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May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

NAIFA Members Recognized as Forbes Top Financial Security Professionals 2022

Once again Forbes and SHOOK Research have selected the industry’s premier financial security professionals, answering the question “Would we recommend these professionals to a family member or friend?” The answer this year has resulted in 27 NAIFA members who serve Main Street USA by actively promoting financial literacy in their clients’ best interests and following the NAIFA Code of Ethics. You can view the list of these professionals in Advisor Today. While these professionals clearly support each of the 9 obligations in the NAIFA Code, we can be sure they are reflections of obligations 2 and 5:

  • To work diligently to satisfy the needs of my clients by acting in their best interest.
  • To continually enhance professionalism by developing my skills and increasing my knowledge through education.

At this time, we can certainly be proud of Forbes’ Top Financial Security Professionals for 2022!

NAIFA Members at Work

NAIFA members who are fine examples of actively engaged professionals often inspire each of us to go a little further in doing our life’s work. Bryon Holz, ChFC, CLU, LACP, and Stephen Kagawa, FSS, LUTCS, LACP, are just such examples. Bryon has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1987 and is NAIFA’s 2022 President-Elect. Stephen has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1987 and is NAIFA’S 2020 Diversity Champion and a member of NAIFA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Both Bryon and Stephen are speaking at the 2022 MDRT Global Conference in Sydney, Australia. Bryon’s presentation, entitled “Sowing the Seeds of Love Through Multigenerational Marketing,” discusses simple processes and strategies to serve multiple generations of your clients’ families. Stephen’s presentation, “Debunking the Myth of Work-Life Balance,” emphasizes harmony in your vocation, grounded in the source of joy in your life. While their presentation topics reflect components of each of the 9 obligations, they clearly reflect adherence to obligations 4 and 5:

  • To render timely and proper service to my clients and ultimately their beneficiaries.
  • To conduct all business dealings in a manner that would reflect favorably on NAIFA and my profession. 

What Can Each of Us Do to Practice Our Profession in an Ethical Manner? 

Given that we have 9 obligations in the NAIFA Code of Ethics, we might ask ourselves what must we do to practice our profession in an ethical manner. Let’s consider the first 2 obligations:

Obligation 1 is fairly easy to understand, but not always easy to implement. For example, does maintaining client confidence mean we should not share client information with anyone in our firm, or can we entrust some associates who may be helpful in structuring recommendations for a client’s insurance or investment holdings? Surely we should be able to utilize the resources of professional associates that can be counted on to protect a client’s privacy. However, this may well mean, when away from our office, the files of client information may be locked, with only designated persons having access.

Obligation 2 requires that we exercise diligence when working on a client’s behalf and that we consider only financial and related arrangements that are in the client’s best interest. We might ask, does this mean we should always recommend what we know our client will agree with, or should we consider and discuss recommendations we think are more in the client’s interest, even though some discussion may be necessary to explain why this is so? Sometimes a client may not initially realize the benefit of a recommendation. Does that mean we should not at least seek to explain why the recommendation may be the best solution?

My point in this part of the column is not to make our obligations easy to implement, but that we see that they have significant merit for our clients, and are worthy of a thoughtful explanation.

Frank C. Bearden, Ph.D., MSM, CLU, ChFC, is a Managing Member at Frank C. Bearden LLC, author of "The Subtle Influence: Conflicts of Interest in Financial Planning," and a regular contributor to NAIFA's Advisor Today blog.



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