I was having a conversation with my brother-in-law a couple of years ago about how a professional chooses to dress shouldn't matter because there are a lot of slick people out there that have fancy offices and talk a big game but have no real education behind whatever it is they are selling or advising on. This is very prevalent in the financial advice business where obtain securities and insurance licenses is somewhat easy. Securities and insurance licenses are not advanced education and credentials but they have given the appearance of such. What is really scary is that one can study and pass the Investment Advisor exam in just a couple of months and then all of a sudden call themselves a "Financial Advisor" and advise people on their hard-earned life savings and the client assumes they are an "expert" because they are licensed.
If you are choosing to work with a professional in any field, wouldn’t you want to know they are an expert with advanced education and credentials in their field? I know I would. Imagine if medical school was not required for someone to become a doctor; you'd have your choice between doctors that have gone to medical school and those that have not. Wouldn't you be more likely to choose the doctor that you know went to medical school and demonstrated through rigorous examination that they know what they are doing? In the financial planning field, there is no required "Financial Planning School," because the minimum requirements are these securities exams. Well, this is where a governing body such as the Certified Financial Planner™ Board of Standards comes in, to establish a standard of minimum level of competency for giving personal financial planning advice. So in continuing with my analogy, financial advisors who have earned the CFP® would be analogous to the doctors that went to medical school and the advisors that have not earned it are those who haven't.
So I said to my brother-in-law that one of these days I'm going to show up to an introductory meeting with someone I've never met before wearing regular ol' jeans and a t-shirt and then tell them they should "hire the brains, not the suits." The thought was to make a statement that they should choose to work with me because they recognize that advanced education and credentials along with critical thinking and putting the client's best interests first are what is most important, not how I dress or what I look like. While I've never been able to bring myself to actually do this, it was the spirit of the idea that led me to change my logo.
I wanted to convey that the difference between myself and the average, so-called "Financial Advisor" is my advanced education and credentials such as having specifically studied financial planning in college, completing a masters degree specific to financial planning, to earning the CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) and CIMA® (CERTIFIED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ANALYST®) credentials, among others. I am a member of Ed Slott's Master Elite IRA Advisor group which provides ongoing, advanced education related to IRAs/retirement planning that I don't even get CE credits for but I do it anyway because I value the education and I know it helps me better advise my clients. From this, the new logo was created.
A lightbulb is often used to represent an idea so that was the basis of the logo; to represent the ideas and intelligence derived from obtaining advanced education. The shape of the lightbulb with the right side being open is designed to retain the "P" for Portnoff. The brain is a nod to the original slogan to "hire the brains not the suits" which really wouldn't have been a useable slogan but would have conveyed the point perfectly. Ultimately I decided on "Because you Deserve an Educated Advisor" as my new slogan which ties into the logo because everyone does deserve an educated advisor right?
So I'm now officially introducing this new logo and I hope you like it, but if you don't like it, well that's ok because logos don't matter any more than slick suits and fancy offices do 😊. I've also completed a refresh of my website which is now mobile responsive, meaning it will look much better and be much easier to use on mobile devices such as tablets and phones. Throughout the year I'll also be working diligently on adding educational content such as the Roth IRA information to acknowledge the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA so keep a lookout for that. Much of the content will go out via social media channels Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so if you are not subscribed to one or more of those, go ahead and do that now so you don't miss anything. You can follow us on Facebook by going to https://www.facebook.com/PortnoffFinancial, @JeremyPortnoff for Twitter, and https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-portnoff-81b79a6 for LinkedIn.