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Mike Kitces asks: What Can Financial Planners Learn from Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey?

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Follow Paretto’s Law – or Learn Something Unique and Compete?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Michael Kitces is an industry pundit, and well known certified financial planner [CFP], who writes for a financial advisory and financial planner audience at thewebsite Nerd’s Eye View:

http://www.kitces.com

He is a bright guy, who holds the following professional degrees and designations:

  • MSFS – Master of Science in Financial Services
  • MTAX – Master’s in Taxation
  • CFP – Certified Financial Planner
  • CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter
  • ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant
  • RHU – Registered Health Underwriter
  • REBC – Registered Employee Benefits Consultant
  • CASL – Chartered Advisor of Senior Living
  • CWPP – Chartered Wealth Preservation Planner

Yet, in a recent essay, he laments that all the CFPs® in the country added together don’t have as much reach, or impact, as three mass marketing gurus: Suze Orman, David Bach, and Dave Ramsey. And, he is correct.

Markets Vary

These gurus, and the CFPs®, serve different markets for sure. The gurus’ products are free or inexpensive. Their messages are simple and actionable. Once you go beyond the simple messages, however, you will find the gurus no longer satisfying. So, it’s no coincidence that the three gurus focus on controlling spending and getting out of debt. Why?

Eighty percent of us do need to get out of debt and control our spending, period!

Link: Do Financial Planners Have Something To Learn From Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey?

Pareto’s Law

Here is where the mass market is located, said economist V. Pareto PhD more than a century ago. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of scarsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is a common thumb-rule in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”.

Look, most clients can’t control their income but they can be taught to control spending and debt habits [needs versus wants]. Most patients need a family doctor; not a brain surgeon.  And, most of us do not have Einstein’s intelligence, Gate’s wealth, or Hercules’s strength.

But, our lives can vastly be improved by 80%, with just 20% more effort and cost. This is what the gurus know – most of us are average – not so the CFPs® who believe we all need a comprehensive financial plan and have the ability to pay for it and the time to execute and monitor it.

Assessment

And so, CFPs® can’t charge an 80% premium – to 80% of the population – when clients don’t need or want a comprehensive financial plan. Or, when clients can be better off by 80%, and such success can be had for 20% of the cost and effort offered by the CFPs®.

Basic supply-demand economics 101! Ford autos are fine – we all don’t need or want a Mercedes.

More confusing is the fact that even the CFPs® themselves are suspect since prior to 2008 a college degree was not required for the certification mark. And, having same allows the practitioner no additional diagnostic or interventional tools.

IOW: Whatever a CFP® can do – a non-CFP® can do.  And, it is increasingly considered by the well-informed …. to be a marketing mark …. to hold a marketing mark. This is akin to being famous; for being famous.  That’s why I resigned my CFP® mark years ago.

Full Disclosure: I am the Founder of the: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org online program. CMP™ certificants – like doctors – hold fiduciary accountability at all times and with unique healthcare industry specificity.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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6 Responses

  1. Advisor And Investor Perceptions Vary

    Financial Advisors and investors don’t seem to be on the same page in terms of their financial concerns and perceptions of the market, according to a recent survey by MFS Investment Management.

    http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/7038-advisor-and-investor-perceptions-vary-study-says.html

    This seems to reinforce the above point very well.

    Mark

    Like

  2. Why Physicians Need to Deal with Debt

    Dr. Marcinko – A recent wave of foreclosures has put Americans deeper in debt, with the sub-prime crisis exposing despicable predatory lending practices. Doctors are not immune.

    And, research has shown the wreckage also could be found strewn across in the mid-prime and prime markets as middle-class borrowers struggled to pay adjustable rate mortgages. High hopes have been pinned on the stock market helping people crawl out from this crisis just like when the real estate market had softened the blow when the tech-bubble burst at the turn of this century. So far, this has happened, to an extent. But, if the stock market starts reeling again, then it will spell even bigger trouble.

