To the Editor:
Many residents in our community are asking: Will the economy get even worse before it gets better?
This is a real worry. And it’s driving many of us to reevaluate how to best manage our complex personal finance goals. The good news is that there are qualified people to whom we can turn for answers.
A timely new public opinion survey from Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, shows that Americans in search of the answers are turning to financial planners for help. As a Certified Financial Planner™ professional who lives and works here in Monmouth County, I wasn’t surprised to learn that nearly two out of three Americans (65 percent) have financial concerns that are now much or somewhat greater than at the start of the financial crisis two years ago.
The recent economic challenges, and the diversity and complexity of financial products and services available to Americans today, are driving many to seek professional assistance for their financial planning needs. Many people are choosing to invest their trust in financial planners who hold Certified Financial Planner™ certification. One reason is that CFP® certification is granted only to financial planners who have met rigorous education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. CFP Board polices the ranks of our profession by enforcing those requirements and publicly sanctioning those who break the rules.
Another reason is CFP Board’s 25-year track record of advocating for the consumer and what’s in the consumer’s best interest. Recently, CFP Board has promoted efforts to have a fiduciary standard for all who provide investment advice included as part of the important financial regulatory reform our country desperately needs to get Wall Street back on track. A fiduciary standard puts the consumer’s interests first, ahead of all others.
In 1985, when CFP Board was created, there were just a handful CFP® professionals nationwide. Today, there are more than 61,000 CFP® professionals in the United States working to help their clients live better lives through the process of financial planning. With the future direction of the U.S. economy still in question, and with the stock market and job market in turmoil, more and more Americans will turn to professional financial planners for experienced assistance with their finances. That’s a good thing for investors, and it’s a good thing for people who want to see our financial markets reinvigorated and back on their feet.
Thomas J Duffy, CFP®, MBA
Oceanport, New Jersey