Ed Bedford 4:30 p.m., Jan. 18
Planner Loses Certification But Keeps Using It
In August 2011, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards permanently revoked the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification of Martin Batstone of Wealth Advisors, Inc., but he continued to carry the CFP designation on the firm's website and through his LinkedIn resume until today (Feb. 13) when I checked with the firm.
President Paul Drolson said that he has ordered the designation removed from the firm's website, "and I called Martin and said that until this is resolved he cannot use the designation." Batstone had said the matter was under appeal. However, according to the board, Batstone's appeal was earlier denied.
I was not able to reach the firm's compliance officer. Batstone lost the designation because, according to the board, he had solicited several customers to purchase equity-indexed annuities without disclosing that his firm did not have selling agreements with the issuing companies, his firm did not approve of the sale of the annuities, and another advisor acted as the agent of record. Batstone had been disciplined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for the same offenses.