The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Make No Mistake


YOU – yes, YOU – need a Certified Financial Planner!  Nobody else can coordinate and synthesize the myriad advice thrown at people.  I should know – after all, I was a CFP over 30 years.

When I voluntarily relinquished that certification earlier this year, some friends thought I was retiring, which is not true.  Some friends thought I had simply outgrown it, which is also not true.  The truth is that I was just bored.  After being asked to teach the course at the local university last year and declining, I wondered why my continuing education was being dictated by some faceless bureaucrat somewhere?

I will determine my own “continuing education”.  As one example, my annual conference of the National Association of Business Economics in Washington was not CE-worthy, which is incomprehensible.  As another example, the CFP Board decided to impose the fiduciary standard on all CFPs, which is completely appropriate, but apparently limited it only to the Standard of Loyalty and not the Standard of Care.  In other words, simply disclose conflicts of interests and act in the clients’ best interest and forget the rest.  From my years as a trust officer, I knew there was so much more.

To refresh my trust officer perspective, I just completed my certification as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) from the Center of Fiduciary Studies in Pittsburgh.  It was fun, like meeting an old girlfriend from high school.  Continuing education does not have to be boring.  I’m already looking forward to whatever is next!

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