Is Your Adviser Pumping Up His Credentials?
(Wall Street Journal) — Just when Americans seem more desperate than ever for trustworthy investment advice, financial advisers are brandishing a baffling array of new credentials—some of which can be earned with minimal or no study and a few hundred dollars. Increasingly, say regulators, financial advisers are using these dubious designations as marketing tools to win the trust of older, wealthier clients, in hopes of selling high-fee investments that aren’t appropriate for them. “State securities regulators have been very worried about this,” says Denise Voigt Crawford, securities commissioner for the state of Texas and past president of the North American Securities Administrators Association. “We are taking a growing number of administrative actions against people using designations as part and parcel of fraudulent securities activities, especially with older people.”