I’m not a CFP, CFA or a registered investment advisor. I consider myself a serious hobbyist and financial educator! I’ve read that article you linked a couple times and I actually think it’s quite biased. The author clearly has an agenda to scare people out of financial coaching to push them toward his services.
On that note, I’ve talked to a couple different lawyers about what I do and both generally agreed I’m on very solid legal ground given I don’t do 1:1 paid investment planning or advice. The Investment AdvisErs Act of 1940 that article references has some exceptions, including one for the press. That article you referenced (again in a biased way, in my opinion) says:
But you are not the Press and your coaching activities don’t fall into this category.
Basically the lawyers I talked to strongly disagree with that, and say my platforms are squarely protected by the first amendment and bolstered by that press exemption. The actual text of that law makes an exemption for:
the publisher of any bona fide newspaper, news magazine or business or financial publication of
general and regular circulation;
Again, the lawyers I spoke do felt pretty strongly that my instagram, website, and course all clearly meet that bar. (The terminology of “newspaper” is a bit outdated, but they said the courts have set precedent that shows that clearly extends to digitally delivered publications).
For what it’s worth, the lawyers also basically laughed at the idea that there would be jail time as a penalty as that article implies. They said the SEC isn’t a criminal prosecution organization and the few cases they do go after are generally large scale fraud (think Bernie Madoff) not financial educators helping young people figure out their Roth IRAs.
So I’m well aware of that law, and that’s part of the reason I don’t offer 1:1 investment planning or advice. For what it’s worth, I’ve also considered becoming an RIA in one form or another, but basically don’t think it would provide much benefit to PFC or those who benefit from what we do!
Laws aside, I see a massive need in society and our market for financial literacy. I’ve found that most individuals are much better served by learning the basics of investing, before running to an expensive financial advisor. That’s what I’m hoping PFC is and will continue to accomplish!