< Read more CFP Board Report Updates
CFP Board



January 28, 2019


In This Issue:

Public Comment Period for Proposed Procedural Rules Ends January 29

CFP Board is accepting comments on proposed Procedural Rules during a public comment period that ends Tuesday, January 29, 2019. The proposed Procedural Rules will consolidate and replace the existing Disciplinary Rules and Procedures and Appeal Rules and Procedures. CFP Board intends for the Procedural Rules to improve the process that governs those who are subject to CFP Board’s enforcement function.
Learn more and Submit a comment > 

Susan John, CFP® Leads CFP Board’s Board of Directors

Susan John, CFPCFP Board welcomes Susan John, CFP® as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. She will lead the professional standard-setting body during an exciting period of growth and change as it implements the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct for CFP® professionals.

“These are exciting times to be a CFP® professional,” said John. “One in four financial advisors in the United States holds CFP® certification. With the implementation of the new Code and Standards this year, the certification will hold even greater value to the public, firms and stakeholders alike as all CFP® professionals will be required to act as a fiduciary whenever they provide financial advice.”

John is the Founder and President of Financial Focus, Inc., a firm she started in 1985 that provides comprehensive planning services to northern New England professionals, retirees, and families. She earned her CFP® certification in 1986 and has been on CFP Board’s Board of Directors since 2016.

She has a long and distinguished record of achievement in the financial planning profession including serving as Chair of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) in 2010, where she led a variety of efforts to raise the profile and impact of the membership organization.

One of her great accomplishments at NAPFA was helping to form the Financial Planning Coalition, a collaboration between the three major financial planning organizations in the United States, which also includes the Financial Planning Association and CFP Board.

“Susan is known within the profession as a forward-thinking and effective leader,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “We will rely on her steady leadership as we implement the new Code and Standards and continue on our path of facilitating Americans’ access to CFP® professionals.”

Meet with CFP Board Leadership at CFP® Certificant Connections in Florida, March 5-7

CFP® Certification Connections are heading to Florida from March 5-7, 2019. These free, town hall-style events provide an opportunity for CFP® professionals and other CFP Board stakeholders to engage in two-way dialogue with CFP Board’s leadership. Click the links below for details and to register.

2018 Milestones and Achievements Show Growth and Interest in CFP® Certification

Over the course of 2018 CFP Board reached several significant milestones that support its mission to benefit the American public with access to competent and ethical financial planning advice.

These achievements reflect the financial planning profession’s commitment to increasing diversity within its ranks. As of December 31, 2018, these milestones include:

  • Total number of CFP® professionals is at an all-time high of 83,106 - one in four financial advisors in the United States holds the CFP® certification, according to Cerulli
  • The number of women CFP® professionals increased to 19,248, another all-time high
  • The number of black and Latino CFP® professionals is now at 2,916, which is 8 percent more than in 2017 – and double the rate of growth of all CFP® professionals
  • It is the five-year anniversary of CFP Board’s Career Center, which connects firms with qualified job seekers in the profession. During this time the Career Center has seen 1,700 employers post 3,500 jobs that have been promoted to 22,000 job seekers
  • The CFP Board Candidate Forum is connecting candidates for CFP® certification in a valuable online community to provide support on their path to certification. Nearly 64,000 subscribers shared 1,300 discussion threads in 2018 related to all stages on the path to CFP® certification
  • The CFP Board Mentor Program has significantly grown over the last year as there are now nearly 1,400 mentors working with more than 2,000 mentees. The CFP Board Mentorship program was expanded in 2018 to allow all candidates on the path to certification to connect with a CFP® professional for support and encouragement while on the path to certification.

“These milestones and achievements reflect the public’s desire for ethical and competent CFP® professionals who – through financial planning – can provide Americans confidence today and a more secure tomorrow,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller. “We look forward to seeing even more interest in CFP® certification as consumers and firms alike embrace holistic financial planning to produce better outcomes and results.”

