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Does a Financial Planner NEED to be able to Write Comprehensive Financial Plans?

Simon Hassan, CFPBy Simon Hassan, CFP, New Zealand

Should surgeons be able to do surgery, or pilots fly planes! Of course a financial planner (and a CFP professional is supposed to represent the top rung on financial planning’s ladder) needs to be thoroughly capable of creating sound financial plans. If this was not the case it would be high time to invent another name for our profession!

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Point/Counterpoint: How important is initial and ongoing education to being a successful financial planning professional?

Simon Hassan, CFP, New Zealand:

Not only is it necessary to attain and maintain your knowledge and skills, it is also a sign of your commitment to being part of a profession that puts clients first. As research shows, it will also probably improve your income and the long-term value of your business.

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Investment Behavior: How to Help Clients Steer Clear of Irrational Decisions

By Simon Hassan, CFP, New Zealand

It’s a real challenge protecting clients and ourselves from natural “thinking mistakes”.

Behavioral economics has drawn our attention to the fact that the central assumption of traditional economics – that we behave rationally, often fails to hold.

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Point/Counterpoint: Can Ethics Be Taught?

By Dan Candura, CFP and Simon Hassan, CFP

Dan:

As someone who spends a considerable amount of time delivering what some consider to be engaging and innovative training on CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, it should shock no one that I support the affirmative side of this discussion.

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Building Consumer Trust Through Better Communication

By Simon Hassan, CFP

More than almost anything, a financial planner needs to be trusted by clients, referral sources and prospects. Trust comes from who you are and what you do: you need to be competent, confident, honest, and place the interests of clients first (avoiding or at the very least, clearly disclosing any conflicts of interests).

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Professionalism is MUCH more than Exams and CPD

By Simon Hassan, CFP

Financial planners still have a way to go before we will be widely recognised as professionals. No one could disagree with Martin Bamford that there’s more to it than getting qualifications, signing a code of ethics and doing CPD.

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Can Investment Fees From Financial Advisers Be Justified?

By Simon Hassan, CFP

Yes, no, and it depends.

Yes, if the fees or commissions are reasonable in relation to the value of the services they provide.

No, if the adviser (and let’s include the firm they work for here) is just ‘clipping the ticket’ – whether the ‘clip’ is taken as commission or fees. Particularly so where conflicts of interest exist (as when an adviser claims to be, or gives the impression of being independent when this is not really the case).

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