The redesigned version of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ consumer-facing website, LetsMakeAPlan.org, that was launched this month represents an improvement over the previous version of its financial planning website, CFPs told ThinkAdvisor.
The redesign provides a more mobile-friendly interface and educational content for investors. But at least one advisor disagreed with the Board’s controversial decision earlier this year to remove information about advisors’ fee structures.
“I’m glad it’s had an overhaul. I like that it’s easier to background check a planner” now, said Melissa Brennan, a financial planner at ARS Private Wealth in Houston.
“I also like that there are planner suggestions at the bottom of the page,” she said. “In a large metropolitan area, searching manually can return way too many options, which just leads to paralysis.”
The redesigned site also seems to be “more intuitive and informative,” she said. “Without doing a deep dive, it seems like the board did a good job.”
The site is “more aesthetically pleasing and functional than the previous version,” according to William J. Nunn, a financial planner and founder of Horizon Financial Planning in New Orleans. However, “it has a few gaps I would like to see addressed,” he said.
As an example, he explained the redesigned site “has a good explanation about all of the different compensation models, but then when you select an advisor from the list, it fails to tell you which compensation methods that advisor accepts.” As a result, “if someone decides they want to engage someone who uses any one particular compensation model/payment structure, they cannot tell immediately which advisors do so,” he noted.
Although “investment asset minimums and client focus for the advisors are noted so folks can decide if they are willing to approach an advisor with that minimum or client focus, the same idea should be applied to compensation models,” he said.
“While I respect the CFP Board’s position of neutrality on compensation methods, why are compensation methods not noted simply so the prospect can decide if they want to engage someone who does business a certain way?”