I’m in the middle of getting Brunch & Budget to be super legit. In the financial world, that means I’m going through the long, convoluted process of registering with the state as an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor). So not only will I be subject to the rules and regulations of the Certified Financial Planners Board, in the next few months, I’ll be scrutinized by the state regulators too.
As I’ve been going through the process and finding out what old school rules are still in place (like guess what? I’m not allowed to have testimonials on the site, ever, because back in the day, investment advisors used to put fake claims about the returns they could guarantee their investors), there have been times when I wondered why I was jumping through all these hoops in the first place.
I actually asked the person helping me with the oh-so-complex process to register, “So, what happens to the people who don’t register as an RIA or don’t have any credentials or licenses, but still give financial and investment advice?” Then I sent him a website. “Like this woman?”
“Not sure, actually,” was his reply.
I told my bestie about this the other day and she asked me, “Why are you going through all this in the first place?”
Huh. Good question. A big reason why I moved to New York was to really dive in and learn everything I could about how the financial industry worked. When I thought more about my bestie’s question, I realized I’m going through all of this because it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. I know (and can’t un-know) that this is what it looks like to be practicing financial planning in a truly legitimate way. Because I chose to take this on, it’s my responsibility to my clients to take it all on.
I want to leave you with a quote from Einstein, who I think sums it up best, and invite you to think about how privilege and duty have intersected in your life and how you chose to act.
Here’s to doing the right thing simply because you know it’s the right thing to do.
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