Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Accountants Selling Financial Products? You're Joking Right?

Over the last month I have met with 4 different CPA's (Certified Public Accountant). Every one of them is now selling mutual funds and insurance products to their clients. Can you say conflict of interest?!

Now, I realize that there are many large CPA firms that offer wealth management services separately to their accounting clients. That is NOT what I'm talking about here. These guys have a small, independent CPA practices where on one side of the fence they are claiming to offer objective tax advice, AND on the other side trying to sell financial products.

I don't know about you, but I find that simply ridiculous! Do these guys care more about properly advising you on taxes? OR about getting a commission from selling you a mutual fund?

If you wanna be a financial sales person, go do that! If you want to help individuals and businesses with their taxes, go do that! But don't leverage your tax planning client base to sell financial products!

If you happen to be one of these CPA's who also wants to be a Financial Advisor, then go about it in a way that doesn't have obvious conflicts of interest. Like offering Fee-Only Financial Planning to your clients (meaning you don't sell products or accept commissions).

And to continue on my rant! I'm a Certified Financial Planner. That doesn't qualify me to be an accounting expert. And just because someone has the Certified Public Accountant designation doesn't mean they are qualified to be a financial planner!

The 2 things I want you to learn from this post: 

1.) Demand Full Disclosure from anyone wanting to advise you on your investments. Make them tell you every detail about how they are paid, and what conflicts of interest they may have before doing business with them.

2.) Ask any so called "Financial Advisor", CPA or otherwise, to share with you what qualifies them to give financial planning advice. What education do they have? Are they a Certified Financial Planner or are they a PFS (Personal Financial Specialist, a great designation for CPA's wanting to give financial planning advice.)

True Financial Planning is objective, unbiased, and covers every part of your financial life. To learn more about what "Real" Financial Planning is go to my website http://www.fortitudewealthmanagement.com or listen to my radio show on WGNSRadio.com called "The Financial Doctors".

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