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Empirical evidence Steve. The public generally trust accountants and generally do not trust financial planners. Most if not all accountants have university qualifications. Most financial planners have a two day, two week financial planning diploma. Accountants legally have duties to act in the clients best interest and do act in their interests (of course their are some bad ones, although this is the exception to the rule). Most financial planners are self serving (again there are exceptions to this rule also). Proof is in the pudding, the public are very cautious when it comes to planners. I think get rid of planners and replace them with economists and accountants, the public would be much better off.