April 13, 2016

Why is it Harder to Become a Hairdresser than a Financial Adviser?

“In most states, the minimum level of education needed to become a broker or an investment adviser is lower than the education requirement needed to become a hairdresser or an electrician.... Most states do not require a high school diploma or a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED) to become a broker or an investment adviser. No minimum education requirement exists to qualify to sit for the Series 7 or Series 65 exams [regulatory qualifying tests to be eligible to sell securities]…many people who work one-on-one with clients do not attain education beyond this level.” Wall Street Journal writer Jason Zweig (4/8/16) reports on a recent academic study revealing the lack of public awareness of who is a fiduciary (search in this blog for more details). "The investing public has no clue how under-educated many securities salespeople are, according to the study."

“Transparency in the investment industry: Public perception of brokers and investment advisers”
Leisa Flynn, University of Southern Mississippi, G. Wayne Kelly, University of Southern Mississippi, & Patrick A. Lach, Eastern Illinois University

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