Jason Zweig and Andrea Fuller report for The Wall Street Journal that there are deficiencies in one of the most popular tools for finding help with investments online. They write:
Many people seeking a financial adviser begin their search at LetsMakeAPlan.org, a directory operated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
The Board, which controls the CFP label coveted by financial planners, boasts of its high standards and has touted its directory of professionals as a place where people can find a screened, skilled and trustworthy financial planner.
What they won’t find there is any indication that thousands of the planners bearing the board’s seal of approval have had customer complaints or faced criminal or regulatory problems—often directly related to their work with clients. More than 60 have filed for bankruptcy within the past decade although the website says they haven’t disclosed such an event in the last 10 years.
The LetsMakeAPlan.org site has been presenting more than 6,300 planners without showing such problems even though the planners have disclosed them to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of more than 72,000 profiles on the website.
Even with sites like LetsMakeAPlan.org available, investors are left in the dark about whom they can trust with their life savings. To give yourself a head start on finding a trustworthy investment guide, follow my most important rule “always, always want to work with a registered investment advisor.”
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.