In a new survey, the CFP Board revealed just how pervasive the financial abuse of seniors has come to be. At the same time, the board is seeking new standards to help seniors - and all consumers - better understand which self-described financial advisors are truly out to serve their best interests.

"There are 142 designations for financial advisors," says Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, managing director for public policy and communications at the CFP Board. "We determined that most of them actually have nothing at all behind them other than a weekend course with an open book test and then you get three letters behind your name. They are basically worthless."

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