Digital Certificates Now Available to CFP® Professionals

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

“CFP® professionals have met the rigorous professional standards set by CFP Board and should be proud of their achievement,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller in a related press release. “In our technology driven society, the digital certificate makes it easier for CFP® professionals to share their qualifications with peers, clients and prospects. It is also a tool for consumers to verify their CFP® professional’s certification and supports our mission of providing competent and ethical financial planning advice.”

The new, online format makes it simpler to communicate the expertise and credibility associated with the CFP® certification. CFP® professionals can now:

  • Download a PDF copy of the certificate to their desktops.
  • Share the credential via social networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.
  • Embed the credential in a website or email.

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.

The digital certificate supports CFP Board’s pursuit of ambitious goals related to four overarching outcomes: increase public Awareness of CFP® professionals; increase Access by the public to the number of CFP® professionals; ensure there is Accountability of CFP® professionals; and further CFP Board’s position as the Authority in financial planning.

New Report: Financial Advisors Are Still the Primary Source for Advice; Technology Utilized to Create Better Outcomes

A new report from CFP Board’s Digital Advice Working Group finds that financial advisors remain the primary source for the delivery of financial advice despite the availability of fully automated digital solutions, with clients expecting technology to be part of their relationship with advisors.

Digital Advice Working Group Report“Clients expect and deserve a human-powered, digitally-enabled solution to their financial needs,” said CFP Board’s CEO Kevin Keller. “Financial advisors who utilize technology as a tool in the client-advisor relationship can differentiate themselves and create more meaningful, deeper conversations and longer-lasting relationships that produce better outcomes.”

The report from CFP Board’s Digital Advice Working Group reflects the reality that consumers want to have an integrated solution when getting financial advice as part of a Digital Financial Advice Ecosystem, which contains five segments – technology, consumers themselves, regulation, firms and advisors.

Each one of these is important, but together they make up for what the group believes is the future of financial advice. When it comes to financial services, consumers expect that they will have access to technology to make informed decisions and track their accounts. At the same time, consumers are recognizing more and more that they need the help of a financial professional to provide context to their finances – and help them understand the impact of their decisions.

The report, which was developed by the Digital Advice Working Group and Heidrick Consulting, points to a future where technology is much more scalable, accessible and useful in the consumer-advisor relationship. In fact, the report notes consumers and advisors will be “connected through a seamless digital experience.”

Fears of technology replacing human advisors remain largely unfounded, too. Rather, consumers will continue to gravitate toward working with financial professionals who utilize technology and grasp its importance. The report notes that this integrated approach can be found in areas of medicine where doctors and hospitals utilize technology to help lead to better patient outcomes.

Another factor driving this transition is the changing regulatory model that financial services firms operate in. Specifically, regulators – as well as consumers – are expecting advisors to put their clients’ interests first. Technology helps keep advisors in compliance with regulators while also ensuring that their clients stay informed and engaged in the decision-making process.

Focus on Ethics: Understanding the Client’s Personal and Financial Circumstances

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 begins with Step 1: “Understanding the Client’s Personal and Financial Circumstances.”

The previous first step of the process – “Defining the Scope of the Engagement” – was removed from the Practice Standards so that they would now solely address the delivery of Financial Planning. That previous step became the “Duty to Provide Information to a Client” addressed in Standard A10.

The previous second step of the financial planning process was divided and re-ordered, with its first part becoming Step 1 – “Understanding the Client’s Personal and Financial Circumstances” – and the second part becoming Step 2 – “Identifying and Selecting Goals.”

These changes mean CFP® professional will now be required to work with the Client to obtain information and analyze the Client’s personal and financial circumstances before mutually defining the Client’s goals, and not after, as the current Practice Standards require. This change recognizes that for a CFP® professional to collaborate effectively with the Client to identify and then select goals, a CFP® professional first must understand the Client’s circumstances.