    Indeed, Dr. Basu is correct, we all have to deal with debt – and this is why the likes of Ramsey and Oreman flourish.

    https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2010/09/08/why-physicians-need-to-deal-with-debt/

    Kingston

    Like

  3. Dr. Marcinko,
    Suze Orman recently said that the American Dream is dead!
    What do you think?
    Frank

    Like

  4. Signs your financial planner is bad

    It’s your money, so don’t leave your financial decisions in the hands of a financial adviser who doesn’t know what she/he’s doing.

    http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/6-signs-your-financial-planner-is-bad

    Dr. Furns

    Like

  5. Suze Orman’s prepaid card is discontinued

    Users of the Approved Card are being urged to spend their remaining money on the plastic before July 1, 2014.

    http://money.msn.com/debt-management/article.aspx?post=d0c071aa-f1cd-45e9-9680-3f34d70f8f8e

    Mary

    Like

  6. Increased Demand, Too Few Financial Planners

    If you are looking for an investment advisor, the number of companies and advisors from which to choose is almost overwhelming.

    The case is almost opposite if you are looking for a fiduciary financial planner—one who is client-centered and advice driven, where the focus is not on selling high-commission financial products but delivering advice for a fee. The shortage of financial planners was one topic of discussion at the Insider Forum Conference that I attended this fall in San Diego.

    The largest generation, the Baby Boomers, have hit retirement age, increasing the demand for financial planning. Also, more and more GenXer’s and Millennials are discovering advantages to having a professional planner. All this increases the demand for real financial planning services.

    Many financial planners cannot keep up with the demand because there are not enough financial planners entering the job market. I am told by recruiters and professors that many graduates of financial planning programs are snapped up by large Wall Street investment firms engaged in the sale of financial products. These firms are able to pay salaries significantly above what independent financial planners can afford.

    This shortage forces many established financial planning firms to limit client numbers by imposing a moratorium on accepting new clients, increasing fees, or raising their minimum fee threshold. These last two are the most common.

    Can you imagine finally getting the confidence to call a financial planner, or suddenly having a life event that requires the help of a planner, only to be told you don’t have enough in assets or the minimum fee is far beyond what you can afford? It happens every day. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of a consumer to be turned away from a planner because they don’t “qualify.”

    This isn’t because the financial planner is heartless, greedy, or doesn’t care. Planners are financial caregivers and inherently have big hearts. Movie producer Ed Saxon even says, “Financial planners play a pastoral role in keeping people safe and taking care of them.” It hurts any planner to have to turn away people who truly want and could benefit from their services.

    Yet they simply cannot financially, emotionally, or physically serve everyone. On his “Nerd’s Eye View” blog, financial journalist Michael Kitces points out that “today’s financial advisor population can barely serve 15% of all US households, and the CFP certificant population is only numerous enough to serve 4% of households.”

    To try and meet this demand, most financial planning firms are trying to increase efficiencies through embracing technology, standardizing work flows, and outsourcing indirect client support functions like para-planning, bookkeeping, rebalancing, performance reporting, and investment selection. This helps planners spend more time face-to-face with clients helping them to make sound financial decisions.

    Another embryonic possibility is offering financial planning to groups of clients, rather than one-on-one. Groups have been used by psychotherapists for decades to deliver effective therapy at a lower cost. Delivering financial planning in this way is something other planners and I have long discussed. This fall, my associate, Sarah Swantner, CFP, NCC, and I are doing a pilot group for the Black Hills Community Education program.

    If you have trouble finding a fiduciary financial planner, consider these options while you’re looking: Find informal financial mentors. Look for a planner who works with clients remotely, as many do. Educate yourself through books, videos, and classes that provide investment and money-management information without trying to sell you financial products.

    This way, when and if the shortage eventually eases, or you become able to afford a planner, you’ll bring a degree of financial confidence and clarity into that partnership.

    Rick Kahler CFP®

    Like

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