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CFP Board rep: Financial planning 'civic duty' for consumers

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Consumers should assume more responsibility to stabilize the economy and to restructure their own financial health, says Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).

In a personal statement released Tuesday, Blayney says consumers need to assume a role bigger than to simply stimulate credit and start spending again.

“Consumers need to learn the lessons of this recession, and to become smarter and more demanding than ever before. They no longer have the luxury of relying on government, markets, or a tax stimulus to keep them safe,” she said. “They need to be asking many more questions than they did in the days when the answers seemed to matter less, when the tide of prosperity was lifting all boats, even the leaky ones.

“The times demand that the consumer become financially discerning and disciplined. Financial planning has become a civic duty,” Blayney continued. “If consumers take responsibility for their own financial health, their actions will help our national economy to recover.”

Blayney notes that even though it plays a pivotal role in recovery, federal government aid can only go so far to restore confidence in the market and in financial institutions.

“Such action … will not be effective unless we all, as American consumers and investors, do our part in spending wisely, saving wisely, and developing long-term plans for making the most of our household resources,” she said.