A CFP® professional understands the Client’s personal and financial circumstances and satisfies the first Practice Standard by obtaining qualitative (subjective) and quantitative (objective) information, analyzing the information, and addressing any incomplete information.

The Code and Standards presents broadly written examples of qualitative and quantitative information that a CFP® professional must collaborate with the Client to obtain. Not all will apply to each Client, which is why the Code and Standards describes them as examples, not requirements.

The examples of qualitative and quantitative information in Practice Standard 1 reflect the order in which they are likely to arise in an Engagement.

C 1. Understanding the Client’s Personal and Financial Circumstances
  1. Obtaining Qualitative and Quantitative Information. A CFP® professional must describe to the Client the qualitative and quantitative information concerning the Client’s personal and financial circumstances needed to fulfill the Scope of Engagement and collaborate with the Client to obtain the information.
    1. Examples of qualitative or subjective information include the Client’s health, life expectancy, family circumstances, values, attitudes, expectations, earnings potential, risk tolerance, goals, needs, priorities, and current course of action.
    2. Examples of quantitative or objective information include the Client’s age, dependents, other professional advisors, income, expenses, cash flow, savings, assets, liabilities, available resources, liquidity, taxes, employee benefits, government benefits, insurance coverage, estate plans, education and retirement accounts and benefits, and capacity for risk.
  2. Analyzing Information. A CFP® professional must analyze the qualitative and quantitative information to assess the Client’s personal and financial circumstances.
  3. Addressing Incomplete Information. If unable to obtain information necessary to fulfill the Scope of Engagement, the CFP® professional must either limit the Scope of Engagement to those services the CFP® professional is able to provide or terminate the Engagement.

In complying with the Practice Standards, a CFP® professional must act prudently in documenting information, as the facts and circumstances require, taking into 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.

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 video series outlining key details of the new Code and Standards. The latest video addresses the definition of financial advice in the Code and Standards. View the video series > 

Public Awareness Campaign Advertising Picks Up in February

CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign advertising will be back on national cable television beginning February 11, supplemented by online, radio and print, as well as ongoing social media and earned media efforts. The ads encourage the public to visit www.LetsMakeaPlan.org to learn about the competency and credibility of CFP® professionals, and to identify a CFP® professional through our online search tool. This year’s campaign will reach a national audience and generate over a billion impressions.

Your clients and potential clients around the country will be seeing the ads on national cable television channels and online platforms, and we want your clients and prospective clients to connect you with the great messages they’re seeing in the campaign advertising. To help you do that, we’ve developed a number of resources you can use to help extend the campaign’s reach in your communities. Visit www.CFP.net/PAC to access resources including:

  • Links to TV ads on CFP Board’s YouTube channel, where you can find options for sharing and embedding the videos
  • Banner ads for use on personal websites
  • Print ad PDFs
  • Sample social media posts
  • Customizable radio announcements
  • Links to consumer brochures you can share with clients and potential clients

We hope you will find these resources useful. Look for updates on the campaign’s progress in the coming months.

Survey Finds Consumers at All Income and Asset Levels Need Support with Spending, Household Budgeting

Despite Americans’ awareness of their increased spending in 2018, a significant portion still do not adhere to a budget, according to a new survey released by CFP Board in collaboration with research-led consulting firm Heart+Mind Strategies.

Following a holiday season where spending reached $850 billion, Americans’ may be experiencing a holiday spending ‘hangover’ considering these findings:

  • 77 percent find it easy to spend money
  • 64 percent find it easy to overspend when using a credit card or mobile payment
  • 59 percent are not tracking their spending
  • More than one-in-three confess spending more than they save
  • Two-in-five have never had a budget

“The beginning of the year is the perfect time to review your financial situation and create a budget to get back on track and achieve your goals,” said Susan John, CFP®, Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors. “Determine your monthly income, the amount you spend on essential expenses every month and allocate the remaining amount between saving, investing and recreational spending.”

