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CFP Board

April 30, 2014

In This Issue:

New White Paper: Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession

CFP Board has released a new white paper exploring why there are so few women in the financial planning profession, including:
  • The results of a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research study on the “feminine famine” in the financial planning profession, and
  • Recommendations that everyone with an interest in the future of the profession – regardless of gender – can follow to help bring more women into the financial planning profession and CFP® professional community.

CFP Board has seen impressive growth in the number of CFP® professionals in recent years. However, the percentage of women has remained flat at 23 percent. We believe that as more consumers recognize the need for and value of competent and ethical financial planning, we must build a profession that reflects the diversity of the public that we serve.

What CFP Board Is Doing

CFP Board has committed to a number of initiatives based on the WIN Advisory Panel’s recommendations, including:

  • Creating a WIN Council to supervise and advise on progress toward achieving gender parity in the profession,
  • Conducting an internal review of all department functions and processes to determine alignment with the overall goal of increasing the number of women CFP® professionals,
  • Partnering with several 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, and
  • Designating WIN Advocates who will reach out to their local media and communities to talk about financial planning, the CFP® certification and the role and importance of women CFP® professionals.

What You Can Do

CFP Board is taking the first steps, and we invite the participation of everyone with an interest in the future of financial planning to help us change the way women see the financial planning profession and CFP® certification.

  • Read the white paper.
  • Share your comments and stories through our online discussion forum.
  • Indicate your interest in contributing to CFP Board’s various WIN initiatives.
  • Identify/organize opportunities for CFP Board WIN Advocates to speak to female audiences (at schools, colleges, professional groups) on financial planning as a career for women.
  • Seek out opportunities to help mentor younger, less experienced women financial planning students and professionals.
  • Organize a mentorship program within your firm or organization.
  • Work within your firm to set measurable diversity goals (numbers, compensation, internal support programs).

Visit CFP Board’s website at www.CFP.net/WIN to download the white paper, share your thoughts on this important topic and learn more about contributing to this initiative.

Share Your Thoughts on CFP Board’s WIN Initiative

CFP Board’s new online discussion forum provides a place for public discussion of our WIN Initiative and the broader issue of diversity in the financial planning profession. Log in with your CFP Board account to participate in these discussions, and keep an eye out for additional topics.


March 2014 CFP® Exam Results

Results from the March 2014 CFP® Exam were released to examinees on April 24, 2014. The pass rate for this administration of the exam was 62.6%, with 935 individuals receiving a passing score. View historical exam statistics at www.CFP.net/exam-statistics.

Registration is now open for the July 2014 CFP® exam administrations, which will be held July 18-19, 2014. Encourage your qualified colleagues to register at www.CFP.net/exam.

The July 2014 exam will be the final paper-based exam, as the CFP® exam transitions to a computer-based format beginning with the November 2014 administration. Dates and registration details for the November 2014 CFP® exam testing window will be available in early June. Learn more about the transition to a computer-based CFP® exam >

CFP® Certificant Connections Coming to Southern California and Phoenix May 28-30

Save the dates for our next round of CFP® Certificant Connection events in Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona on May 28-30. These town-hall style events are an opportunity for CFP® professionals and other CFP Board stakeholders to engage in two-way dialogue with CFP Board's leadership.

  • May 28, 2014: CFP® Certificant Connection in Los Angeles, CA, 5:30 - 7pm (PT)
  • May 29, 2014: CFP® Certificant Connection in Orange County, CA, 8 - 9:30am (PT)
  • May 29, 2014: CFP® Certificant Connection in San Diego, CA, 5:30 - 7pm (PT)
  • May 30, 2014: CFP® Certificant Connection in Phoenix, AZ, 8 - 9:30am (MT)

CFP Board will notify CFP® professionals and CFP Board stakeholders in areas near the CFP® Certificant Connection events when event details and registration are available, and registration will be accessible from the Calendar of Events section of CFP Board’s website.

CFP Board and Others Call on SEC to Establish Uniform Fiduciary Standard

On April 14, 2014, CFP Board and a group of investor advocates and industry representatives renewed their call for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to better protect investors by establishing a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct. In a joint letter to the five SEC Commissioners, the group provided empirical evidence from academic research, market analysis, and observation of industry practices that illustrates the harm to investors that results from a regulatory system that allows brokers to offer investment advice under a conduct standard appropriate to a sales relationship rather than an advisory relationship. Signatories to the letter include AARP, CFP Board, Consumer Federation of America, the Financial Planning Association, Fund Democracy and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Learn more >

2014 CFP Board Registered Program Conference, August 7-8

Registration is now open for the 2014 CFP Board Registered Program Conference, which will take place August 7-8, 2014 in Washington, DC. This annual meeting brings together faculty and program directors from institutions around the country that provide professional financial planning education and assist individuals in pursuing CFP® certification. This year’s theme – Awareness; Education; Induction – will be a platform for furthering our discipline relative to specific subject matter areas, engaging students both within the classroom and in online learning platforms, as well as facilitating certificate and degree-seeking students’ journeys toward CFP® certification. Learn more and register to attend the conference >

New Online Tools Added to Savings Fitness Publication

The popular Savings Fitness publication, developed jointly by CFP Board and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), has been updated with a suite of online tools to help consumers organize their personal finances and make informed decisions.

