University of Baltimore Law Review


In the last ten years, financial planning has grown from a business practiced by a small number of persons into a large and sophisticated industry. This expansion has come as a result of recent changes and developments in the financial services industry, including increases in the availablility of financial products and services. The substantial increase in the number of individuals engaged in financial planning has not been accompanied by the creation of a corresponding system of financial planner regulation. This situation has led the federal government, certain state governments, and several securities and financial planner associations to consider regulating the financial planning industry. In this comment the author presents an overview of the financial planning industry and examines the federal and state regulatory structures within which financial planners currently are regulated. The author then addresses whether new or additional financial planner regulation is necessary and surveys new proposals and legislative initiatives that have been advanced to regulate financial planners. The author concludes with recommendations for an effective approach to financial planner regulation.