One of the critical barriers to developing an effective budget is likely confusion around what true budgeting entails. While 43% of individuals surveyed believe that they have a budget, most define budgeting as using receipts and bank/credit card statements to keep track of spending, rather than having a system in place that outlines their spending for specific household needs over a period of time or working with a financial professional to help them create a spending and savings plan.

Despite this confusion or lack of initiative, consumers do see significant benefits to developing and adhering to a household budget once they are made aware of how they could do so. There is nearly universal recognition of the benefits of having a household budget—all respondents cited providing control over money as the top advantage of having a budget, 68 percent agree that having a household budget would help them reach personal and family goals, and 67 percent say that if they had a budget it would have a great impact on their confidence in their financial security. In fact, after learning about the many benefits of budgeting, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of consumers who said they are likely to prepare a budget next year.

Having a household budget positively effects a consumers’ emotional state by reducing stress, anxiety and frustration. Consumers who have a budget feel more in control (62 percent), more confident (55 percent) and more secure (52 percent). Whereas consumers without a budget are more likely to feel not in control (19 percent), worried (18 percent) and stressed (17 percent). There is a desire to have control over their money, but many are struggling to do so. A budget would help increase their feelings of control, confidence and security while at the same time reducing their anxiety.

Download the Survey Report >

Download an Infographic of Survey Highlights >

“As you start planning for the new year, I encourage you to meet with a CFP® professional who is rigorously trained to work alongside clients to put together a comprehensive and holistic plan, which includes a household budget,” said John. “A partnership with a CFP® professional will help you take control of your finances and establish a roadmap to achieve your goals.”

CFP® Examination Update

The next CFP® exam testing window is March 12-19, 2019. Standard Registration is available through February 12, 2019.

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.

Register Now for Online Career Fair, April 4

The CFP Board Career Center’s spring Online Career Fair will take place on April 4, 2019. Connect directly with qualified candidates of all levels during this live online event. Register today!

  CFP Board Center for Financial Planning  
  Updates from the Center for Financial Planning:
  • Read the Latest Issue of Financial Planning Review: The second installment (issues 3-4) of Financial Planning Review is now available online! This issue is highlighted by the contribution from Dr. Harry Markowitz, recipient of the 1990 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. His paper, co-authored with Dr. John Guerard, documents the existence, persistence, and effectiveness of publicly available variables linked to financial anomalies during the 1979-1999 time period with particular emphasis on earnings forecasts. Read the latest Financial Planning Review >
  • Racial Diversity in Financial PlanningGet Involved in Tackling the Diversity Challenge in Financial Planning: The Diversity Summit was only the first step in our collective effort to affect change. We invite you to download Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go, to learn how you can get involved, and to forward the paper to your colleagues and networks to expand engagement around this important issue.
    The paper outlines research-based, actionable initiatives that can be implemented by firms, colleges and universities with a financial planning program, partner organizations and CFP® professionals.
  • 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. The firms participating in FPRI this year include: Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company; Carson Wealth, sponsored by TD Ameritrade Institutional; The Colony Group; Moisand, Fitzgerald & Tamayo, LLC; Northwestern Mutual; Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney; TD Ameritrade and Vanguard. Paid return-to-work internships will be offered at these firms in 2019 in various locations around the country. We are currently seeking candidates for the Fidelity RESUME Return-to-Work Internship Program and the Vanguard Return to Work Program. Additional positions will be posted on the FPRI webpage as they become available.
  • Client Psychology Courses from the Center and Wharton Executive Education, April and July 2019: 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. 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.  The Center is hosting a special webinar overview of the CFP Board-Columbia Teaching Seminar on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern).  Learn more and Register for the Teaching Seminar >
  • Support the Center: You can make a difference today! Your donation to the Center for Financial Planning supports important work to secure the financial future for all Americans by advancing a more diverse and sustainable financial planner workforce and building a research-based recognized body of knowledge for the financial planning profession.
    Support the Center >


