What’s in a certification, really?
Credentials are important, and not just in finance. This is no surprise. But we also know that there are a lot of bad, if not downright crooked finance people out there masquerading behind their three-letter designations. Whether they’re selling a financial product to a client when it’s clearly not in his/her/it’s best interest, or if they’re being downright deceitful and stealing from their clients, it’s bad stuff. On the other hand, we know that there are plenty of smart, ethical people out there operating without credentials. All I’m sayin’ is that credentials don’t come with a “guaranteed moral compass,” and unless polygraph machines go mainstream, a man’s morals are always going to have to be judged by people, based on the person’s actions.
Another thing a certification won’t tell you about a candidate is what they’re like. Within any organization there is a mysterious thing we call culture: it comes in many flavors and is described in many ways (sometimes not at all), but it has a profound impact on the way that organization operates both internally and externally. Corporate culture, as it is sometimes called, stems from the beliefs that an organization (or maybe just the boss) holds, and those beliefs certainly affect whatever it is the organization produces or provides. Finding employees that fit the “culture” is tough, and I found a tool that might help firms find better advisors to add to the team. This tool might be useful for advisors in other regards as well:
A Tool For Employers, A Challenge For Advisors
Independent advisors who are looking to start a firm, hire a freelancer, or just go the extra step to further qualify and specialize financial certifications really ought to get familiar with Smarterer, the Boston-based education startup. Here’s what they have in their About section:
We created Smarterer to provide people a simple, fun, and authentic way to show what they know. Smarterer is a platform designed to score individuals on any and every digital, social, and technical skill under the sun. Using crowdsourced test design and a scoring mechanism similar to the one developed to rank chess masters, in just 10 questions and 60 seconds we can give you a valid score.