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CFP Board



April 25, 2019


In This Issue:

CFP Board Seeks Qualified Candidates for 2020 Board of Directors

CFP Board is now accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on CFP Board's Board of Directors (Board), the strategic governing body of the organization, beginning in January 2020. This year, the Board’s Nominating Committee is seeking self-nominations of individuals with CFP® certification, or those with a deep professional understanding of the financial planning industry, to answer the call to serve the public through board representation. Learn more >

New “Roadmap” for Code and Standards Provides Quick Reference Guide for CFP® Professionals, Firms

The new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct ("Code and Standards") now has an accompanying “Roadmap” to help CFP® professionals and firms better understand and comply with new rules that take effect October 1, 2019.

“Over 83,000 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals look to CFP Board to provide the guidance essential to complying with the new Code and Standards,” said Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the contribution of many volunteer leaders, we are fulfilling that commitment by providing this Roadmap as a key resource guide.”

CFP Board’s Code and Standards serve as the foundation for CFP® certification’s ethics and practice standards. The new Roadmap document provides an overview of the structure and content of the new rules. In addition to an easy-to-follow format, the Roadmap also provides five resources that will help CFP® professionals and their firms implement the new Code and Standards:

  • A Reference Guide to Providing Information to a Client for All Financial Advice Engagements;
  • A Reference Guide to Providing Information to a Client for All Financial Planning Engagements;
  • A Compliance Guide for All Financial Advice Engagements;
  • A Compliance Guide for All Financial Planning Engagements; and
  • A Reference Guide to the Practice Standards for the Financial Planning Process.

“This Roadmap boils down the essential information that CFP® professionals need to know,” said Leo Rydzewski, CFP Board’s General Counsel. “At the same time, it provides resources that give clear, detailed information about when the Code and Standards apply.”

Filled with graphics and images, the Roadmap serves as a handy-reference guide for CFP® professionals and their firms. It is not intended to replace the Code and Standards. Rather, it is meant to complement the full Code and Standards document.

“The Roadmap will help CFP® professionals and their firms navigate any compliance issues they may have,” Rydzewski said. “This comprehensive document provides the framework CFP® professionals will need for just about any situation they face when working with clients.”

The Roadmap is part of a full suite of resources that CFP® professionals and their firms can use to comply with the new Code and Standards. Additional materials, including videos and FAQs, can be found at www.CFP.net/code.

Focus on Ethics: Monitoring and Updating Progress

CFP Board’s new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (“Code and Standards”), which takes effect on October 1, 2019, introduces a new 7-step financial planning process that concludes with an almost entirely new section outlining a CFP® professional’s responsibilities with regard to monitoring the Client’s progress and updating goals, recommendations, or implementation decisions.

A CFP® professional must establish with the Client whether the CFP® professional has monitoring and updating responsibilities. Code and Standards Section A.10.b.ii states that a CFP® professional is responsible for monitoring and updating the Client’s Financial Planning recommendation(s) unless specifically excluded from the Scope of Engagement. CFP Board’s new Roadmap to the Code and Standards provides these tips for addressing monitoring expectations in a Client Engagement:

  • Be realistic and clear in setting monitoring expectations.
  • Monitoring is an ongoing obligation unless the Engagement is terminated.
  • Document when the Engagement is not ongoing.

When the CFP® professional has responsibilities for monitoring and updating, Code and Standards Section C.7.a outlines what the CFP® professional must communicate to the Client:

  1. Which actions, products, and services are and are not subject to the CFP® professional’s monitoring responsibility;
  2. How and when the CFP® professional will monitor the actions, products, and services;
  3. The Client’s responsibility to inform the CFP® professional of any Material changes to the Client’s qualitative and quantitative information;
  4. The CFP® professional’s responsibility to update the Financial Planning recommendations; and
  5. How and when the CFP® professional will update the Financial Planning recommendations.

A CFP® professional who has monitoring responsibilities must analyze, at appropriate intervals, the progress toward achieving the Client’s goals. The CFP® professional must review with the Client the results of the CFP® professional’s analysis.

The CFP® professional with monitoring responsibility must also collaborate with the Client in an attempt to obtain current qualitative and quantitative information concerning the Client’s personal and financial circumstances. It is important that the CFP® professional ensure appropriate access to or authority to communicate with third-parties to gather information to fulfill your monitoring responsibilities.

