Investment News confirms my suspicions about CFP Board and others.

I’m not a big fan of the CFP Board. I don’t think it’s that hard to get the CFP mark. And their “disciplinary” procedures really strike me as a kangaroo court.

Now Investment News has uncovered the CFP Board’s little secret, along with the secrets of other grantors of marks. The article points out that these grantors (they are NOT regulators) do not pay much attention to the people to whom they’ve granted the license to use the marks.

The common theme in the article seemed to be that these grantors use the Internet and rely on complaints to determine if they should take action against a licensee. My experience is that the grantor waits until after the real regulator has done its job (usually FINRA) and then swoops in to pick over the bones.

My experience with the CFP Board is that the so-called disciplinary rules are draconian and are slanted in favor of the Board. The timelines are short, the hearings are held in inconvenient locales and the licensee has to pay a fee just to be heard. And people complain about the lack of due process in arbitration! My advice to CFP licensees when the CFP Board comes knocking, why bother? Do people really pay attention to the mark? Or do they care that you, the financial professional, do a good job?

That’s the view from one lawyer in Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida. I’m Marc Dobin.

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