No One Really Wants To Be “Vice President”…

No one really wants to be “Vice President”… unless you work in the financial services industry.  I often hear people tell me that they work with the “Vice President” of XYZ brokerage house, and are crushed when I am unimpressed.

Here is the secret:  The Vice President title is given out to brokers for generating high sales, not for any widely recognized expertise or training.  If you have a few hundred bucks to open your own firm (like I did) you can even give yourself the title of “President”, but the title doesn’t really mean anything.

There are titles and credentials out there that do have meaning.  If you are looking for someone to do tax planning for you, make sure they are a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  If you want someone to do financial planning for you, they should be a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).  If they are picking stocks, they should be a Certified Financial Analysis (CFA).

In general, just make sure that the credentials they show you have some relevance to what you want to hire them for.  The Financial Industry Regulatory Associations (FINRA) website at http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx makes understanding the various designations easy.

No one really wants to be “Vice President”.  They don’t play music when you walk into the room, you don’t get your own airplane, and you don’t get my vote of confidence.

What do your advisors credentials really mean?