A Not-So-Subtle Threat to Professional Freedom

Walker, Lewis J.
October 2003
Journal of Financial Planning;Oct2003, Vol. 16 Issue 10, p22
Academic Journal
This article deals with financial planning. The March 2003 10 Questions interview was with Roper of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), famous for her 1986 report, Financial Planning Abuses: A Growing Problem. The CFA has been working on concerns over investor protection in the form of accurate information about the companies that we invest in. In an essay titled A Subtle Threat to Freedom, the Reverend Robert A. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, notes that the popular media often refer interchangeably to concepts involving community or society and the state or government. There are two types of responses to a problem, such as an abuse of trust by rogue auditors, consultants or financial planners. The other response is coercive power exercised by bureaucrats and regulators--that is, the state or government. From the earliest days of our profession, an enlightened community of planners has supported high standards of ethics and process-centric methods of practice, as well as consumer education. Real planners cannot be defined strictly based on how they charge, a specific designation or levels of assets under management. The marketplace has a way of destroying the deceptive, the greedy and the charlatans.


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