Close
ThinkAdvisor

Portfolio > Alternative Investments > Cryptocurrencies

FPA, Ric Edelman's Digital Assets Council to Educate Planners on Crypto

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What You Need to Know

  • A strategic partnership will give FPA members financial education on the application of blockchain and digital assets.
  • It includes a 50% discount on the RIADAC certificate program for financial planners.
  • Advisors hesitate to invest client assets in cryptocurrencies, waiting for central banks to act on their own digital assets.

The Financial Planning Association and the RIA Digital Assets Council, co-founded by Ric Edelman, have announced a strategic partnership to provide education on the application of blockchain and digital assets.

The partnership will provide educational programming and content to help FPA members understand the complexities of cryptocurrencies and provide advice on how they can affect their clients’ financial plans.

“As the leading membership association for certified financial planner professionals, we need to be on the cutting edge of supporting our members as they look to sharpen their knowledge and build their competencies,” said Patrick Mahoney, FPA chief executive officer, in a statement. “This partnership with RIADAC is consistent with that objective.”

Edelman added, “Gaining vital knowledge about this new asset class will help financial planners attract more clients and serve them better.”

His RIA Digital Assets Council (RIADAC) offers a certificate program for financial planners to obtain proficiency in blockchain and digital assets to help manage their clients’ investment management strategy.

As part of Wednesday’s partnership announcement, FPA members will receive a 50% discount when enrolling in RIADAC’s certificate program, which is to debut April 30.

The FPA-RIADAC partnership will also give FPA members access to experts from RIADAC via virtual interactive discussions on the FPA Connect platform and Edelman will preside at a session on blockchain and digital assets at the FPA Annual conference, set for Columbus, Ohio, in late September. In the coming months, FPA and RIADAC will also consider further education initiatives and leadership programs for FPA members.

Recent Developments

In the meantime, Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency, is nearing a price of $60,000 again, and multiple asset managers have filed applications with the Securities and Exchange Commission to trade a Bitcoin ETF, including Fidelity Investments, which already operates a digital assets platform, and Grayscale Investments, which has expanded the number of its cryptocurrency trusts. And more corporations, including PayPal and Visa, are accepting cryptocurrencies as payments on their platforms.

But financial advisors are hesitant to invest client assets in cryptocurrencies. Matt Bacon, a certified financial planner at Carmichael Hill & Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland, told ThinkAdvisor that Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, “needs to mature before we recommend it. Its ownership distribution needs to be spread more evenly and we’d like to see what central banks do regarding their own digital currencies before we make a foray into that space.”

Bacon noted that 2.4% of accounts holding Bitcoin own 95% of the cryptocurrency.

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, said recently that the Fed would not issue a digital currency without congressional approval. Other central banks, including the European Central Bank, are exploring the issue.

On the regulatory front, the SEC, which has rejected Bitcoin ETF applications in the past, has yet to approve any pending filings and issued a risk alert in late February from its Division of Examinations noting that its exams of investment advisors will include, among other items, a  review of “fulfillment of their fiduciary duty with respect to investment advice — across all client types for portfolio management.”

More on this topic