Finding someone you can trust to help you with your financial life may be one of the most important decisions you can make. You need someone who is aligned with your goals and respectful of your tolerance for investment risk.
You may also want an advisor who won’t benefit financially or otherwise by recommending specific investments to you. Modera’s philosophy is that financial advice should be objective and based solely on what’s in your best interest.
That’s why we recommend you only work with a CFP® professional.
While many financial advisors may promise to guide you through the complexities of planning, not all of them have passed the requirements for competency and ethics set by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (the “CFP® Board”).
The CFP® Board requires its certificants to adhere to a standard that it believes to be higher than that which will be required under the SEC’s recently enacted Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”)1 . We recommend you ensure the advisor you choose is a CFP® certificant, trained to provide you with competent and ethical financial advice.
What makes a CFP® professional different from other advisors?
In order to become a CFP® certificant, the advisor must have successfully completed the rigorous coursework requirements, have at least 4,000 hours of financial planning experience and agree to adhere to the strict code of ethics and standards of conduct set by the CFP® board.
The CFP Board website shows that just 84,000 people have received their CFP® certification2 . What’s more, less than 5,000 of those CFP® professionals listed on LinkedIn3 are fee-only, meaning they don’t receive a commission for recommending specific investments.
If you’d like to understand more about what fee-only advice means, you can read our article: What is a Fee-Only Financial Planner.
About Modera Financial Planners
All of the financial advisors of Modera have either received their CFP® certification or are working toward it. Every Modera client will be cared for by a team of advisors with a CFP® professional in the lead.
We are proudly a fee-only, independently-owned financial planning firm that acts as a fiduciary for our clients. We have built our organization to put our customers’ interests first, as evidenced by our fee-only fee structure and fiduciary responsibility.
If you’d like to find out if Modera is a good fit for you, please contact us. If you would like to learn more about financial planning, wealth management, and finding a financial advisor, please visit other areas of our education section.
1 The SEC’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) provides parameters for a standard level of conduct and guidelines regarding fiduciary duty for broker dealers. The CFP Board has stated that compliance with the SEC Regulation BI is not enough to comply to the new CFP Board Code of Ethics and Standards, effective October 1, 2019. The CFP Board has received some pressure to lower its standards to meet the SEC parameters but has stated its intentions to impose its more rigorous standards this Fall.
2 The number of CFP® certificants is sourced from the CFP® website: https://www.cfp.net/news-events/research-facts-figures/cfp-professional-demographics, Per the CFP® website this data is derived from intake forms of initial and renewal certifications. Due to the self-reported nature of this data, it is possible the number of certificants is not accurate.
3 “Fee-only CFP” data was compiled via LinkedIn Sales Navigator search inquiry (July 2019). LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a tool in the LinkedIn platform that allows the user to search for individuals based on various criteria. The criteria utilized for this profile search used “fee-only” and “CFP” within the description. Modera is not affiliated with LinkedIn or with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Modera Wealth Management., LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser with places of business in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. SEC registration does not imply any level of skill or training. Modera may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements.
For additional information about Modera, including its registration status, fees and services and/or a copy of our Form ADV Disclosure Brochure, please contact us or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure web site (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov). A full description of the firm’s business operations and service offerings is contained in our Disclosure Brochure which appears as Part 2A of Form ADV. Please read the Disclosure Brochure carefully before you invest or send money.
This article is limited to the dissemination of general information about Modera’s investment advisory and financial planning services that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be interpreted or construed as investment advice nor as legal, tax or accounting advice nor as personalized financial planning, tax planning or wealth management advice. For legal, tax and accounting-related matters, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified attorney or accountant. This article is not a substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Modera. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. The statements and opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice based on changes in the law and other conditions.