Capturing The Flag

Walker, Lewis J.
August 1997
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug1997, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p46
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the competition among financial planners. Planners are caught up in various versions of Capture the Flag. The idea is to capture consumers and their manageable assets, and the battle for clients is heating up. One contest is a version of the television program "Price Is Right," launched in a Consumer Federation of America (CFA) brochure titled "Don't Get Burned in the Financial Planner "Name Game."" The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), in conjunction with the CFA, is seeking to secure the hill topped by the Fortress of Fee-Only Planning. Fee-Only is now a certification mark of NAPFA and people can expect a decade-long battle with lawsuits and public relations duels to sort it all out. Methods of compensation for planners, advisors, brokers and even direct marketers of products are likely to remain an issue for some time to come within and outside the financial community. In early February 1997, NAPFA and the CFA issued a joint press release claiming widespread misrepresentation among financial planners and investment advisers falsely claiming to offer conflict-free fee-only services. Financial services behemoth Charles Schwab promotes its One Source mutual fund portfolio services as a fountainhead of unbiased help, suggesting that assistance from other providers may be biased, and thus not in the best interest of the consumer.


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