While most independents call themselves “advisers,” they aren’t all required to adhere to the same fiduciary standards. As a result, the degree to which each must put a client’s interests before his or her own can vary. The upshot, says Marilyn Dimitroff, chairwoman of the board of directors of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., is that “the public is so confused.”
To find an adviser with specific skills, look for certain credentials. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER[™ professional] must complete courses in investments, taxation, estate planning and insurance. They also must pass a two-day exam, have at least three years of experience, and comply with ethical standards that require them to put a client’s interests ahead of their own.
The Wall Street Journal
Anne Tergesen and Jane J. Kim
July 29, 2009