On April 23, 2014, CFP Board and EBSA held a webcast to introduce new online financial planning tools. The webcast offered practical information on financial planning and guidance on using the new tools to address important personal finance topics such as:

  • Setting short and long-term financial goals,
  • Calculating net worth,
  • Estimating retirement savings needs,
  • Developing a budget or cash flow spending plan, and
  • Organizing debt.

A recording of the webcast is available for on-demand viewing from CFP Board’s website.

“Let’s Talk Planning” Blog: Part 4 of Living on Retirement Investment Income Series

The fourth installment of a Retirement Income series of “Let’s Talk Planning” blog posts by CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® focuses on the factors retirees need to consider when deciding which retirement investments to tap for income. “Before dipping that bucket into one of your retirement wells, take it to a CFP® professional who will fill it with the best advice for your unique circumstances,” writes Blayney.

Visit the blog for timely topics you can share or discuss with your clients and potential clients.
Subscribe to the blog to receive notifications when new posts are added.

Upcoming Webinar: How to Determine If You’re in a Financial Planning Engagement

One of the most frequent questions CFP® professionals submit to CFP Board’s Professional Standards staff is “Am I providing financial planning?” The question is an important one, given CFP® professionals’ obligation under CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct to adhere to a fiduciary standard when providing financial planning.

Plan to join us on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) for a webinar, “Is this Financial Planning: How to Determine You’re in a Financial Planning Engagement,” which will use real-life scenarios to illustrate how a CFP® professional can determine if a client relationship constitutes financial planning.  Hosted by Matthew Winterhalter, Esq., CFP Board’s Compliance Counsel, the webinar features panelists Jeffrey T. Weeks, CFP® , Vice President, The Weekes-Cardwell-Ford Group at Morgan Stanley, and Adam Zajac, Esq., CFP Board’s Adjudicatory Counsel, the webinar will include time for questions from the audience.

Save the date! Registration details will be announced soon.

CFP Board Discloses Bankruptcies by CFP® Professionals

CFP Board recently disclosed the names of 48 CFP® professionals who have declared bankruptcy within the last five years and, under rules that took effect July 1, 2012, are not subject to disciplinary procedures but will have their bankruptcy disclosed.

The latest disclosure of bankruptcy filings by CFP® professionals covers the fourth quarter of 2013 and is made pursuant to CFP Board’s rules regarding single-bankruptcy cases. CFP Board does not investigate, and the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission does not adjudicate, bankruptcy-only cases.

Rather, CFP Board verifies the bankruptcy and notes the bankruptcy filing on the CFP® professional’s public profile, which is available through the search functions on CFP Board’s website. CFP Board will also share with consumers and other stakeholders who contact CFP Board regarding a CFP® professional’s certification status the information in the CFP® professional’s public profile, including identifying whether the CFP® professional has filed bankruptcy. All disclosures regarding a bankruptcy filed by a CFP® professional will remain on CFP Board’s website for 10 years from the earlier of the date the CFP® professional disclosed the bankruptcy to CFP Board or the date CFP Board became aware of the bankruptcy.

Read the full news release disclosing bankruptcy filings by CFP® professionals >

CFP Board in the News

In recent weeks, CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative white paper has been covered by many financial services publications, and CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate and CFP Board Ambassadors have been quoted in consumer publications on topics ranging from buying a home to saving for retirement. Read these and other notable articles >

Upcoming Events

  • May 14: Webinar: Is this Financial Planning? How to Determine You’re in a Financial Planning Engagement
  • May 28: CFP® Certificant Connection in Los Angeles, CA, 5:30pm (PT)
  • May 29: CFP® Certificant Connection in Orange County, CA, 8am (PT)
  • May 29: CFP® Certificant Connection in San Diego, CA, 5:30pm (PT)
  • May 30: CFP® Certificant Connection in Phoenix, AZ, 8am (MT)
  • July 18-19: CFP® Certification Examination (registration deadline June 10)
  • August 7-8: CFP Board Registered Program Conference

CFP Board Seeks Qualified Candidates for 2015 Board of Directors

CFP Board is currently accepting applications for individuals interested in serving on the Board of Directors beginning in January 2015. Board Directors have a significant opportunity and responsibility to participate in guiding the policy direction of the organization, working with the Board Chair, the CEO and other Directors to provide strategic leadership for CFP Board. Those interested in serving on CFP Board’s Board of Directors should review the Board Director Position Description and Candidate Specifications document and submit a completed Board Director Volunteer Application Form no later than June 20, 2014.

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