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May 20, 2008 5:05 pm

If the College of Financial Planning was a real "College", wouldn't their internet domain end in .edu instead of .net?

www.wharton.upenn.edu
www.cfp.net


Food for thought.

May 20, 2008 9:10 pm
Ferris Bueller:

If the College of Financial Planning was a real "College", wouldn't their internet domain end in .edu instead of .net?

www.wharton.upenn.edu
www.cfp.net


Food for thought.

CFP.net is the website for the CFP Board of Standards.
The website for the College of Financial Planning is www.cffp.edu
May 20, 2008 9:17 pm

You need to make the distinction between the owner of the actual Certification and colleges that provide education.  I think I understand your skepticism, but much like any other profession, there are good and bad attorneys, accountants, doctors, etc...  If you find yourself frustrated with CFP's, just become one.  You will feel better.

May 20, 2008 9:24 pm

I can tell you from personal experience, that the designation makes a difference. Its not just the designation, its that, combined with the knowledge.

I know there will be those who are skeptical, we are in the business of sales, etc, etc, etc,. But the fact is, in our business, two realities are, 1. knowledge is power, the power to demonstrate value, and 2. perception is reality, the perception of a professional designation, not only on the part of clients and prospects, but on the part of CPA's and attorneys.
 
Ask anyone on this board who has attained the designation, and there is little doubt that they will tell you it helps.
May 20, 2008 9:48 pm
Ferris Bueller:

"If you find yourself frustrated with CFP's, just become one. You will feel better."
Actually, It's my branch manager that is frustrated. The CFP's in my office are some of the lower producers and he can't figure out why.

"Its not just the designation, its that, combined with the knowledge."
I'll agree with you there, that the knowledge is a good thing. Unfortunately I don't think the time necessary to obtain it is worth the reward. I already handle 125M+ of accounts and not having one hasn't slowed me down to this point.

Remember that Bill Gates quit MIT.


. Your branch manager might be frustrated by the fact that CFP's in the office are pikers, but i dont think thats something you can draw conclusions from. There are plenty of pikers that are not CFP's and plenty of big producers who are. It could be that the CFP;s in your office just dont happen to be a motivated bunch - maybe they are good learners, but poor executors. Maybe they are the type that love to prepare, but fail at just doing it. Or maybe your BOM is a bad coach, and only the guys with natural ability in your office are big. (No knock meant on your BOM, just exploring possibilites.
 
As far as your second point, different strokes for different folks,. For me, it was clearly worthit. I think Joedabroker, among others would agree. For you it may not be.
I have a friend who is part of a 3 FA team. They just took a check for $6 million to move their billion in assets to another wire. They built that book without being CFP's. But they all attained the designation in the past year, even tho they had the book. They were motivated to learn, and to be the best they could be.
 
To me its all part of a bigger picture. Like I said, different strokes for different folks.
May 20, 2008 11:44 pm

I have a word of caution about rating people solely based on production.  I agree that production is an indication of the amount of work someone is doing, but this has limitations.  Someone could also make great production numbers by selling a lot of innapropriate products.  Heck a conman can make a lot more money by pulling off one big scam vs. a lot of little ones, doesn't make him anyless of a thief.  I do believe it takes more time to service a planning client vs. a brokerage account client.

May 21, 2008 5:30 am

jwcooper, it's the only way to rate people.  We're in the business world.  The purpose of the business is to make money.  People get rated based upon how much money they bring to the business.  How would you suggest that people get rated?

 
As for the CFP, I believe that it helps to increase production.  However, I'd be willing to bet that it increases production primarily for two reasons.  1) The producer believes that it will increase his production.  2)It builds knowledge.   On the other hand, I believe that the possession of letters "C" "F" "P" does very little.
May 21, 2008 9:20 am

I feel differently about what I do.  My self worth is not based on my total revenue compared to others in my office.  I am providing a valuable service to my clients, one where I am acting in the capacity of fiduciary a good portion of the time.  Would you say the same thing about how surgeons should be rated?  What about a dentist?  How proud are you to have found out you went to the #1 colon surgeon in the world, only later to find out you didn't need 3 feet of your colon removed?  The surgeon had higher production but you did not need the surgery.  If you are not thinking about your profession with the same level of professionlism, I am quite confident you will eventually become one of those people that give our business a bad name.

May 21, 2008 9:22 am
May 21, 2008 12:24 pm

Jw...are you one of Ferris's low producing CFP pikers??  I'm starting to connect the dots....

May 21, 2008 1:23 pm
jwcopper:

I feel differently about what I do.  My self worth is not based on my total revenue compared to others in my office.  I am providing a valuable service to my clients, one where I am acting in the capacity of fiduciary a good portion of the time.  Would you say the same thing about how surgeons should be rated?  What about a dentist?  How proud are you to have found out you went to the #1 colon surgeon in the world, only later to find out you didn't need 3 feet of your colon removed?  The surgeon had higher production but you did not need the surgery.  If you are not thinking about your profession with the same level of professionlism, I am quite confident you will eventually become one of those people that give our business a bad name.

