This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

These Advisors Should Be 'Kicked Out of the Financial Service Industry'

By Hal M. BundrickM

NEW YORK (MainStreet) ¿ It seems some financial advisors may try a bit too hard. Perhaps in an effort to obscure a lack of experience, or to mask a less-than-stellar educational background, they hook up a long trailer of "certifications" behind their name. Gaining these credentials may be an honest effort to acquire additional expertise, or, as one research firm believes, it may be an attempt to deceive investors. Now, a new online service aims to help consumers plow through the pile of designations, to sort out the quality from the quantity.

Paladin Research & Registry's "Check a Credential" service allows investors to analyze more than 260 financial advisor certifications and designations. The database is free and there is no registration required to access it.

"Some financial advisors spend years acquiring high-quality credentials that increase their expertise. Other advisors buy fake credentials that they use to deceive investors into believing they are financial experts," says Jack Waymire, Paladin's founder. "Very few investors know the critical differences between real and fake credentials. They assume credentials are legitimate or the advisors wouldn't be using them. But, they are dangerously wrong. There are no industry regulations that protect investors from this deceptive sales practice."

Must Read: Small Company Workers are Losing the Race to Retirement

By simply inputting a certification's initials, the service provides a one-page report that documents the designation's sponsor, prerequisites, curriculum, testing, and continuing education requirements. Then a Paladin algorithm calculates a peer group quality rating, ranging from Warnings (scams) to 5 Stars (Best).

Paladin reports finding more than 50 fake or discontinued credentials that are currently being used by advisors in an attempt to "deceive investors into believing they are financial experts."

The research firm says there are four certifications that rank above all of the rest: CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst¿), CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst¿), CFP® (Certified Financial Planner¿), and CPA® (Certified Public Accountant¿). 35% of CPAs currently provide financial planning advice. "No investor would knowingly select a financial advisor who used deception to gain control of his or her retirement assets," says Waymire. "Investors want real experts who have specialized knowledge that helps them achieve their goals of secure, comfortable retirements. Their biggest risk is unethical advisors who use sleazy sales tactics to look like knowledgeable experts. They use deception because investors would not buy what they are selling if they told the truth. They should be kicked out of the financial service industry."

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.66 -0.09%
FB $118.57 0.84%
GOOG $698.30 0.76%
TSLA $241.82 0.44%
YHOO $36.53 -0.19%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs