Social media is attracting more financial advisors, even as compliance officers raise flags about practices that may violate industry regulations. But the two sides don’t have to co-exist antagonistically, a panel of financial professionals agreed.
A recent webinar, “Strange Bedfellows: Compliance and Social Media,” featured licensed pros talking about their experiences with compliance officers as they maneuvered through their use of new channels. The webinar, sponsored by Financial Advisor magazine and Finect, the simple, compliant social media platform, showed that FAs and CCOs can work constructively as their practice makes greater use of social media.
What are compliance officers’ top concerns? What are the biggest obstacles to getting an advisor’s compliance officer on board with social media? Here is what the pros said.
Michael Kitces, director of research, Pinnacle Advisory Group and author of the “Nerd’s Eye View” blog
• Avoid “saying the same dumb stuff on social media that will get you in trouble by saying it anywhere else. Don’t talk in posts about offering guarantees or investment returns. Compliance officers want to see that you know what’s appropriate.
• CCOs aren’t following every development on social media. For example, not everyone knew that LinkedIn added a feature to remove endorsements just a few weeks after the endorsement feature was released. If you’re on top of what’s happening, you can drive the conversation with a compliance officer.
• "If you’re on social media and you’re talking about prudent cash-flow planning and budgeting, this has no relationship to what CCOs are worried about."
Brittney Castro, founder, Financially Wise Women, and a registered rep with LPL Financial
• Compliance officers want all content pre-approved, and all disclosures posted on her Web site and social media profiles.
• When she started in social media several years ago, she found it was helpful to educate compliance officers on what she wanted to accomplish, in terms they understood. For example, she likened putting a post on Twitter to being on the radio.