For the Financial Planning Coalition, 2015 is going to be the year of regulation in the financial advising industry. At least that is what it is hoping for. The Coalition announced recently that one of its key priorities for the coming year is to make a strong push for “uniform standards for financial planners”. According to Coalition officials, one of the reasons for the need for uniform standards is that most financial planning clients have little to no idea what exactly it is that they are paying for when they hire a financial advisor to perform the services they advertise.
The Financial Planning Coalition (FPC) is comprised of the Financial Planning Association, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, all of which have been in extensive talks over the last several months regarding the necessity for a set of standards to which the nation’s financial advisors can adhere.
The standards, members of the coalition say, would call for financial planners to meet specific standards in terms of both ethics and competency. The standards would ideally be modeled after the certification standards currently in place by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., which requires things like continuing education, regular examinations, and a code of professional conduct for financial planners.
According to Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, the CFP Board of Standards managing director, consumers have a very difficult time trying to identify which financial services truly have planners acting in their best interest. In other words, clients derive tremendous benefit from the overall service provided by “holistic financial planning” but the problem is that most clients are unable to discern who is a true financial planner.
The uniform standards that the FPC is looking to implement would provide accurate, detailed information to the client about what services a particular financial planner or firm provides and how those services will benefit their particular financial goals and objectives.