Bob Clark seems to be about 10 to 15 years behind the times when it comes to understanding NAPFA, the nation’s leading association of Fee-Only comprehensive financial advisors. His July column, “Rebels Without a Cause,” refers to NAPFA as a group of radicals that doesn’t know its own membership rolls, and veers from year to year with a new “banner du jour.”

We’re proud of our tremendous growth during the past five years. Our membership statistics are no secret. Unfortunately, Bob must have spoken to someone who didn’t have the numbers on them at the moment. He could have called the NAPFA office at any time to get the following information:

All individuals associated with NAPFA meet the fee-only definition, agree to be bound by the NAPFA Fiduciary Oath, and follow our standards and guidelines.

For the past four years, NAPFA has focused on three goals–promote the public interest, support and develop our membership, and promote our brand. We’re working to build a profession of advisors who practice a fee-only, comprehensive approach to financial planning, not just those who think of it as a nifty marketing hook.

We are grateful for the networking and support of other organizations. We appreciate journalists who have helped explain the dire need for competent, comprehensive, client-centered advice. We welcome professionals who are not eligible for membership to participate in our educational programs.

NAPFA will persevere in our quest to build a profession that recognizes the public’s right to receive unbiased assistance when making important financial decisions. If that’s still a radical idea, so be it.

Jamie Milne, Chair

Peggy S. Cabaniss, Chair-Elect

Ellen Turf, CEO

NAPFA

Not So Fatal Attraction

I think it’s quite a stretch to recommend that investment advisors mimic the same professional prohibition on relationships between the (presumably) unequal (emotional) pairings of therapist and client (“Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” July 2005).

Your theory presumes that a client seeking financial planning assistance is somehow on unequal emotional footing with his/her financial counselor. I think you sell consenting adults short in matters of the heart. No matter what the business relationship between the parties when they meet (I dated the wash girl at the salon where I got my hair cut), if it ends badly, people will be hurt. That’s life and love.

As an attorney, I abide by a professional prohibition on relationships with clients (a rule intended primarily to protect divorce clients who are, yes, in an unequal or possibly fragile or suggestive emotional state). There isn’t the same relationship present when I seek investment advice.

John Novack

Attorney

Bloomington, Illinois

It’ll Go To Our Head

“All In Your Head” (cover story, July 2005) is the finest “behavioral finance” article I have ever read! You covered a lot of ground in a relatively short piece.

I wish I could get every one of our investors and advisors to read it, not once, but once a quarter. It’s suitable for framing.

Roger J. Schreiner, President

Schreiner Capital Management, Inc.

Exton, Pennsylvania