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CHFP Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) - 2023

Module I - Business of Health Care: Participation and successful end-of-course assessment of the HFMA Business of Health Care® online program offering participants an overview of healthcare finance, risk mitigation, evolving payment models, healthcare accounting and cost analysis, strategic finance, and managing financial resources.



Module II - Operational Excellence: CHFP aspirants must also complete HFMA's Operational Excellence exam, which includes exercises and case studies on the application of business acumen in health care.



Please note HFMA membership is a required aspect for earning and maintaining the CHFP credential.



Paid student members are eligible to register for and to take both modules of the CHFP certification program (included with membership). Student members who successfully complete the CHFP requirements (two modules) will earn their designation upon assuming Professional or Business Partner level member status.



The Big Picture Healthcare environment



- Reform/Current State of US Healthcare

- Transformation Under Reform

- Payment System Overview

- The Role of Financial Management in Health Care Organizations

- Management Roles & Hierarchy

- What Keeps CFOs Up at Night?



Financial Accounting Concepts Accounting Principles



- Analysis of Financial Statements

- Management Reports

- Accounting Terminology

- Reports for financial analysis



Cost Analysis Principles Cost Management



- Definitions

- Traditional Cost-Finding Methods

- Setting Prices

- Profit analysis



Strategic Financial Issues Basics of Strategic Planning



- Budgeting Concepts

- Variance Analysis

- Revenue & Performance Budgeting

- Controlling Operating Results

- Benchmarking, Productivity, and Cost-Benefit/Cost-Effectiveness

- Analysis



Managing Financial Resources Financing the Healthcare System: Revenue Cycle



- Working capital management

- The Use of Metrics and Data

- Long-Term Financial Resources



Looking to the Future ACA, ACOs & Bundled Payments:

Evolving Reimbursement

The Need for Business Intelligence & Analytics

Population Health Management

Aligning Clinicians and Finance Professionals to Drive Value

Accountable Care Organizations – Payer Cancers

Premium Growth in a Shifting Environment

Denials of coverage

Limitations on profits

Health Insurance Exchanges

Payer consolidations

Unsustainable rates

Payer Differentiation

Rise of Business Process Outsourcing

Consumerism and physicians

Physician –Hospital alignment

Demand for Physician Collegiality

Emerging Ancillary Positions

Physician Burnout

Physician Independence

Physician Shortages (Leakage)

Physicians as Entrepreneurs

Reform and Physician Liability

Physician – Hospital Financial

Relationships

Hospital Consolidations

Hospital – Physician Alignment

Hospital Facing Bankruptcy

Provider- Payer Consolidations

Physician Engagement and Leadership

Integrated Care Delivery

Physicians Remaining

Independent

Accountable Care Organizations

Sustainability of Physician

Employment



Module I Concept Guide – It is recommended that you preview this guide prior to working through the online materials. For example, the pages in this guide associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) may be viewed before working in the first course, Healthcare Finance -- The Big Picture. This preview indicates the key concepts that will be covered and attunes you to areas of professional practice that may be less familiar. Feel free to make notes in this document. By taking the time to customize this guide, you can develop a handy reference tool as you continue your work in health care.



• Module II Concept Guide - It is recommended that candidates preview the key‐concept guide prior to working through this online course. The module is itself an examination with three (3) hours allowed for completion. This preview indicates the key business challenges that will be presented and attunes candidates to areas of professional practice that may be less familiar. The learner guide can then be used to focus additional outside practicing and study on unfamiliar issues
Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) - 2023
Financial Professional PDF Download