CFP Board in the News

Financial Planning magazine recently listed CFP Board in the top spot of its list, “19 People Who Will Change Wealth Management in 2019.” The list identifies key industry leaders to keep an eye on in 2019, and CFP Board was recognized for the impact the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct will have on the profession as well as our initiatives to improve diversity throughout the planning profession.  Read this and other notable media mentions of CFP Board and the CFP® certification >

CFP Board Disciplinary Actions

CFP Board recently announced public disciplinary actions against 11 individuals. Public disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board, in order of decreasing severity, include permanent revocation of an individual's right to use the CFP® certification marks, suspension of the right to use the CFP® certification marks for up to five years, and letters of admonition. The basis for each decision can be found in a Disciplinary Action Report on CFP Board’s website, and the public may check on an individual’s disciplinary history and certification status with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/verify.






Julie A. Bower, CFP®

Newport Beach

Public Letter of Admonition


Scott P. Evans


One Year and One Day Suspension

New Jersey

Jared S. Friedman

Scotch Plains

Six-Month Suspension


Richard P. Hohol


Six-Month Suspension


Ike Ikokwu


Five-Year Suspension


Robert A. Kahn


Administrative Revocation


Mark A. Nordbrock

Santa Monica

Six-month Suspension


Andrew L. Schade


Administrative Revocation


Dean C. Tellone, CFP®


Public Letter of Admonition


Larry J. Templin


Interim Suspension


John P. Wheeler

St. Petersburg

Administrative Revocation

Read the full news release announcing the Interim Suspension of Larry J. Templin >

Read the full news release announcing the other disciplinary actions listed above >

Upcoming Events

Register Now for 2019 Academic Research Colloquium, Registered Programs Conference, February 19-22

Regular registration rates for the 2019 Academic Research Colloquium and 2019 CFP Board Registered Programs Conference end on February 8. Register Today to take advantage of the discounted registration prices before the late registration rates go into effect.

The 2019 Academic Research Colloquium in Arlington, VA on February 19-21, is bringing together some of the best and brightest researchers, educators and thought leaders to showcase research within financial planning and related disciplines that is designed to benefit financial planning practice leaders, graduate students, researchers, as well as the profession as a whole.

In addition to the standard paper presentations, for the first time, the 2019 Academic Research Colloquium will feature new sessions of interest for practicing CFP® professionals. These sessions, devoted to translating the implications of research into practical application, will be led by prominent scholar-practitioners – individuals who have extensive experience in both scholarly research and financial planning practice. CFP® professionals attending these sessions will be eligible to receive CFP Board CE credit provided by the Financial Planning Association.

Immediately following the Colloquium, on February 21-22, 2019, the 2019 CFP Board Registered Programs Conference will also be held at the same location. For the first time, this conference will include a student track with sessions for prospective and current registered program students, as well as networking opportunities with financial services firms. Content will include an overview of the CFP® certification process, programming that focuses on getting started in the profession and seeking opportunities for using financial planning skills in your community, and presentations on current issues/trends in financial planning.


  • 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 >

New CFP® Marks-Branded Products in Revamped Online Store

CFP Board offers a range of products – including mugs, notebooks, umbrellas, bags, apparel, and more – branded with the CFP® mark for you to display your certification with pride. Take a look at our NEW online store and use code CFPLaunch10 to get 10% off your purchase through January 31! We will be releasing new products regularly throughout the coming year, so make sure to keep checking in. Questions? Email Taylor Fealy at tfealy@cfpboard.org.


CFP Board Logo
P 800-487-1497 • F 202-379-2299
1425 K STREET NW #800 • WASHINGTON, DC 20005
Find us online: CFP.net | LetsMakeAPlan.org | CenterforFinancialPlanning.org | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin