Most of us have little disclaimers on our site explaining that we’re not actually professionals and that this is professional advice. Even the professionals have the latter (which is a good idea, since they can’t advise a general audience without knowing particulars in many cases). Are they actual lawsuit protection? Probably not, but at least we can show a jury that we tried to warn the plaintiff.
Just seeing them on all the blogs I read got me thinking about the certified personal finance professionals. I wonder what they think of PF bloggers. Some bloggers certainly don’t like them.
I began to wonder–while we don’t want to guarantee results, I’m sure that most of us hope to positively influence peoples’ lives through our blogs. It may not be our primary purpose but it’s in there somewhere.
If we’re so interested that we’ll spend hours on our blogs earning pennies (not you bigger bloggers, of course, but I’ll bet even some of you don’t have a great earnings to hours ratio), why wouldn’t we just get ourselves certified and set about making a real difference?
My first answer to myself was “Self, I don’t have the right personality.” While I wouldn’t plan on selling products as a CFP, I’d probably sell ideas (indexing and whatnot). I’m much better at writing persuasively than I am at persuasive, off-the-cuff speaking. In fact, my ideal job is shelving books…pretty different. (ok, blogging would be ideal too. maybe both?)
I’m also not sure that I’d be comfortable trying to handle peoples’ whole financial situations. That’s a lot of responsibility.
Do I think I could do a better job than some CFPs? Indubitably. Especially if I spent more time studying to get licensed. I wouldn’t put people in loaded funds or plain old dumb ones. I’d actually work with my customers. That’s better than the ones who pop up in horror stories.
So what’s your take? Could you see yourself becoming a CFP? Are you one already?