Consumer Report's Greg Daugherty - wrong again
In the recent issue of "Consumer Reports - Money", columnist Greg Daugherty, aka "The Retirement Guy", misinforms readers when he states that the credentials of Financial Advisor, Financial Planner and Investment Consultant "are all generic terms that anyone can use."
This, of course, is not true. The SEC, FINRA (formerly NASD) and other industry educational and credentialing organizations all strictly regulate and monitor (by federal law) the use of these legal titles, requiring many months of study and rigourous, multiple exams before one qualifies for the designation.
Ironically enough, anyone can call himself the "Retirement Guy".
One wonders if people with actual knowledge of the subjects they purport to cover reads this stuff before they print it.
It was my understanding that anyone can call themselves a "Financial Planner". Of course, most broker/dealers prevent it if you are not credentialed, but I don't think you even need a CFP to call yourself a Financial Planner. I think the same goes for Investment Consultant.
I thought the only "titles" that were legal titles were Investment Advisor (or IAR) and Stock Broker (Registered Representative).
I'm not saying I am right - I just thought the rules were looser than you state. Not to say that someone claiming to be a "Financial Planner" can sell securities, but they are welcomed to give you financial advice.
Potential, the "Retirement Guy" is correct. FINRA, surprisingly enough, isn't all that caught up in names. Your firm probably does care, though.
What test is taken to get the title, "Financial Advisor"? The answer is the same as to the test taken to get the title "Retirement Guy". There is no test and these are not legal titles.