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After settling with the SEC for $250,000 over two compliance issues, Peter Mallouk explains what he quietly and painfully experienced as his RIA grew from $15 billion to $36 billion

The CEO of Creative Planning ran into trouble after a local radio host became a client and part of his advertising. The host/client then enthused about his wealth manager well past the SEC's testimonial tolerance

Author Guest Columnist Peter Mallouk September 17, 2018 at 4:09 AM
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Peter Mallouk: When I reflect back on this journey, there will be one episode I will certainly not recall fondly.

Peter Mallouk

Jeff Spears

Jeff Spears

September 17, 2018 — 4:50 PM
Two items that all RIAs should takeaway from this article. 1.) According to the SEC’s own reports for 2017, 99% of annual examinations resulted in deficiency letters, or some other action. Only 1% of audits resulted in no action. 2.) As painful as the experience is, the SEC professionals are just doing their job and following their playbook. It's hard to not take it personally but it isn't personal.


September 17, 2018 — 5:23 PM
I have never understood these testimonial rules. Ameriprise can hire Tommy Lee Jones to do commercials but I can't hire a local athlete? Lawyers can hire Barry Sanders to pitch them but I can't? Testimonials allow consumers to learn a lot quickly about a business. Why exactly do we deny them this? You can't even use your friends' opinion of an advisor on social media to gauge the competency of an advisor. Why don't we change this?
Paul J

Paul J

September 18, 2018 — 11:34 AM
Only about 12% of audits go to enforcement, and essentially there are rules about unlicensed celebrities acting as defacto advisors.

Related Moves

October 4, 2023 at 2:16 AM

The new 'Tony Robbins' book debut coincides with Ajay Gupta revealing plan to retire, which leaves Creative Planning to keep the referral spoils with Robbins down to a 'with' credit on the cover

Peter Mallouk's and Robbins' book, 'The Path: Accelerating Your Journey to Financial Freedom,' was released this week through a new publisher and word got out that 50 year-old Gupta was departing with little explanation

October 16, 2020 at 7:49 PM

Mentioned in this article:

Creative Planning
RIA Serving Other RIAs
Top Executive: Peter Mallouk, JD, MBA, CFP®

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