Where a CFP® professional has updating responsibility, and circumstances warrant changes to the Client’s goals, recommendations, or selections of actions, products or services, the CFP® professional must update as appropriate in accordance with the Practice Standards.

The new Code and Standards sets forth, in Standard C, a principles-based documentation requirement that applies when a CFP® professional provides or is required to provide Financial Advice in accordance with the Practice Standards. A CFP® professional must act prudently in documenting and retaining information, as the facts and circumstances require, taking into the account the significance of the information, the need to preserve the information in writing, the obligation to act in the Client’s best interests, and the CFP® Professional’s Firm’s policies and procedures.

In addition to information to be documented regarding qualitative and quantitative information the CFP® professional obtains from the Client, analysis of the Client’s current and potential courses of action, and details about any recommendations, Standard C outlines several types of information specific to Step 7 of the Financial Planning process that a CFP® professional may consider documenting in writing, where relevant:

  1. The CFP® professional’s analysis of the Client’s progress towards achieving goals;
  2. Which actions, products, and services are and are not subject to the CFP® professional’s monitoring responsibility;
  3. How and when the CFP® professional will monitor the actions, products, and services;
  4. How the CFP® professional will be informed of any materials changes in the Client’s qualitative and quantitative information; and
  5. How and when a CFP® professional who is responsible for updating the Financial Planning recommendations will do so.

The principles-based documentation requirement in the Code and Standards does not require the CFP® professional to provide the information to the Client. A CFP® professional may memorialize information in a method of the CFP® professional’s choosing, and retain the information in, among other places, a client file, a Contact Management System file, a paper file, or a digital vault.

On March 29, 2018, CFP Board announced that its Board of Directors unanimously approved a new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (“Code and Standards”), which sets forth the ethical standards for CFP® professionals. The new Code and Standards replaces CFP Board’s current Terminology, Code of Ethics, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards, effective October 1, 2019. During the time between the announcement date and the effective date of the new Code and Standards, CFP Board will undertake a thorough process to educate and inform CFP® professionals on the new Code and Standards.

CFP Board is producing a 12-part series of brief videos outlining key details of the new Code and Standards. The latest video addresses a CFP® professional’s Duty of Loyalty. View the video series > 

New “Certificant Connections” Podcast Series

Listen in on the latest updates from CFP Board and the financial planning profession through the new “Certificant Connections” podcast series. In each episode, CFP Board discusses the latest news in the financial planning profession, takes a deep dive into key topics, and answers your questions. Episodes now available include:

  • The Year Ahead for CFP Board with CEO Kevin Keller
  • Our Newest “I am a CFP® Pro” Spokesperson, Matt Aaron, CFP®
  • Why I Became a CFP® Professional: An Interview with Jillian Nell, CFP®
  • How Financial Planners Can Give Back Through Pro Bono
  • CFP Board’s New Retirement Security Working Group
  • Update on SEC Regulation BI and Fiduciary
  • The CFP Board Brand and Public Awareness Campaign

Visit CFP.net/podcasts to listen to the podcast on your favorite app, or download the podcast library.

Meet CFP Board Leaders at CFP® Certificant Connection Events in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, May 22-24

Registration is now open for our CFP® Certificant Connections in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix on May 22-24, 2019. Please plan to join us for these private receptions and town hall-style events, hosted by Susan Baran, CFP®, member of CFP Board's Board of Directors, and Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board's CEO. Click the links below for details and to register.

Milwaukee, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Minneapolis, Thursday, May 23, 2019, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Salt Lake City, Thursday, May 23, 2019, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Phoenix, Friday, May 24, 2019, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

CFP® Examination Update

The most recent administration of the CFP® Certification Examination took place during a testing window of March 12-19, 2019. The pass rate for this administration of the exam was 61.5%, with 1,753 individuals receiving a passing score. View historical exam statistics at www.CFP.net/exam-statistics.

Early bird registration for the July 9-16, 2019 CFP® exam testing window is now open through May 14. Please encourage your qualified colleagues to continue their pursuit of CFP® certification, and remind them to register for the CFP® exam early for the best date and site availability. Learn more and register at www.CFP.net/exam.

