletter analytics as well as Google analytics on your website in a dashboard for managing your website, email newsletter, videos, tweets, and presentations as well.

All of the new benefits come free with all new memberships. Current A4A members will get the new benefits when renewing, and membership dues are going from $5 a month to $10.

If you renewed for $5 a month after January 1, 2018 and want to unlock the new badges and consumer listing, chat into us and ask for the link to upgrade your membership for just an additional $60.

The A4A is well positioned to help you a lot in the years ahead., and I want to thank you for giving me Fritz, Bob, Craig, and our entire team, the privilege to shed light on a dark corner of the financial advice business to help advance the cause of real financial professionals.

 

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