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Ask Dave

What It Takes To Be An ELP

Hear what Dave expects of his endorsed local providers.

QUESTION: Joan wants to know what qualifications endorsed local providers go through to become ELPs.

ANSWER: It depends on which ELP it is. We have four types of agents that we endorse (CPAs, real estate agents, mutual fund brokers and health insurance agents). They all have to do two things. The first thing is that they have to approach everything they do with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman. That’s fairly easy for CPAs, but it’s not for real estate agents or mutual fund brokers. They are trained to sell first, but we want them to teach.

The second thing they must do is give advice that is consistent with what you would hear me give. Otherwise, why would I send you to someone who gives you advice that is contrary to what I do?

Then we get into their particular professional qualifications. An accountant has to either be a CPA or accredited by the IRS. With the mutual fund brokers, they have to be a licensed broker and show some experience level and have references and those kinds of things. The real estate agents have to be high performers. We very seldom take a brand-new person that is a real estate agent. The majority of them are veterans in the business that are extremely high producers.

The rule of thumb that we have is, would I want to send my family there? If I’m not proud of them, then I don’t need to endorse them.