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CFP Board



June 27, 2019


In This Issue:

Special Webinar with CFP Board Leadership, July 12, 1pm Eastern

Join us on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern Time), when CFP Board’s leadership will share reports from the latest meeting of CFP Board’s Board of Directors, provide updates on CFP Board’s activities and initiatives, and answer questions from the audience.

CFP Board Statement on SEC Regulation BI and Related Guidance

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved its Regulation Best Interest package, which included a variety of changes to how investment professionals will be regulated. These regulations, according to the SEC, are set to take effect on June 30, 2020.

During the SEC's rulemaking process, CFP Board and our partners in the Financial Planning Coalition urged the SEC to consider the fiduciary standard in our new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct as a modeal for a workable framework that meets consumer expectations that their financial professionals put their best interests first. While the SEC moved forward with a final rule that followed a different approach, we are pleased that nothing we heard today suggests CFP Board's Code and Standards conflicts with the SEC's final rule.

We also took note of SEC Commissioner Rob Jackson’s prepared remarks when he said that “investors should seek out true fiduciary advice from financial professionals who have chosen to hold themselves to a higher standard.” He might as well have recommended that investors seek out a CFP® professional. In fact, his written statement cites our Code and Standards.

The SEC's multi-year rulemaking process has provided us with high-profile opportunities to increase awareness that consumers can look to our CFP® professionals for financial advice under a fiduciary standard. That message is at the heart of the statement about the SEC rule that CFP Board issued, which is copied below.

We appreciate your support of CFP® certification and will continue our work to grow awareness of the commitment all CFP® professionals make to providing their clients with competent and ethical advice.

“Now that the SEC has issued its Regulation Best Interest rule and related guidance for investment advisers, consumers should know that nearly 85,000 CFP® professionals will be obligated to provide financial advice under a fiduciary standard.
The fiduciary obligation in CFP Board’s new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (effective October 1, 2019) is straightforward. Drawn from the common law of fiduciaries, it includes a duty of loyalty to place the clients’ interest above their own and the firm’s, a duty of care, and a duty to follow client instructions. This clear and simple standard – along with the entire Code and Standards – is consistent with CFP Board’s mission to benefit the public.
Professional standards-setting organizations, such as CFP Board, exist in part to set standards that go beyond those required by the law for the benefit of the public and the profession. Those who comply with CFP Board’s Code and Standards will not be in violation of Regulation BI, or any other existing laws and regulations, by doing so. The new Code and Standards complement, rather than conflict, with the law.
As the marketplace increasingly demands, consumers who work with a CFP® professional can expect to benefit from competent and ethical financial advice. In the absence of a federal fiduciary standard, the new Code and Standards serves as a North Star for consumers seeking financial advice.”

Real-World Case Studies Bring New Code and Standards to Life

CFP Board is pleased to share a new set of “Case Studies” designed to provide practical guidance to CFP® professionals and their firms in understanding and complying with the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct that takes effect October 1, 2019.

Each case study presents a hypothetical factual circumstance and then asks a question about a CFP® professional’s duty in that circumstance under the Code and Standards. The case study presents the response options, identifies the best response, and then discusses the rationale for why that response is the best and why the other response options are not the best.

CFP Board intends for these and other case studies to enable CFP® professionals to apply the Code and Standards to situations that may arise in their own practice.

Read the Case Studies >

Topics addressed in the case studies include:

  • How the Fiduciary Duty and the Duty to Disclose Material Conflicts of Interest apply to rollover recommendations;
  • How the Fiduciary Duty and the Duty to Disclose Material Conflicts of Interest apply when providing information or services in response to Client requests and directions;
  • How the Duty to Disclose Material Conflicts of Interest applies when recommending products issued by an affiliate;
  • The duty of a CFP® professional when working within a firm on a team that is providing Financial Advice to a Client;
  • When a CFP® professional is providing Financial Advice requires Financial Planning;
  • When a Client may have a reasonable basis to believe that a CFP® professional will provide Financial Planning; and
  • When a CFP® professional is providing general financial educational materials that does not invoke the Fiduciary Duty.

You can view the case studies and additional resources related to the new Code and Standards on our website at www.CFP.net/Code.

Special Webinar: Roadmap to New Code and Standards, July 17, 3 pm Eastern

Join CFP Board for a special webinar focused on a key guidance document developed to help you understand a CFP® professional's responsibilities under the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which becomes effective October 1, 2019.

