Financial Advice Must be Geared to All Income Levels

As a provider of financial advice and counsel, do you want to exclude a potential client because of his or her ability to afford your services?

Many CPAs and accounting professionals dispense financial advice, and many also hold the CFP or Certified Financial Planner designation offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The Board recently conducted a survey to assess what income level its members catered to, and found that the majority claim their clients' income is $75,000, or nearly double the $38,900 of most U.S. median income households.

That doesn't speak well for low- to medium-income households who also need financial advice. In fact, Harold Evensky, chairman of the CFP Board, said that the lower the income, the better the financial planning should be.

There are several recommendations provided for solving the problem, including an influx of more CFPs for the marketplace, moving away from commission-based planning and providing education for households to seek and find free or low-cost sources for advice, such as the Internet.

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