Summer 2014

For Employers of CFP® Professionals


Summer 2014

CFP Board Offers Practice Exams to Help Prepare for CFP® Certification Examination

On June 12, 2014, CFP Board began offering two, 50-question practice exams to help CFP® exam candidates prepare for the test. 

The practice exams are comprised of authentic questions that have been retired from previous CFP® exams.  Accessible online, they cover the full range of topic areas included in the current CFP® certification examination.

Practice exam-takers have the option to highlight portions of the questions, mark questions for later review, explore correct answers and rationales, and employ a time clock for realistic practice.  Instantaneous scoring is provided, with explanations of correct responses. 

The two practice exams can be purchased individually for $99 each, or as a bundle for $149.  To learn more about them click here

CFP Board and Its Women's Initiative Release Groundbreaking Research
On April 22, 2014, CFP Board and its Women's Initiative (WIN) released groundbreaking research that pinpoints challenges and opportunities for women entering the financial planning profession.

The research examines the attitudes and perceptions of key groups with a stake in the gender composition of the financial planning profession, including CFP® professionals and other financial advisors, students, educators, and representatives of financial services firms. 

The findings can be summarized by four overarching observations:

  • Women lack awareness of financial planning and the CFP® certification process. 
  • Women harbor misconceptions about the financial planning profession and CFP® certification.
  • Women's reluctance to take professional risks may be keeping them from entering the financial planning profession.  For women in the profession, this same risk aversion may be inhibiting their success and/or professional satisfaction. 
  • Gender discrimination and bias exist within the financial planning profession, likely resulting in women feeling unwelcome and unsupported.

Informed by the research findings, the WIN Advisory Panel developed recommendations aimed at attracting more women to the financial planning profession and CFP® certification, including: 

  • Elevate the visibility of firm initiatives to support and develop women financial planning professionals. 
  • Build and sponsor networks of women financial planning professionals, as well as in-firm and association mentoring programs. 

CFP Board has also committed to a number of initiatives, including:

  • Conduct an internal CFP Board review of all department functions and processes to determine alignment with the overall goal of increasing the number of women CFP® professionals.
  • Partner with four or five firms - representative of the different business models within the profession - to conduct pilot initiatives at the firm level to bolster gender diversity, support the professional development of female employees and promote the CFP® certification.

The white paper detailing CFP Board's research findings and recommendations, as well as further details on WIN, is available at  To discuss partnership opportunities contact Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis at and Eleanor Blayney at  

CFP Board Announces Suite of Academic Initiatives
On March 13, 2014, CFP Board announced a number of initiatives that will bolster the academic underpinnings of financial planning as a profession, provide new opportunities for research and teaching, and enhance the quality of financial advice to the public. 

Center for Financial Planning: CFP Board is exploring the creation of a center that would serve as a credible source of research that advances the financial planning profession in these core areas:

  • Influencing and supporting academic research that is dedicated to helping financial planners better serve the public;
  • Supporting diversity within the profession so that it better mirrors the American public; and 
  • Building capacity for the next generation of competent and ethical financial planners to meet public demand.
First Business School Doctoral Program: Louisiana State University E.J. Ourso College of Business, Department of Finance is now offering a Ph.D. in Business Administration (Finance) with a specialization in Financial Planning.  This is the first CFP Board-Registered doctoral program in an AACSB-accredited college of business.

New Academic Financial Planning Journal: John Wiley & Sons and CFP Board are collaborating on a peer-reviewed academic journal focused exclusively on financial planning.  The journal will be available free of charge to all CFP® professionals.

To learn more about the initiatives, click here

Expansion of the CFP Board Ambassador Program

Since 2011, the CFP Board Ambassador Program has helped CFP Board increase public understanding of the importance of financial planning and working with a CFP® professional.

CFP Board Ambassadors are responsible for promoting CFP Board's mission and increasing awareness of CFP® certification at a local level, in their own communities and regions.  Ambassadors may act as liaisons with their local media, participate in leadership activities and community-building events on behalf of CFP Board, or meet with local policymakers to promote CFP Board's public policy positions. 

The success of the program has been substantial, with CFP Board Ambassadors highlighting CFP® certification in national publications, as well as in their local communities.  CFP Board has seen tangible benefits not only for the CFP® professionals involved as Ambassadors, but also for the CFP® professional community at large. 

As such, a limited number of additional CFP® professionals will be accepted into the program, and special training and resources will be made available to all program participants.  The program is open to current CFP® professionals who:

  • Are considered by CFP Board to be in good standing, with no private or public discipline issued by CFP Board, and

  • Are currently involved in providing personal financial planning services to individuals.

CFP Board will accept applications to the program through August 18.  To learn more about the role of CFP Board Ambassadors and how to apply, click here

CFP Board Webinars

In recent years, many firms have requested CFP Board's help in conducting or participating in webinars for their advisors.  These webinars have been targeted to two groups of advisors within firms:

  • Individuals seeking information on CFP® certification, and
  • Existing CFP® professionals who want to learn more about CFP Board's public awareness campaign and how they can promote the marks to their clients and prospects.
Sessions have been very popular and well attended, and provide a great opportunity for both prospective and existing CFP® professionals to get answers to their most pressing questions. 

If you are interested in having CFP Board participate in a webinar for your advisors, contact Sara Muehlbauer at

Key CFP Board Dates

  • July 17, 2014: Business Update Webinar, noon - 1 p.m. (ET).  
  • July 18-19, 2014: CFP® Certification Examination
  • August 7-8, 2014: CFP Board 2014 Registered Programs Conference.  To register your firm to attend, or to learn more, email
  • October 15, 2014: Education Verification Deadline for November CFP® Certification Examination.  Learn more here 
  • November 4, 2014: Registration Closes for November CFP Certification Examination.   
  • November 18-22, 2014: CFP® Certification Examination (first computer-based test).
  • December 4-5, 2014: CFP Board Firms Summit.  Registration opens late this summer.

Know Someone Who Should Receive This Newsletter?

Send their full name and email address to Sara Muehlbauer, at

As always, we welcome your feedback and questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at and


Joe Maugeri, CFP®, Managing Director of Marketing & Corporate Relations
Sara Muehlbauer, Firm Relations Manager

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