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Certified Healthcare Financial Professional(R) (CHFP)
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Question: 294
The structuring of debt relative to equity is called _____________.
A. Capital structure decision
B. Debt structure decision
C. Equity structure decision
D. Capitalized decision
Answer: A
Question: 295
A loan typically issued by a bank that has a maturity of:
A. One to ten weeks
B. Ten to twelve months
C. One to ten months
D. One to ten years
Answer: D
Question: 296
The formula to calculate break-even for capitation is:
A. PMPM * Enrollees = (Enrollees - Utilization rate * variable cost / unit) + monthly
variable cost
B. PMPM * Enrollees = (Enrollees + Utilization rate + variable cost / unit) + monthly fixed
cost
C. PMPM * Enrollees = (Enrollees * Utilization rate * variable cost / unit) + monthly fixed
cost
D. PMPM * Enrollees = (Enrollees * Utilization rate + total variable cost) + monthly fixed
cost (Where PMPM is per Member per Month)
Answer: C
Question: 297
The formula to calculate basic break-even equation is:
A. Price * Volume = Fixed cost + (variable cost per unit * volume)
B. Price + Volume = Fixed cost + (variable cost per unit + volume)
C. Price * Volume = variable cost + (variable cost per unit / volume)
D. Price - Volume = Fixed cost + (variable cost per unit + volume)
Answer: A
Question: 298
The break-even equation modified to include desired profit is:
A. Price + Volume = Fixed cost + (variable cost per unit + volume) * Desired profit
B. Price * Volume = Fixed cost + (variable cost per unit * volume) + Desired profit
C. Price * Volume = variable cost + (variable cost per unit / volume) + Desired profit
D. Price - Volume = Fixed cost + (variable cost per unit + volume) * Desired profit
Answer: B
Question: 299
An accounting method that tracks when cash was received and when cash was expended,
regardless of when services were provided or resources were used is called:
A. Cash recording accounting
B. Accounting cash flows
C. Cash statement of operations
D. Cash basis of accounting
Answer: D
Question: 300
An accounting method that records revenues when earned and resources when used,
regardless of cash in or out of the organization is called:
A. Accrual basis of accounting
B. Accounting Flow
C. Modified statement of operations
D. Cash basis of accounting
Answer: A
Question: 301
Which of the following is NOT the disadvantage of accrual basis of accounting?
A. keeps track of revenues generated and resources used as well as cash flows
B. open to manipulation, by bending accounting rules
C. matches revenues with the resources used to generate those revenuers
D. the financial statements provide a broader picture of the providers operation
Answer: B
Question: 302
The rules to record a transaction under the accrual basis of accounting includes:
A. At least one account must be used to record a transaction.
B. After each transaction, the fundamental accounting equation must be balanced.
C. Both A & B
D. Neither A nor B
Answer: B
Question: 303
Under accrual basis of accounting, revenues are recognized when earned.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 304
An asset that, when increased, decreases the value of a related asset on the books is called:
A. Controversial asset
B. Slender asset
C. Contra-asset
D. Contracted asset
Answer: C
Question: 305
______________ is the contra-asset to properties and equipment and the allowance for
uncollectable, which is the contra-asset to accounts receivables.
A. Dispersive appreciation
B. Depreciation expense
C. Depreciated Contra-asset
D. Accumulated depreciation
Answer: D
Question: 306
To find the book value of the fixed asset, the accumulated depreciation is added in the
amount of properties and equipment.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 307
Which represents the assets, liabilities and net assets for a health care provider?
A. Accounting cycle
B. Balance sheet
C. Income statement
D. Statement of cash flows
Answer: B
Question: 308
What represents the difference between unrestricted revenues, gains and other support and
expenses?
A. Operating expense
B. Unrestricted net assets
C. Operating income
D. Statement of Operations
Answer: C
Question: 309
What represents the costs that are incurred in the day to day operation of the business?
A. Permanent restricted net assets
B. Statement of cash flows
C. Operating income
D. Operating expenses
Answer: D
Question: 310
What provides information about how much revenue was generated and the amount of
resources used to generate those resources?
A. Statement of operations
B. Statement of cash flows
C. Statement of changes in net assets
D. None of the above
Answer: A
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How to Become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can supply you broad-based knowledge that may allow you to guide your clients to achieve their personal financial goals. As a financial planner, you can expect to develop long-term client relationships and follow a strict code of ethics.

How to Become a CFP®

There are several components to obtaining the CFP® mark:

1. Education

Kristin Regis with the text Kristin RegisThe educational component includes completing a CFP Board-Registered Education Program and then 30 hours of continuing education in each reporting period. These ongoing requirements supply the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional the extra knowledge to enhance their reputation in the field.

