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Straight talk on the designation debate


In a recent discussion with top advisors we asked them about designations and in candid conversations, they spoke their mind about the topic. While you may not agree with them, their comments are unfiltered and spoken with conviction. If you would like to join the designation debate, please leave a comment below.

On designations and your thoughts on discussing the topic with your clients:

Obviously, since I don’t have any designations, you might believe I haven’t felt a need for them. Actually, I’ve wondered if I should get the ChFC so I could display it and clients might feel more comfortable with my expertise. The reality is I’ve been so busy working with clients and training planners that my studies had to be more focused on the information and skills I needed to get the job done on their behalf. Much like Harry Truman, I’m a self-taught financial planner and read voraciously to better myself, but have not taken the classes formally. I target what I want to learn and am confident in my abilities.

Over the last 20 years I can count on one hand the times a prospect has asked me about my designations. I think it’s largely because they’ve come to my seminars and workshops, received my bio, listened to my planning concepts and felt comfortable with my expertise. It’s also highly probable that, because the bulk of my business comes through referrals, especially now, that prospects are convinced by the planning I’ve done for their friends and the long-term nature of the relationships I’ve had with my clients, that they haven’t needed to see any designations or plaques on the wall.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
Managing Editor

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