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NAPFA definition of fee-only excludes insurance company owner

September 14, 2014

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisers (NAPFA) confirmed in am email received Friday that I would not be eligible for membership as a fee-only adviser because I maintain ownership of Freedom Benefits web sites that receives fees from insurance exchange operators, brokers or other third party firrms. Even though my accounting/advisory practice is completely separate from Freedom Benefits and no accounting/advisory client has ever used Freedom Benefits or vice versa. Apparently the membership exclusion applies even if the adviser, like myself has no contact with the insurance company customers and is only paid for web services. A spokesperson for Bevin Callan, NAPFA Membership Director, wrote “you would not be eligible for NAPFA membership while receiving referral fees from insurance agents or brokers”. This reinforces what I’ve read in industry publications that the association is more concerned with segregating and delineating its membership than engaging with fee-only practitioners with a divergent background like mine.

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