“These requirements help to reassure potential clients that the financial planner has the knowledge to help them reach their financial goals and understands how to advise (them) ethically,” said Kristin Regis, an associate dean of finance at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

Along with a finance degree or a CPA credential, other courses that can help CFP® professionals include psychology or other social science, public speaking or business presentation, and communication classes.

2. The CFP® Exam

Craig Allen with the text Craig AllenHow hard is it to become a CFP® professional? First, you need to have specific coursework under your belt to qualify for the CFP® exam. Some degree programs will include this, but you typically need to take additional courses if you have a degree in a related field.

Craig Allen, CFP® professional and finance adjunct faculty at SNHU, recommends looking for a program that offers a financial planning concentration that qualifies you to sit for the exam as you obtain your bachelor's degree.

Obtaining this defining industry credential can set you apart and accelerate your career, even when you have just a few years of experience. “(The CFP® mark) gives you a leg up, and shows you did the work and have the knowledge,” said Jennifer Facini, a CFP® professional and adjunct instructor at SNHU. "It builds trust.”

Facini also recommended getting a mentor, not only to help prepare for the exam but for career development. She suggested exploring the mentor program offered on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. website, which can include test prep, free resources and networking opportunities.

3. Personal Characteristics and Interests

There are also certain personal characteristics and traits that a successful CFP® professional should possess that can predict your level of enjoyment in the industry.

Dan Serra with the text Dan Serra“Students ask me, 'What skills do I need?' I often highlight two keywords: curiosity and empathy — about people and how things work,” said Dan Serra, CFP® and adjunct at SNHU.

Serra said that sometimes a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional needs to explain complex concepts to their clients. "(The CFP® professional needs) to be willing to go through many pages of documents to understand what their clients might not. As for empathy, you need to be comfortable with their feelings and in difficult times,” he said.

A thirst for ongoing knowledge, a desire to help people reach their financial goals and an affinity for developing long-term relationships with your clients are all beneficial in this career track.

4. Experience

Experience in the field is required to attain the certification. According to the CFP Board’s experience requirement, you must achieve 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship.

The CFP Board notes that “qualifying experience includes activities involving the delivery of financial planning services to individual clients,” including direct interaction with clients or a supervisory role.

Teaching financial planning-related courses, internships or the Financial Planning Association’s Residency Program are also suggested as ways to gain the necessary experience requirements.

5. Ethics

Ethics is one of the most important characteristics and requirements of the CFP® professional. When you seek to attain this credential, you are vowing to adhere to high ethical and professional standards laid out by the CFP Board.

You promise to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice to your client, and that you will always place their best interests and needs above your own personal gain.

How is it Different From a Financial Advisor?

Your financial status will always be a part of planning your future. Many of us need help with this and can find it from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, or CFP® professional. While a financial advisor may help clients reach their personal financial goals by primarily focusing on investments, CFP® professionals take a more holistic view and approach to their clients' financial health.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can advise their clients on risk management, retirement, estate planning, taxes, insurance, budgeting and more — and how all these factors affect their client’s ability to save and grow their money.

Jennifer Facini with the text Jennifer FaciniCredibility, according to Facini, is valuable in the financial industry. “The term advisor is so loose; anyone can say it," she said. "But to be a CFP® professional, you’ve taken courses, did a capstone and then sat for the exam. Knowledge and experience and ongoing education are required annually, along with strong ethics."

These good ethics are reflected in the fiduciary standards to which the CFP® professional is required to adhere. The fiduciary standard means that as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, you are obligated to put your clients’ needs ahead of your own. 

“Some advisors only get paid through (the) commission of selling certain products they’re incentivized to sell, that aren’t necessarily in the client’s best interest,” Facini said. “The fiduciary standard has eliminated that concern. (A CFP® professional is) working with your best interests in mind.”

The CFP® Professional and Client Relationship

One important consideration when becoming a CFP® professional is realizing a key element of the profession is developing and tending to long-term client relationships. Financial planning is a lifelong endeavor, and many things change and evolve in the best-laid plans due to life’s twists and turns. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional should be comfortable being an intimate part of their client’s discussions of all those facets.

