CFP Board Backs Off Threat to Investigate Planner Rick Kahler

Days after issuing an ultimatum, the CFP Board backed off its demand that well-known planner Rick Kahler meet a Friday deadline to comply with its rules for using the term fee-only or risk an investigation.

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Comments (6)
Whim and caprice personified.
Posted by Consumer A | Thursday, July 31 2014 at 12:22PM ET
This is truly a shame.

The board had a chance to drive this one home, in a public way.

Fee-only means fee-ONLY.

The only way for the board to come out of this one squarely on the side of the consumer is NEVER, EVER, to allow Kahler to use "fee-only" until he truthfully, thoroughly BECOMES fee-only.

If a person really believes in putting the client first, then they believe that ALL the time, (not just in SOME of their business activity).

Please CFP board, don't mess this one up. We're almost to the point where we can use the word client accurately, (meaning that we represent ONLY the client).

Otherwise, we're just another financial product distribution channel.
Posted by Lane M | Thursday, July 31 2014 at 12:43PM ET
This is truly a shame. This hurts my heart

The Board had a chance to drive this one home ... in a public way.
If a person believes that the client (note the use of the word client, not customer) comes first, then the must practice that in all of their business activity.

There's nothing wrong with being a sales person, (part of a distribution channel for financial products), but that person can never represent the CLIENT. They are selling to CUSTOMERS.

The only way this can come out with CFP maintaining their momentum in working toward a new profession, (a profession that truly REPRESENTS the client in the same way an attorney represents their client), is if Mr, Kahler is not allowed to use the term fee-only until all of his business activities reflect that philosophy.

This COULD be an opportunity for the board. Don't mess this pivotal next step up for us CFP Board.

It's stick to your guns time.

Otherwise, this is a step back.
Posted by Lane M | Thursday, July 31 2014 at 12:54PM ET
Lane M:

I think you mistake the concept of "fee-only" with "putting the client first". Fee-only doesn't guarantee cheaper advice for the client, has no impact on the quality of advice or the results of the advice, nor the ethics or integrity of the person offering the advice. This specific case doesn't even deal with financial planning fees, but with fictional real estate commissions that Rick's proposed solutions would make impossible to occur.

The CFP board's ineffectiveness at designing and implementing a compensation based stratification process calls into question why they're trying to do it at all. The mounting legal expenses of trying to defend their random enforcement efforts will certainly detract from other more important functions they could be performing.
Posted by DAVID | Thursday, July 31 2014 at 1:21PM ET
There are a number of issues here which should be of concern to the consumer. An organization which purportedly exists to protect the public finds itself fighting serious charges that it acts in a whimsical and capricious manner.

The current issue, involving Mr. Kahler, is really simple. If the board thinks he is in violation, begin the investigation. The investigation will either lead to a charge or not, and a hearing. The way that it looks now, is that the board, despite addressing this issue for 10 months, is now afraid.

With behavior like that, it is little wonder why they gave a free pass to so many of the wire house licensees.
Posted by Consumer A | Friday, August 01 2014 at 12:34PM ET
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