Financial advisors do tend to get a bad reputation, and you can partly blame that on media representation. Financial advisors are usually portrayed as greedy, manipulative and, deceitful people that mislead their clients for personal benefit and so on. While there are understandably a few bad eggs in the industry, it should not negate the field entirely. If you have been in the field for a couple of years now, then you understand just how much effort is needed from your end to make sure people trust you enough to let you recommend what they should do with their money. This trust is delicate, and one bad claim against you can be a death sentence, so, if you are dealing with baseless complaints from a client, you do have a right to defend yourself before the matter goes to the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) and goes on public record.
If a bad claim has been made towards you, then the matter can affect you in two ways:
- News always travels fast, and bad news goes around even faster, so the client-in-question can let other people know through word-of-mouth, and since we are living in the age of the internet, a few claims on social media or a different forum or two can hurt your reputation and make potential clients lose faith in you, which can spell disaster for your career.
- If you have been accused of a serious violation, then the Financial Industry Regulation Authority can get involved, and the claim can put on public record, which is the equivalent of striking the final nail on the coffin.
If you know that you are not in the wrong, then you can defend yourself against the complaint, and can go so far as to get the claim removed entirely.