One of the joys in my life is conducting workshops. Since focusing on retirement planning, I have literally conducted hundreds of free educational workshops for “Savers,” and what I enjoy most about them is the question and answer session at the end.
Picture this: a room full of savers who, for the first time, have just heard about a new approach to their money and retirement, and now they get to ask any and all questions regarding both.
I hear some of the darndest things. In fact, following a workshop the other day, a gentleman came up to me, in private, and said that a well-known radio personality would not have agreed with me on certain points that I made.
I replied with the following question: “What are his credentials?”
There was a pause. Finally, the man said, “what do you mean?”
I repeated the same question: “Sir, you said this fellow on the radio would not have agreed with something I said, so wouldn’t it be logical to compare what he said with what I said, and then compare our credentials?”
He replied, “well, since you put it that way, I really don’t know his credentials, but I do know yours now.”
Here’s the problem folks – under current law, as long as someone on radio or TV doesn’t sell products or mange money for a fee, they can basically fly under the radar in terms of their advice. In other words, they are not accountable to anyone regardless of how reckless their advice might be. So they can endorse products, sell books, tapes, and CDs, and as long as they don’t charge for their advice, they’re free to say whatever they please.
Not good for consumers.
Well here are my credentials: For the past 32 years, I’ve made it my life’s work to be properly licensed, fully educated by various well known and reputable educational institutions such as the College for Financial Planning and the American College, and even more important, as a fiduciary registered with the proper government authorities as an investment advisor. I have an obligation to share with people accurate information about money and finances.
In other words, I’m accountable to you.