Updated Sunday, December 21, 2014 as of 1:01 PM ET

Planner Threatens Suit After CFP Board Order

Widely followed planner Rick Kahler is threatening to sue the CFP Board for ordering him to stop calling his Rapid City, S.D., firm "fee-only."

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Comments (8)
If I recall correctly, Mr Kahler has acknowledged receipt of a commission, in the $40,000 area.

How he dispersed that money is not really relevant. Mr Kahler may believe that he is fee-only, or nearly fee-only, but he seems to be at odds with the CFPBOS and perhaps should simply comply cease his licensing agreement with the CFPBOS.
Posted by Consumer A | Wednesday, July 23 2014 at 12:25PM ET
And when push comes to shove, instead of defending the CFP Designation he is defending himself.

He should really either stick to being a CFP, or stick to being a businessman. You can't run commission based business with a CFP designation-it just isn't right.

Kahler is a great planner, and probably one of the most widely followed at that, but that adds to the fact he should release his CFP designation-or set an example of what the CFP board is asking and stop using "fee-only" and running commission businesses. It isn't difficult to pick one, he just isn't acting in accordance to CFPBOS or CFPCOE as much as he believes he is.
Posted by Aaron C | Wednesday, July 23 2014 at 12:58PM ET
I grieve for Rick as there is no finer, honest planner in the country. He takes his fiduciary pledge seriously and upholds it in practice.

It may surprise Aaron C that MANY CFP's, in his words, "run commission based business with a CFP designation". I am in the process now of cleaning up another designate's mess because he let the prospect of an immediate sales commission prevent him from doing proper research of the client's situation.

So, the CFPBOS is fine with commissioned-based advisors, so long as they disclose that fact. My complaint with the board is that they give lip-service to the "fiduciary" standard but have no problem accepting "suitability" practitioners so long as their compensation model is disclosed.

Why the double-standard? Just follow the money. I suspect that membership would drop by 2/3's if the CFPBOS ruled that ALL designates must forsake commission in ANY form.
Posted by Steve S | Wednesday, July 23 2014 at 1:23PM ET
You know, he could just call himself fee-based.
Posted by Jason B | Wednesday, July 23 2014 at 2:37PM ET
What's worse: selling a client a term insurance policy, or sending them to their State Farm agent??? This fee-only rule is stupid because it paints those of us who chose to make sure our clients get the right policy (fiduciary, anyone?) as Eeeevile (mwuh ha ha ha haaaaa) compared to the practitioner who does not have an insurance license and sends his sheep to the wolves just so that he can rightly claim to be fee-only regarding investments. And, Aaron, your comment about commissions is just plain ignorant. Commissions aren't necessarily evil; unethical sales people, whether commissioned or fee-only are (and, yes there are examples - see recent NAPFA problems.)
Posted by victor g | Wednesday, July 23 2014 at 3:58PM ET
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