Plagued by years of controversy, corruption and public backlash; the financial services industry struggles to prove that the “trusted advisor” is more than a myth. In the post-Madoff era, it has become progressively more difficult for advisors to earn trust from their clients and prospects. Can you blame them? The most recent article I read announced the resignation of the CFP Board chairman amid an ethics probe. I don’t think I need to point out that the CFP has a history of upholding a high standard of ethics and excellence for financial advisors, as seen in the recent “Let’s Make a Plan”, campaign.
While one person’s actions do not reflect the behaviors or actions of their peers, it may cast doubt in the minds of the general public. The old saying “one bad apple can spoil the bunch” isn’t far from the truth in this case because of the ability to tarnish the perception of the profession. With headlines featuring Ponzi schemes, excessive compensation for banking executives, advisor fraud, and the list goes on; it’s no wonder the average investor is resistant to put their entire life savings into the hands of someone they barely know. So, how do you establish trust in a world that seems to find every opportunity to prevent it?