Of course, I read all the responses posted to this blog, and the e-mails I get about my column, too. But after all these years, I have to admit that I’m not nearly as concerned about whether folks agree with me or not, as I am about the points they are making; the truth is, I usually learn more from the people who disagree with me. Often, the stronger the disagreement, the more I I learn. Still, I did take notice of Steve Winks’s comment to my most recent blog (of March 15), because when Steve and I agree on something, it’s got to mean someone is in serious trouble. This time, that someone seems to be the CFP Board.
Steve agrees that the Board’s sidestepping of the fiduciary issue in order to vastly expand its role as the regulator of financial planning is troubling, to say the least. “…the proposed Financial Planner Act of 2010,” he writes, ” is just a power grab.” I agree with him when he points out that the Board has always sidestepped the inherent conflict in being both a CFP and a registered rep.
A true fiduciary duty for financial planners, Winks says, “…requires courage, as 70% of planners are within B/Ds, which because of their agency/principal relationship precludes a fiduciary standing to the consumer because of the fiduciary relationship to the B/D’s best interests.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.