This cradle-to-grave relationship can last through marriages and divorces, job loss, retirement and all kinds of financial setbacks and gains. The client needs to feel comfortable sharing these personal details with their financial planner, and there needs to be trust. “(As a client,) you’re kind of baring your soul, and you don’t want to feel judged. You need to feel safe to be honest,” Facini said. “You want to relate to the person. (As their CFP® professional,) be genuine. If they see the real you, they’ll feel comfortable.”

Sometimes, clients need someone to tamp down any short-term panic behavior to protect their long-term financial goals. “A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is a coach prepared to supply advice on things beyond investments, up to and including managing (client) behavior,” Serra said. “The keyword is planning — for the future, not just ‘what’s going on in the market now.’ Risk management means helping clients protect themselves by focusing on the long-term implications, not just on the market today. That’s where psychology and coaching comes in. It’s planning for the long-term future, not the next couple of years.”

Dr Kimberly Blanchette with the text Dr Kimberly BlanchetteAs advancements in technology change how many fields work, financial planners will continue to be needed for quality control and the human touch. "A financial planner connects personally with clients through human skills such as emotional intelligence," said Dr. Kimberly Blanchette, the executive director of online business programs. "Financial planning as a profession is one that clients are looking to engage with a human and not a machine.”

A CFP® professional takes the emotional aspect out of their decisions, Facini said, preventing any rash decisions that might affect the client’s future. “A CFP® is sort of a therapist to express your fears to; they use their rational voice to talk you out of (bad decisions),” she said.

The Benefits of Becoming a CFP® Professional

There are many benefits to working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to achieve your long-term goals, but there are also benefits to being one.

You’re the Go-To ‘Quarterback’

As a CFP® professional, the value of your in-depth knowledge of financial courses is in high demand. But what’s also valued by clients is the one-stop-shopping aspect. “The CFP® is the quarterback who can answer or knows who to go to for the answer,” Serra said.

Facini used the quarterback analogy as well, adding that in addition to finding any other needed certified beyond the realm of the CFP® professional — estate attorneys, insurance agents and others who help with financial issues — the planner also follows-up to ensure everything has been done. Some clients are overwhelmed and don’t have time to research who they need to go to, she said, and then find them all.

A CFP® professional helps their client find these other professionals and then closes the communications loop by making sure they received the right help for their specific goals. A CFP® professional isn't an attorney, Serra said, but does know enough about estate planning to know when you need one. They can do follow-up work with beneficiaries, for example, tell you what they know, refer you to other professionals for information they don't know and coordinate all of that work into a cohesive whole.

You’re Not a Salesperson

Your clients know the fiduciary standard holds you accountable for putting their best interests ahead of your own.

“You don’t sell products, so it’s nice to not be a salesman,” Serra said.

Finance scares some people if they connote it with sales, Facini said, but you don't need those traits here. “You can be kind, easy-going, genuine. You’re coming from a place of helping people. You’re problem-solving; you put the puzzle together and present it. I love talking to people. You don’t have to be sales-driven or assertive.”

Career Advancement and Earning Potential

Serra said the earning potential as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional could depend on whether you work for an organization or for yourself.

“You can be a staff (financial planner) and work your way up into management as a principal or owner with profit sharing. Or you could also keep all the money you earn by being an independent planner, and increase as you gain experience. There is a high demand, and the more you know, the more valuable you are,” Serra said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), personal financial advisors had a median annual salary of $95,390 in May 2022.* The financial planning job outlook is positive, too. The BLS projects it to grow by 13% from 2022 to 2032.*

As a CFP® professional, you can specialize in financial courses or on specific professions or demographics. Serra said Social Security and Medicare advice is an especially attractive specialty to Baby Boomers, and professions like doctors or other businesses can have particular planning needs that you can develop knowledge about, creating a strong niche client base.

Career Satisfaction

One of the things the profession gets high grades for is personal satisfaction, Serra said.

According to a 2021 report by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, 93% of CFP® professionals surveyed were satisfied with their career choice. As per the findings of the Survey of CFP® Professionals, 93% of respondents would also recommend the CFP® certification to other financial professionals.

