My Final Exam

Moisand, Dan
November 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Nov2004, Vol. 17 Issue 11, p54
Academic Journal
• Though few agree on how financial planners should be regulated, most agree that today's system has serious flaws. This paper, winner of the Journal of Financial Planning's 2004 Call for Papers competition in the Future of the Profession category, envisions a future in which financial planning and financial planners are governed by a self-regulating body--the Financial Planning Regulatory Commission--that focuses on the overall act of financial planning, not merely the hodgepodge of subset activities such as investing and insurance each regulated by its own government agency. • This paper presents this vision through the story of a fictional compliance exam of the author's practice set years in the future just before the author's retirement. • In this imaginary future, people who hold themselves out as a financial planner, use a similar title, or imply that they do financial planning must register as a financial planner. Future planners can also be "board certified" in specialties. • All consumers must receive from a prospective financial planner "a clear and accurate self-description of skills, services, compensation, and conflicts of interest" written in plain English. • Dissatisfied consumers can sue financial planners for damages, and the regulatory body can fine planners. • The paper further contrasts this hoped-for future with the regulatory structure of today, and lays out a path for how such a transition might evolve.


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