Resources for Colleagues on the Path to CFP® Certification

Growth in the number of CFP® professionals strengthens the profession and the certification. Share these resources to help a colleague along the path to CFP® certification.CFP Exam Candidate Preparation Toolkit

  • Share our Why CFP® Certification guide that outlines the reasons pursuing CFP® certification is a great career move.
  • Share the CFP® Exam Candidate Preparation Toolkit, which helps candidates develop study strategies, manage time and build support from employers and peers as they prepare for the CFP® Exam.
  • Share this video of CFP® professionals discussing the different pathways they took to gain the professional experience required for CFP® certification.
  • Refer your colleagues to CFP Board so we can introduce them to CFP® certification on your behalf.

Digital Certificates Provide Fast, Secure Verification of CFP® Certification

CFP® professionals can now help their current and prospective clients and employers quickly verify their certification status through a digital certificate. CFP® professionals can use their digital certificate on email signatures, on websites and on social media platforms.

The new online format makes it simpler to communicate the expertise and credibility associated with the CFP® certification.

CFP® professionals can access their digital certificate through their CFP Board account. Log in and look under the “Tools and Resources” section for your digital certificate information.

  CFP Board Center for Financial Planning  
  Updates from the Center for Financial Planning:
  • New Guide Highlights Best Practices for Firms to Recruit and Retain Talented Professionals: On April 16, the Center released Financial Advisory Career Paths: Building More Sustainable and Successful Businesses,Career Paths Guide a new guide designed to help firms across the profession structure and effectively communicate career path opportunities to professionals through best practices and guidance on recruitment, compensation and advancement decisions. The guide helps firms structure and effectively communicate career path opportunities by examining five rungs of the financial planner career ladder: analyst, associate advisor, service advisor, lead advisor and partner.

    For each of the rungs, the guide elaborates on the requisite skills, experience and responsibilities necessary to achieve it. It also provides a framework for compensation and organizational advancement so that professionals can manage their expectations and be well rewarded for their efforts. Read more >.

  • Center to Hold Second Annual Diversity Summit on November 13 in Washington, DC: The Center is pleased to announce the second annual Diversity Summit to be held on November 13, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. The event will build upon the success of last year’s inaugural Summit that drew over 300 thought leaders within and outside financial planning for a discussion of initiatives to advance racial diversity in the financial planning profession. The event featured the release of Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We are and Where We Must Go, Center’s research-based thought leadership paper that outlines actionable solutions for industry stakeholders to create a more inclusive profession.

    2018 Diversity SummitThis year’s event will build upon this momentum and will focus on accountability, highlighting what key stakeholder groups are doing to implement the Center’s recommendations and advance diversity in financial planning. We are expecting a similar level of interest and turnout this year, including executives from large firms, RIA firms, leaders from CFP Board Registered Programs, experts in diversity and inclusion, and organizations focused on advancing people of color. If you are interested in participating in the upcoming Summit, or know individuals who fit this bill, please contact Eddy Demirovic at edemirovic@cfpboard.org.

  • New Team Members to Drive Diversity Initiatives: The Center is pleased to welcome Jocelyn Wright, CFP® as the new Special Adviser on Gender Diversity. In this role, Jocelyn will lead the Center’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) to attract women into the profession and support current female financial planners. With over 15 years of experience in financial planning, Jocelyn has long been an advocate for advancing diversity in the profession. She has served as the Director of the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at The American College from 2014 to 2018, and is currently a member of the Center’s Diversity Advisory Group. Jocelyn takes over this role from Kathleen McQuiggan, who recently concluded her official role with the Center in order to focus on her financial planning practice.

    In addition, Rhonda Cromwell, CFP®, CPA, recently joined CFP Board as Manager, Corporate Diversity Engagement Programs. Working with CFP Board’s Corporate Relations team, Rhonda will engage with firms to support and grow a more diverse CFP® professional workforce, leveraging both CFP Board and Center research and resources. Rhonda has worked as a financial advisor and independent advisor with Ameriprise, where she built a financial practice from the ground up and progressed to franchise owner within three years. Most recently, Rhonda was a business consultant and executive coach.

  • Paid Return-to-Work Internships Now Available: The Center, in partnership with career re-entry firm iRelaunch, has launched a 2019 offering of the Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative (FPRI) that connects firms in the financial planning sector with experienced professionals seeking to reenter the workforce after a career break. We are currently seeking candidates for the Fidelity RESUME Return-to-Work Internship Program, Northwestern Mutual ReLaunch Program (Austin, TX), the Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney Financial Planning Return-to-Work Internship Program (McLean, VA) and the TD Ameritrade Institutional Financial Consultant Development Academy Program (Columbia, MD).  Additional positions will be posted on the FPRI webpage as they become available.
  • May 9 Webinar Overview of July 2019 Client Psychology Courses from the Center and Wharton Executive Education: The Center and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are launching a first-of-its-kind educational opportunity for financial advisers, planners and brokers through a new course called Client Psychology. The course will be offered over three days, from July 29-31, 2019, in San Francisco. CFP® professionals attending this program will receive 21.5 hours of general CFP Board CE credit, offered by Wharton as CE provider.  Learn more and Register to Attend >
  • Financial Planning Teaching Seminars from the Center and Columbia University, May and August 2019: The Center and Columbia University School of Professional Studies are will offer two sessions of the CFP Board-Columbia University Teaching Seminar in 2019, on May 5-7 and August 18-20, on the Columbia University campus in New York. The three-day, experience-based program focuses on both financial planning content as well as basic instructional design, using learning objectives, student assessment, and avenues of bringing experiential learning into the classroom or online learning platform.  Learn more and Register for the Teaching Seminar >
  • Read the Center’s Latest Newsletter:Read the Center’s Latest Newsletter: The April 2019 edition of the Center’s quarterly newsletter provides the latest information on Center’s initiatives, supporters and opportunities to get involved. Read the Newsletter >
  • Advance the Profession by Supporting the Center: We encourage you to consider making a contribution to the Center for Financial Planning. Your donation to the Center supports important work to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planner workforce and build a research-based, recognized body of knowledge for the financial planning profession.
    Support the Center >


CFP Board in the News

U.S. News & World Report recently featured an editorial by CFP Board’s CEO, Kevin Keller, addressing the digital advice trend. “The future of financial advice belongs to those who can marry the relationship between technological and empathetic intelligence,” Keller writes. “At its core, financial planning is a human endeavor that robots can't replicate.” Read this and other notable media mentions of CFP Board and the CFP® certification >

Upcoming Events


  • Volunteer Opportunities with CFP Board: The work of CFP Board benefits greatly from the contributions of CFP® professionals and other stakeholders, and there are many opportunities for CFP® professionals and others to become involved with CFP Board in meaningful and rewarding ways. Each year, there are multiple opportunities to contribute to the development of the CFP® Exam through exam item writing workshops, and to support enforcement of the ethics and practice standards for CFP® professionals through service as a hearing panel volunteer with the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission. Learn more about these and other opportunities and submit a volunteer application at www.CFP.net/volunteers.
  • Become a Mentor to Individuals Pursuing CFP® Certification: The CFP Board Mentor Program is designed to connect individuals pursuing CFP® certification with current CFP® professionals for guidance and support as they navigate their path to certification. CFP® professionals serving as mentors share guidance and practical advice based on their experience taking the CFP® exam and pursuing careers in the financial planning profession. Learn More and Enroll in the Mentor Program >
  • Reporting Your Pro Bono Hours: Thousands of CFP® professionals across the country are providing free, no-strings attached, one-on-one financial advice to underserved people. Are you one of them? Please let us know if you provide pro bono services so that we can educate the public and policymakers about the great things our profession does to help people in need. Report your pro bono hours today through an online tool available within the “My CFP® Certification” section of CFP® professionals’ online accounts.


Extended to May 9: Spring Discount on CFP® Marks-Branded Products

CFP Board is offering a 10% discount through May 9 on our men’s and women’s caps, backpack and tote bag, luggage tag, journal, power bank, and pen set, cell phone wallet and car vent holder, and sticky notes. Use code CFPStoreSpring201910 when checking out with these items in your cart!

Questions? Email Taylor Fealy at tfealy@cfpboard.org.


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