“It’s a career that gets a very high ‘I love my job’ rating because of the work/life balance. Some Certified Financial Planners I know only work three days a week or flex the hours for dealing with personal life needs. You can work anywhere with a phone and a computer. It’s a level of flexibility that many careers don’t offer,” he said.

Is Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Worth It?

The work/life balance ratio can be attractive to many people juggling family responsibilities and other interests. And there’s also the satisfaction of helping others achieve their financial goals and future security while developing lifelong relationships.

Facini sums it up with a simple concept: A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is not selling their client something; you’re part of their team. “You’re on the same side of the table with the client,” she said.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/business/how-to-become-a-certified-financial-planner
Do I need a financial advisor? No result found, try new keyword!Survey after survey of American financial literacy, whether assessing teens, seniors or those in between, have revealed high levels of uncertainty and low levels of knowledge. Many professional ... Tue, 14 Nov 2023 22:44:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/money/do-i-need-a-financial-advisor The Top 3 Financial Advisor Credentials

Have you ever wondered about the alphabet soup of letters following a financial advisor’s name? There are almost 250 different financial advisor and professional designation certifications available, according to FINRA.

Here are the top three (in no particular order):

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is bound by rigorous requirements set by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). There are four parts to the initial CFP certification; education, examination, experience and ethics. A CFP candidate will need about 12-18 months to complete the required coursework and the exam. The CFP applicant must have a minimum education level of a bachelor’s degree and coursework in financial planning. The ethics component requires the applicant to meet the Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants and promise to follow the Rules of Conduct which put the clients’ interests first.

According to the CFP Board, before being awarded the CFP designation the applicant must pass a comprehensive computerized one-day (six-hour) examination. Since the CFP must be able to work without supervision, they must have a minimum of 6,000 hours of professional financial planning experience or 4,000 hours as an apprentice before holding the title.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The prestigious investing credential of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is issued by the internationally recognized CFA Institute. The CFA is especially important in the areas of investment research and portfolio management. Similar to the CFP, there are rigorous educational, experience, and examination requirements for the CFA.

To earn a CFA, you will need to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and work experience. The CFA holder must also have a total of 4,000 hours of related educational and professional work experience in an investment related field. The most challenging aspects of obtaining the CFA certification are the three required examinations. Each are about four hours and must be taken over several years. The CFA examination tests courses from these disciplines: accounting, economics, ethics, finance and mathematics.

As with the CFP, the CFA must adhere to certain ethical guidelines as well. This designation is highly concentrated in the investing area and when working with a CFA, it’s likely you will receive a high level of investment counsel.

Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)

The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) is credentialed by the highly regarded American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This professional is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with additional expertise in all aspects of financial and wealth management.

The PFS studies estate planning, retirement planning, investing, insurance and additional areas of personal financial planning. This designation also requires a minimum of 3,000 hours of work experience, rigorous continuing professional education, and high ethical standards. Similar to the prior high level certifications, the PFS must pass an exam.

The Bottom Line

Financial advisor credentials matter. Ask the advisor what was required to obtain a particular certification. Realize that the top financial advisor credentials require rigorous study, experience and high ethical standards.

Sun, 22 Nov 2015 23:28:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/060515/top-3-financial-advisor-credentials.asp
Types of Financial Advisor Scams and How to Avoid Them

The vast majority of financial advisors are honest, skilled, and ethical. However, a few bad eggs can spoil the reputation of those thousands of upstanding professionals. Bernie Madoff, the once highly regarded investment advisor turned Ponzi swindler, exemplifies the dark underbelly of the financial advisor field.

At first, Madoff appeared to be the perfect financial professional for his clients. The rich and elite had no idea their stellar returns were funded by incoming Madoff investors.

If the wealthy elite can get snookered by a financial advisor, what’s to protect the average individual from the same fate? Beware of financial advisor scams and learn how to protect yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • While there are many honest financial advisors, there are also many unscrupulous ones engaging in fraudulent behavior; it's important to know the most common ones to look out for.
  • Bernie Madoff has become synonymous with the Ponzi scheme, in which the payment of returns to current investors comes from money deposited by new investors; meanwhile, the advisor siphons off some of the money.
  • The affinity fraud targets a group, often in combination with a Ponzi scheme, such as a religious organization or friend group, by convincing the group to go along with a scam because their friends are involved.
  • Other scams include misrepresenting qualifications, such as claiming experience or certifications you don't have, or promising unrealistic returns, such as claiming an investment will generate huge numbers.
  • With a "churning" scam, the advisor makes lots of unnecessary trades, which costs the customer in commissions and often results in less-than-stellar investment returns.

Ponzi Scheme

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk.”

The Ponzi scheme is a classic scam and incorporates components of other scams as well. The investment proceeds in this classic scam are simply the new investors' monies doled out to existing clients. Without fail, the initiator of the Ponzi scheme siphons money off to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Affinity Fraud

The affinity fraud targets a particular group with its ploy, frequently in conjunction with a Ponzi scheme. This scam is effective because we tend to trust other members of our “tribe.” The cohort group might share the same religion, cultural background, or geographic region.

This affinity targeting makes gaining new participants in the scam easier because there is a built-in level of trust. To further con the participants, the scammer might belong to the group or pretend to be a member.

The following affinity scam-Ponzi scheme targeted Persian-Jewish community members in Los Angeles. Shervin Neman raised more than $7.5 million for investment in his so-called hedge fund. He promised that the fund invested in foreclosed real estate which would be quickly bought and then resold for a profit. In reality, Neman used the money raised to fund his extravagant lifestyle and pay off new investors.

Misrepresentation Scam

Misrepresentation of credentials is another way financial advisors scam the unsuspecting public. The field of financial planning is ripe for malfeasance because there is not one particular credential or licensing requirement to practice.

In fact, there are dozens of financial planning designations such as certified financial planner (CFP), registered investment advisor (RIA), certified public accountant (CPA), chartered financial analyst (CFA), and many more.

The public may not be aware of the designations, ethics, or requirements for certification and thus may be receiving advice from someone with no education, experience, or background in the investment advising field.

It’s quite easy for someone to hang up a shingle and start doling out advice. The scammer can then close up shop and walk away with the proceeds or swindle the unsuspecting clients with fake products.

Unrealistic Returns

Promising or even guaranteeing higher than market returns for your investment is a common trick. The popular axiom, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t” is usually accurate. It is unlikely that an advisor can offer a client returns that are unavailable to the rest of the world.

This scam preys upon the clients’ greed and dreams of easy money. If an advisor offers or guarantees returns higher than 12% to 15%, it is likely a scam. For example, over the last 100 years, the S&P 500 has averaged 10.53% annually. For the last 30 years, the average is 9.86%, and for the last 10 years, the average is 12.08%.

Churning

Many stockbrokers have been charged with the “churning” scam. Since traditional stockbrokers are paid when their clients buy or sell a security, they can be motivated to make unnecessary stock trades to pad their own pockets.

The churning scam involves the financial advisor making frequent buy and sell trades, which not only costs the customer in commissions but usually results in sub-optimal investment returns.

There are many other investment scams as well as additional varieties of the schemes mentioned above. Next, find out how to avoid falling prey to a shady investment advisor.

Protecting Yourself

Vet and verify the financial advisor's background. Find out if the advisor has received any disciplinary action or complaints. These websites help uncover unscrupulous advisors: www.finra.org/brokercheck, www.adviserinfo.sec.gov, www.nasaa.org, www.naic.org, and www.cfp.net.

Ask how the advisor is compensated. Is it by the commission, assets under management, fee, or a combination of payment structures? If the potential financial advisor is unclear or hedges when asked about fees, walk away. Ask for the advisor's ADV Part II document which explains the professional's services, fees, and strategies.

When vetting a potential advisor, it's important to ask for names of satisfied, long-term clients. However, while this is a good idea, in theory, this protection has a downside, as the referrals could be prescreened or friends of the advisor.

When discussing investment ideas and strategies, ask about the advantages and disadvantages of each recommendation. There are no perfect investments, and every financial product has a downside. If the advisor is unclear or you don’t understand the investment, it may not be for you. Although, you may consider gathering a second opinion.

Do not supply the financial advisor a power of attorney or the ability to make trades without first consulting you. Require every financial action to be cleared with you first. Further, make certain you receive statements not only with the advisor’s letterhead, but also from the custodian, or financial institution which holds your money and investments.

How Do You Know If a Financial Advisor Is Legitimate?

There are a few ways you can check if a financial advisor is legitimate. You can check with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by visiting their BrokerCheck website or calling (800) 289-9999. You can also check the SEC's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) website.

Are Financial Advisors a Waste of Money?

Whether or not financial advisors are worth it will depend on the individual, their financial profile, and their financial goals. If you have a complex financial profile, many assets, and can afford an advisor, one may be worth it over the long term as the returns could outweigh the costs. Consistently check the performance of your advisor and assets to see if you are getting what you are paying for.

What Are the Red Flags of a Financial Advisor?

Some red flags of a financial advisor include not being responsive, constantly trying to sell you products that you are not interested in or that do not fit your profile, not changing strategies when they are not working, poor performance, and focusing on the short term rather than the long term.

The Bottom Line

Do not act in haste. Always take time to think about or “sleep on” a financial decision. An attempt to rush you should be a red flag. If there’s a good opportunity today, it won’t go away tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to walk away if an offer doesn’t seem right.

Mon, 05 Jun 2023 23:29:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/043015/top-financial-advisor-scams-and-how-avoid-them.asp
Where to Find Free Professional Financial Advice No result found, try new keyword!Americans have long grappled with their finances. The overall financial well-being of Americans declined markedly in 2022, according to the Federal Reserve's latest Report on the Economic Well ... Mon, 07 Aug 2023 09:17:00 -0500 https://money.usnews.com/financial-advisors/articles/where-to-find-free-professional-financial-advice How Organizations And Financial Professionals Can Address Their Cyber Risk

Denise Perlman is President of National Business Insurance at Marsh McLennan Agency, a Marsh McLennan company.

When considering cyber risk, many often concentrate solely on the technological risks stemming from their information technology (IT) infrastructure. However, this narrow perspective only covers a fraction of the risk and can be detrimental by not adequately recognizing the myriad risks an organization must confront. Cybersecurity poses a genuine business risk and concerns both small and large businesses in the short and long term. We need to shift the conversation and cultivate a culture ingrained in cyber risk management frameworks established for years, not just for the awareness of IT/InfoSec professionals but for the C-suite and beyond.

Organizations across various sizes and industries should consider seeking guidance through third-party assessments to evaluate the different risks. From there, they can implement multilayered defenses to address them. It’s a journey that can foster organizational maturity and instill a culture of resilience. If a cyber incident occurs, your organization will be prepared and aware.

Implications Of Cyber Trends For Businesses

Cyber risk permeates, unfolds unpredictably and frequently inflicts substantial harm on operational and reputational fronts. The intricate cybercriminal landscape has adapted, finding novel avenues to capitalize on infiltration, both directly and through interdependent third-party applications. This is causing significant ramifications for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Whether the security or privacy event is unintentional or malicious, its impact on businesses across every industry can be substantial. Incidents can halt operations, disrupt supply chains, lead to significant financial outlays, contribute to reputational harm and potentially invite litigation and regulatory enforcement actions.

Privacy regulations continue to evolve, and enforcement actions are expected to rise to safeguard data, including usage, collection and retention of third-party information.

SMEs are often attractive targets for threat actors because they rely on data and networks but have fewer cybersecurity resources than larger organizations. They frequently depend on third-party technology providers (e.g., cloud service providers), where security and privacy configurations and controls may not be optimal, audited or adapted to the latest security vulnerabilities and privacy regulations.

In its 2023 Global Threat Report (registration required), CrowdStrike identified a 95% increase in cloud exploitations, disproportionately impacting SMEs given this heightened target environment. According to NetDiligence’s 2022 Cyber Claims Study (registration required), 98% of the claims involved SMEs or organizations with $2 billion or less in revenue. Ransomware was the largest source of cyber claims for SMEs, followed by hacking.

A 2022 study (registration required) by my parent company found that almost 75% of organizations reported experiencing at least one cyber incident in the past 12 months. Notably, only 3% rated their organization’s cyber hygiene as “excellent,” with almost 3 in 4 respondents deeming their organization’s cyber hygiene as “satisfactory” or “needs improvement.”

Why Financial Professionals Should Care

Financial professionals may feel overwhelmed and fatigued by the evolving security and privacy risks their organizations face and how best to quantify and manage them. Organizations in all industries experience increased technology dependency in all facets of their business, a trend expected to intensify with generative artificial intelligence (AI). This reliance on technology is often facilitated through third-party technology providers and their subcontractors. Vendors may not always adhere to recommended cybersecurity frameworks or standards as much as desired. When these third parties encounter ransomware, business email compromise or other security breaches or system failures, it can cause a ripple effect throughout their client base, demanding a response.

This strains IT, information security (IS), operations, general counsel and procurement teams to ensure proper due diligence in their vendor risk management process. This is all while aiming for a reasonable return on investment from a financial perspective for the parties involved.

Financial professionals are tasked with balancing investment in cybersecurity internally and governance of their integrated reliant partners. As the threat landscape evolves, their models need to change to address the total cost of risk. Financial professionals can complement an organization’s IT/IS team by helping pose difficult questions to assess the organization’s security and privacy resiliency financially. The advantage of this is that they can do so without necessarily being overwhelmed by the technical jargon that can deter some financial professionals.

Actions For Financial Professionals

Financial professionals should be part of the incident response planning team to understand the various scenarios that an organization could face internally and via third parties. They could cause business interruptions and reputational harm on top of costly incident response costs. Engage in a tabletop exercise/mock simulation of various scenarios to understand how your organization and third parties will respond.

Evaluating the response of critical vendors and third parties can be enlightening. It can help expose additional safeguards and contractual risk transfer mechanisms to limit your organization’s downtime and financial exposure. Work with general counsel to draft more appropriate indemnification agreements with those third parties to better understand the potential financial recovery and make amendments to their cyber/tech errors and omissions insurance limit requirements, for example.

Financial professionals should also demand cyber risk quantification models from their insurance broker to provide insight into the total cost of risk under different loss scenarios. (Full disclosure: My company offers business insurance.) Using up-to-date data from industry cyber losses can help better quantify and procure adequate cyber insurance limits. Your organization can rely upon these to respond in a timely and compliant fashion to your stakeholders directly. Organizations that have a critical provider or vendor impacted by a ransomware event are incredibly vulnerable from an operational standpoint and a regulatory perspective. Insurance coverage can help ensure timely investigation and reporting to key stakeholders, clients and regulatory authorities.

Assessing your organizational response to multiple scenarios in advance is critical to limit the financial liabilities resulting from a cyberattack. It also demonstrates a proactive culture to regulators that can limit expensive fines/penalties and corrective action plan requirements.

With the right tools and insights, businesses can become cyber-resilient. Implementing an insurance program that addresses your vulnerabilities can help protect your business from potential risks, as can rolling out preventive cybersecurity services that identify and address exposures. However, it doesn’t stop there. Factors such as cyber benchmarking tools, aligning with key cyber loss control vendors and partnering with an experienced cyber broker can be difference-makers for any organization. Understanding how to measure, mitigate and manage your cyber risk for your organization can help avert potential reputational, operational and financial disasters.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.


Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Do I qualify?


Thu, 14 Dec 2023 22:00:00 -0600 Denise Perlman en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2023/12/15/how-organizations-and-financial-professionals-can-address-their-cyber-risk/
Sticking to your financial goals in 2024: Free tips from the pros No result found, try new keyword!The snowball method is another option, tackling debt from the lowest to highest balance. Experts at Global Fund Management say 15% of Americans admit that a lack of financial knowledge has cost them ... Wed, 03 Jan 2024 18:47:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Financial Advisor Definition No result found, try new keyword!As such, the term financial advisor can be applied to a variety of financial professionals, from financial planners to investment managers to stockbrokers. What Do Financial Advisors Do? Fri, 28 Jan 2022 08:28:00 -0600 https://money.usnews.com/investing/term/financial-advisor




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