The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is tricky when it comes to online reviews and testimonials for financial advisors. Currently, we are stuck abiding by a rule that was established WAY before the internet: the SEC’s Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
This rule states:
“[i]t shall constitute a fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative act, practice or course of business . . . for any investment advisor registered or required to be registered under [the Advisers Act], directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, or distribute any advertisement which refers, directly or indirectly, to any testimonial of any kind concerning the investment adviser or concerning any advice, analysis, report or other service rendered by such investment adviser.”
Even though more than 88 percent of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decisions, financial advisors are not allowed to post any kind words about their services online.
If it’s any consolation, we think our DIY financial planning courses are pretty awesome.
(Or is that a testimonial? Ack!)