Financial Planners Abound; Trick Is Finding Good One
USA Today (09/19/00) Vol. 104, No. 37 p.3B; Block, Sandra

The popularity and number of financial planners is increasing. Sources report that about 250,000 people identify themselves as financial planners, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 40 percent growth in the profession between 1998 and 2008. The increase is partially due to the fact that a financial planner receives no certification. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards will begin a two-year effort to distribute information about financial planning to the public. The $6 million campaign will concentrate on pushing the CFP trademark as a standard for financial planners. Specifically, CFP certification involves testing, an extensive curriculum, three years of experience, and other requirements. The organization reports that about 55 percent of people who take the test actually pass it. CFP provides listings of its planners at www.fpanet.org. Consumers looking to work with a planner should inquire about compensation policies, what qualifications a planner has, if the planner has been disciplined in the past, and what types of clients a planner takes. Consumers should choose a financial planner based on personal needs. In order to decrease taxes, for instance, a consumer might want to work with a financial planner who is a certified public accountant.


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