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CFP Board

December 18, 2013

In This Issue:

Kimberly Wright-Violich Elected to CFP Board’s Board of Directors

Prominent charitable and social impact executive Kimberly Wright-Violich has been elected to serve a four-year term as a public member on the Board of Directors for Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

“We are excited to have Kim join our Board as she will bring a unique set of perspectives and experiences that will help CFP Board advance its mission,” said Board Chair Nancy Kistner, CFP®.

Wright-Violich is currently a principal and co-founder in an impact investing and philanthropic advising firm and acting president of Echidna Giving. Echidna Giving is a social impact LLC that was founded by the first employee at Google. The organization is committed to improving girls’ education in the developing world. Wright-Violich also teaches and lectures about impact investing and strategic philanthropy at the University of California’s Haas School of Business.

Previously, Wright-Violich was the CEO and President of Schwab Charitable for 11 years, where she grew the organization from a start-up to $3.5 billion in assets.

A graduate of Stanford University, Wright-Violich also serves as a volunteer leader for other organizations including the Boards of the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership; World Affairs Council of the Bay Area; Cancer Prevention Institute of California; and Global Citizen Year. Wright-Violich was elected at the Fall 2013 meeting.

Her term begins January 1, 2014. The Board has 14 voting members and one non-voting member, Kevin R. Keller, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of CFP Board

New Survey Reveals American Holiday Traditions: Financially Smart Gifting and Receiving

According to a new survey from CFP Board, Americans appear to be beginning the 2013 holidays with a notable measure of budgetary awareness and restraint, with 83 percent of those surveyed saying they know how much they plan to spend on holiday gifts this year, and a full two-thirds (68%) intending to keep their holiday expenditures the same or less than last year.

Other highlights from CFP Board’s holiday spending survey include:

  • Only 1 in 5 respondents think they will go into debt during the holidays.
  • More than half have been saving for holiday expenses (52%); another 5% will use year-end bonuses.
  • When asked what they plan to do with gifts of monetary value that they receive this holiday season – such as cash or gift cards – 65% said they would save the gift or use it to pay down debt.
  • Of those who had a budget for their holiday spending in prior years, almost two-thirds (61%) came in on budget.

“While our natural inclination to bestow generous gifts upon our friends and family is admirable, as with all aspects of our financial lives, we should carefully plan for it, keeping our holiday spending in perspective with our long-term financial goals,” says CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® in a news release. “Having a financial plan that considers all aspects of your life, even your holiday spending, and working with a competent and ethical professional like a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional will leave you better prepared this holiday season and beyond.

Read more survey findings >

CFP® Certification Examination Update

Results from the latest administration of the CFP® Certification Examination, held November 15-16, 2013, will be released to examinees later this week. The latest updates on the exam scoring process are posted at www.CFP.net/examupdate.

Registration is now open for the March and July 2014 CFP® exam administrations, which will be held March 21-22, 2014 and July 18-19, 2014. Encourage your qualified colleagues to register for upcoming exams at www.CFP.net/exam.

Help Strengthen the Financial Planning Profession

Refer your colleagues to receive information on CFP® certification. By helping grow the number of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, not only will you give the CFP® certification more influence while also strengthening the financial planning profession, you will support your colleagues as they advance in their financial advising careers by letting them know the value of CFP® certification.

Provide the name and contact information of your colleagues by December 30, 2013, and you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a $500 Amazon.com gift card.*

Refer a Colleague Today!

* Official prize drawing rules and details

Financial Planning Coalition Applauds SEC Investor Advisory Committee on Recommendations That Would Strengthen Investor Protection

On November 22, 2013, CFP Board and our partners in the Financial Planning Coalition (Coalition) – the Financial Planning Association® and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors -- issued a statement applauding the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) for taking important steps in protecting American investors.

The Advisory Committee, established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, voted to accept two recommendations from its Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee that the SEC 1) move forward with promulgating a rule extending a uniform fiduciary duty to broker-dealers when providing personalized investment advice, and 2) request legislation from Congress authorizing the SEC to collect “user fees” from SEC-registered investment advisers.

The Coalition, as well as a broad coalition of organizations including AARP, Consumer Federation of America, Investment Adviser Association, and the North American Securities Administrators Association, support these recommendations and urge the SEC to move forward with their implementation.

At a time when investor confidence in our financial markets remains low, investors deserve better protection from bad actors in the retail investment arena. Requiring all investment advisers to put their clients’ interest above their own through adoption of a uniform fiduciary standard while empowering the SEC to collect funding from the industry to increase investment adviser oversight are common sense measures that can lessen investors’ vulnerabilities.

CFP Board and Broad Coalition Send Message to Congress: Support Legislation to Improve SEC Investor Protection

On December 2, 2013, CFP Board and a broad-based group of organizations, including consumer and industry groups and state regulators, sent a letter to all Members of Congress, urging support of H.R. 1627, the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act of 2013. The bill – sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) – would authorize the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to collect an annual “user fee” from registered investment advisers to increase the frequency of investment adviser examinations and to better protect American investors.

According to the groups that signed the letter, “It is imperative that the SEC be able to properly oversee the activities of registered investment advisers. We are deeply concerned that the SEC’s current inability to examine investment advisers more frequently increases opportunities for investor fraud and abuse.”

The group added: “A user fee is the best option to increase investor protection because it is an efficient, economical, and common sense solution to the SEC’s chronic problem of insufficient examination resources.” The group’s letter to Congress underscored that a user fee provides a funding source that impacts neither taxpayers nor the federal treasury.

The broad range of organizations signing the letter included AARP, Consumer Federation of America, CFP Board, Financial Planning Association®, Investment Adviser Association, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and the North American Securities Administrators Association.

Read the full letter >

Read the news release >

“Let’s Talk Planning” Blog: Your Financial Planner Really Is into You

In a recent installment of the “Let’s Talk Planning” blog, CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® touches on what clients can expect as they develop a new relationship with a financial planner. “The first date is over and you have said your farewells. The chemistry was good, and you’re pretty sure you would like to meet again. Now comes the agonizing part: “Do I call first, or wait? When should we see each other again? Is tomorrow ‘too soon’? Is next week or next month ‘too late?’”

Blayney outlines some of “The Rules” for people to keep in mind as they begin working with a CFP® professional:

  • In the beginning, the relationship should be pretty intense.
  • A good relationship will inevitably settle down into something more predictable.
  • There will be times when you “have to talk.”

Visit the blog for timely topics you can share or discuss with your clients and potential clients.
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CFP Board in the News

CFP Board and the CFP® certification have been featured prominently by the national media in recent weeks, including stories from InvestmentNews and nationally-syndicated articles from Reuters and Sacramento Bee. Read these and other notable media references to CFP Board and the CFP® certification >

Thank You to Our Volunteers

A special thank you to everyone who shared their time and expertise with CFP Board during 2013. CFP Board’s work would not be possible without the assistance of many talented individuals who have volunteered to assist in various capacities.

There are many meaningful and rewarding ways to get involved. Consider volunteering with CFP Board in 2014.

Review volunteer opportunities >

Submit a volunteer application >

Is Your CFP Board Account Up-to-Date?

As we look forward to the new year, now is a great time to verify that your CFP Board record is up-to-date.  Take a few minutes today to log in to your secure online CFP Board account to review your information and make any needed updates.

  • My Account Information: Update your mailing address, email and other contact information, including employer affiliation
  • Demographic Information: Update the designations and licenses you hold, and your licensing affiliations with any broker/dealer or investment adviser firms
  • Update Your Profile: Update or opt-in to participate in CFP Board's "Search for a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional" function

Log In to Review and Update Your Information >


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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.