 
I belive it just might be possible for a CFP and a non-CFP to have the same level of professionalism and the same level of education.  Both advisors are acting in the best interest of their client.  Clients will view both as being equal.  If the non-CFP is a bigger producer, than he is more respected in the industry.
 
As far as using the medical field as a comparison, I believe that is not only invalid, but above yourself.  You are not a doctor or surgeon.  You did not go through the years of education and training.  The financial services industry can be entered by someone without even a college degree.  I have generally found that people who refer to themselves on the same grounds as doctors and surgeons are CFP's and think they are holier than thou. 
 
Also, many of the "high production" types that you feel aren't credible got to be HUGE because they were doing the right things for their clients and getting referrals.  You can charge for a plan and think you're something else because of your CFP, but what counts is how many people you have helped, which will bring you more people, thereby creating your high production.
 
Now go scrub your hands Mr. Financial Surgeon...you've got a prospect you're going to charge $1,000 to tell him where you're going to put his money, then get paid again to put it there.
 
 
May 21, 2008 1:44 pm

Some of the replies have taken these comments too personally.  The message is that production alone is not the best indication of success or the amount of hard work they are doing.

May 21, 2008 2:01 pm

To have value in our industry, you must produce.  The higher the production, the higher your worth.  When I was being recruited by Smith B, the BOM wanted to know my trailing 12 production and my AUM.  Didn't ask about my degrees, my experience, my shoe size..nothing. 

May 21, 2008 2:04 pm
bspears:

To have value in our industry, you must produce.  The higher the production, the higher your worth.  When I was being recruited by Smith B, the BOM wanted to know my trailing 12 production and my AUM.  Didn't ask about my degrees, my experience, my shoe size..nothing. 

 
He didn't ask about your shoe size?!?!  I thought they were only recruiting those with size 10 1/2's and bigger.
 
It's ok, non-producing CFP's don't get recruited.
May 21, 2008 7:12 pm

JWCooper, you have made a couple of curious comments.  What does self worth have to do with bringing value to a firm?   Twice you have mentioned "amount of hard work".   Hard work pays exactly $0.  We get paid to produce.  We don't get paid to put in effort.   
 
By the way, surgeons and dentists in practices are rated based upon the amount of revenue that they generate.   If you were a surgeon in a practice and looking for a new partner, would you rather higher the 12th best surgeon in the country (As rated by Break a Leg Today magazine) who brings in $300,000 of revenue or the 73rd best surgeon who brings in $1,300,000 of revenue? 
 
The most valuable employee of any company will always be the one who brings in the most revenue.  We're chattel to our employers.  We get rated based upon our ability to bring revenue to our employers.  Isn't that the way that it should be?
May 21, 2008 8:58 pm

JWCooper, with all due respect, and i really mean that, your comments are based upon value judgements. And to be respected, its an admirable way to look at things. The reality is that value judgements in our business dont mean much when it comes to the pecking order, how much respect you get, how much resources your BOM allocates to you and your business.

I get a lot of satisfaction, out of helping my clients and doing the right thing for them, and there is no bigger rush than having a client say "thanks for all you've done for me over the years" (except when maybe a prospect signs an ACAT for $1.5 MM. But as far as the branch, how big a check MS is willing to cut you to come, or your value to your firm, and the related benefits, that stuff dont mean shit, as we used to say in Brooklyn.
 
But its not personal.
May 21, 2008 9:22 pm

Just look at where your office is located within your branch if you're in a company like that.  "Nice" guys with a high self-worth without high production generally aren't in the corner offices with the views.  They're probably closer to the bullpen or by the bathroom or in the storage room like Milton from Office Space.

May 21, 2008 11:11 pm

What would be the best indication of success in your opinion?

May 22, 2008 12:19 am

Man, you guys are sure ganging up on this poor guy.  I gotten agree to a large degree with JW.  I know a very large producer who does an extremely lousy job for his clients.  Of course his monetary success is good, but his client turnover is unreal.  Smile and dial is all he does.  He has made a ton of money for himself and his firm and I'm sure they think his career is a success.  I guarantee you that many of his ex-clients do not consider the job he did for them successful.  JW is just trying to say you can't judge your career 100% on how much money you make.  I agree.  Don't you guys get any satisfaction out of doing a good job for your clients?  I recently helped a lower net worth client save 40k in taxes in a special one time deal.  I didn't make a penny.  Felt like one of my most successful days in a long time. 

May 22, 2008 6:46 am

I guess what we are all, or at least most of us, are saying is this

Success in the eyes of the BOM or the firm you're with, is all about how high a number you can print.
But if you are #15 in your office, out of 20 or 25, doing $500k, making 175-200k, and are happy in your job, and feel good about what you do for your clients, then it doesnt matter what your firm, thinks, what matters is you consider yourself a success.
 
Of course, if you are doing 200k, 5th quintile, last in your office, evven if you are happy in yoour job, you wont be for long.