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February 05, 2009


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I would strongly caution dispensing financial planning advice for a fee. Legally, you need to pass the Series 65 exam given by NASD (now FINRA)market yourself as a financial planner.

What would we think of a post that said:

Make Money Using Your Medical Skills and which stated that anyone can call themselves as a medical care provider these days and all you need is some general knowledge and desire to help people at a fair price...

When I looked into the financial planning field in the late 1980s as a profession, it had a lot of problems regarding conflicts of interest and lack of competency and training. Over the years, I have been quite critical on these issues and received a fair share of arrows in the back from those who didn't take kindly to my perspectives. While there are still problems (as there are in any profession), the financial planning field has made great strides the past two decades. So, when I read a post like this, I feel a bit disrespected like Rodney Dangerfield...

The Internet seems to have furthered the notion that anyone can be an expert (and goodness knows, best-selling authors like Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki, who have little relevant training, reinforce that notion). Having seen the many mistakes people make in hiring bad planners, I can tell you that even more people make mistakes refusing to recognize the gaps in their knowledge and the complexity of issues and decisions they are confronting.

This site has useful posts and information. I respectfully disagree with this one.

I would have to agree. Personally I think I am financially saavy but not to the point where I would charge others for my untrained advice.

Ironically enough I got a call yesterday from a Primerica financial services recruiter. Now this wasn't for me but if you did have an interest in finacial services this would at least give you some basic industry knowledge and I assume some certification.

Aren't they based on some sort of pyramid scheme? Plus to learn anything I believe you have to pay fees to get in and whatnot...wouldn't people be better off either taking courses at a community college or buying a few books?

I initally thought tax preparation might be a good second income, but the H&R block program didn't seem like it would be worth it. Several weeks of unpaid training (which you pay for), for the opportunity to earn maybe $8-9 an hour for a brief period. It seemed to me that, unless you do a LOT of hours, you're looking at getting back maybe $3 per hour you put in (counting training and expenses).

It definitely did sound like a pyramid scheme from my conversation. When she said I can drop by for the weekly intro meeting to the company that was the best. Yea thanks but no thanks :)

Calls/emails of this nature have increased as of late too. Very strange.

Last thing you want to join is Primerica. What a waste of time and money. They tried to get you to sell life insurance. Guess who you are going to sell to? Your friends and family. Guess who are going to hate you? Your friends and family.

Personally, I will never give financial advice for money (oh, wait... then why am I paying mutual fund managers?).

I love the idea of money-related website or blog.

Eric: This is a website for dummies:)

I looked into doing some fee based - basic planning on the side, but the rules on who can do what are so complex and not black & white that I finally just gave up. My main motive was the fact that salesmen are basically in charge of people's money and therefore have an inherit conflict of interest if they take commissions.

You know what, I actually was asked to join Primerica It sounded so good, so I jumped right in. I payed the two hundred and something fee that you needed to pay to get your license. Then the first thing they asked me to do was get intouch with my family and try and sell it to them, after that I was like no more and I left. Its a scam you pay them to get your family in and you make nothing unless you get a whole team by your-side.

I wouldn't expect to be paid to help someone with basic planning without some sort of degree or expertise.

Tax prep is a good idea, but it does cost to be trained.

hopefully your CC will weed you out if you are some chump who read a couple dummies books. then again, most CC just teach from the text anyway.

no thanks to doing a book. that's a long process, regardless of the size.

not sure about doing the credit counseling. Sounds like a huge time investment for little reward.

hmm, a PF blog, ya don't say!

I'd love to do low cost financial planning on the side, but I will take the CFP courses first. I'd never dispense with professional level advice without the requisite training. With the blog I stay away from topics that I don't fully understand, I hate pf bloggers who dispense with bad info. I fear I've pissed off a few for pointing out their mistakes.

I was practically salivating when I read the title - this is right in line with what I want to do. I've had an idea for a short book and know exactly how I want to market it.

The tax prep thing requires licensure in my state, which in turn requires a qualified tax course (e.g. one offered by H & R Block and other tax prep services). In my state, taking the course and passing the exam is not sufficient for self-employment, you have to work so many hours doing tax prep for a Licensed Tax Consultant (really!) before you can take the exam to become a Consultant and prepare tax returns on your own. A shortcut to qualifying for the LTC exam is to become an Enrolled Agent, which requires its own exam.

Call yourself a 'life coach' and you can tell people to do whatever you want and not get in trouble.

What degrees/certs do you need to teach at a community college?

To Colin:

My aunt took the H&R Block course some 10 years ago or so and she has been doing taxes ever since. Although she had to pay for the initial course, she has more than gotten her money back doing taxes each year since. They even send out update material annually for tax law changes. Of course, you could just check out the changes on and get the same info.

I on the other hand have been going to college at night to get my Associate's Degree in Accounting and passed both the Individual Tax Prep and Business Tax Prep with A's and am planning on doing taxes this year for some extra money to pay down debt and make up what I am missing from my hours being cut at work.

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