CFPB Claims That Senior Designations Are "Confusing"
One common way investors evaluate their stockbrokers and advisors for credibility
is by looking at their credentials. Unfortunately, a slew of new credentials
have cropped up in recent times, many of which allow shady advisors to
prey on seniors so they can sell them scam products and
Currently, there are approximately 100 financial credentials available.
One designation is the "senior specialist" designation that
can be particularly dangerous for older Americans. This credential sounds
legitimate, but often it is little more than a way to manipulate investors
by building false trust.
Don't get me wrong. There are many organizations that have very strict
criteria that must be met before handing out credentials. However, there
are just as many illegitimate ones. Sadly, many investors cannot tell
In a recent report, Richard Cordray stated,
These designations imply special training and experience in providing financial
advice to seniors. The Office for Older Americans heard frequently from
industry representatives, state and federal regulators, and consumer organizations
that older consumers may be confused or misled by financial advisers touting
The full report was 62 pages long and was intended to inform congress on
the misleading and confusing claims made particularly by senior specialist
certifying agencies. Not only are many of these designations extremely
easy to get, many of them sound almost identical to other, more legitimate,
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, some of these designations
even offer free lunches and seminars to lure people, many of them seniors,
into investment scams. In response to these extremely confusing designations,
FINRA and other investment industry regulating agencies have limited the
use of these acronyms and titles.
Before you invest, it is a good idea to do your research and
check out the adviser's qualifications.
Watch the video below to hear Attorney Courtney Werning explain more about