Webinar: Roadmap to the New Code and Standards
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Focus on Ethics: Responsibilities when Recommending, Engaging and Working with Additional Persons and when Selecting, Using and Recommending Technology

CFP Board’s new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (“Code and Standards”), which takes effect on October 1, 2019, includes several updates to a CFP® professional’s reporting obligations to CFP Board, both in the types of matters to be reported and the process for reporting.

The new standard for when a CFP® professional recommends, engages, and works with additional persons creates different obligations depending on whether the CFP® professional is engaging or recommending the selection or retention of another financial or Professional Services provider or is already working with another financial or Professional Services provider.

As set out in Standard A.13, when the CFP® professional is engaging or recommending the selection or retention of another financial or Professional Services provider, the CFP® professional must:

  • Have a reasonable basis for the recommendation or Engagement based on the person’s reputation, experience and qualifications;
  • Disclose to the Client, at the time of the recommendation or prior to the Engagement, any arrangement by which someone who is not the Client will compensate or provide some other material economic benefit to the CFP® professional, the CFP® Professional’s Firm, or a Related Party for the recommendation or Engagement; and
  • When engaging a person to provide services for a Client, exercise reasonable care to protect the Client’s interests.

When working with another financial or Professional Services provider on behalf of the Client, the CFP® professional must:

  • Communicate with the other provider about the scope of their respective services and the allocation of responsibility between them; and
  • Inform the Client in a timely manner if the CFP® professional has a reasonable belief that the other provider’s services were not performed in accordance with the scope of services to be provided and the allocation of responsibilities.

In view of the growing use of technology, including digital advice tools, in the financial planning profession, the new Code and Standards in Standard A.14 includes a new, principles-based standard setting forth duties when selecting, using, and recommending technology. The duties are as follows:

  • A CFP® professional must exercise reasonable care and judgment when selecting, using, or recommending any software, digital advice tool, or other technology while providing Professional Services to a Client.
  • A CFP® professional must have a reasonable level of understanding of the assumptions and outcomes of the technology employed.
  • A CFP® professional must have a reasonable basis for believing that the technology produces reliable, objective, and appropriate outcomes.

Approval of the technology by a CFP® Professional’s Firm is a factor that CFP Board will consider in determining the reasonableness of a CFP® professional’s care when using technology.

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 the five factors when a CFP® professional who is providing financial advice must also provide financial planning. View the video series > 

CFP® Examination Update

Registration is now closed for the July 9-16, 2019 CFP® exam testing window. Early Registration for the November 5-12, 2019 CFP® exam testing window will open on July 18, 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.

Certificant Connections Podcast: From Certificates to Ph.D.s

The latest episode of CFP Board’s Certificant Connections Podcast series features Mary Kay Svedberg, Ph.D., Director of Education at CFP Board, who discusses the variety of CFP Board Registered Programs that provide the core educational curriculum for CFP® certification, from certificate programs to doctorate programs, and options that students can look for when selecting a program.
Learn more >

  CFP Board Center for Financial Planning  
  Updates from the Center for Financial Planning:
  • Second Annual Diversity Summit in Washington, DC, November 13: 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.

  • 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 Wealth Advisor with The Colony Group (NYC/Armonk, New York), the Fidelity RESUME Return-to-Work Internship Program, the Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo FPRI Returnship, Northwestern Mutual ReLaunch Program (Austin, TX), and the Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney Financial Planning Return-to-Work Internship Program (McLean, VA).  Additional positions will be posted on the FPRI webpage as they become available.
  • Client Psychology Course from the Center and Wharton Executive Education, July 29-31: Following a successful first offering in April, the Center and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are launching the second offering of the Client Psychology course this July in San Francisco. Designed to help financial planning professionals build a more effective and client-centered practice, the course will be offered over three days from July 29 - 31, and 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 Seminar from the Center and Columbia University, August 18-20: Building upon a successful third seminar held earlier this month, the Center and Columbia University School of Professional Studies are offering another session on August 18-20, on the Columbia University campus in New York. The three-day, experience-based program provides training to individuals who are interested in becoming full-time or part-time faculty in a CFP Board Registered Program.  Learn more and Register for the Teaching Seminar >
  • 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 Disciplinary Actions

CFP Board recently announced automatic interim suspensions against 6 individuals, effective immediately or on the date noted in each case. 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.






Harry F. Couglar

San Diego

Automatic Interim Suspension


Dale F. Norton, Jr.


Automatic Interim Suspension


Craig E. Lewis


Automatic Interim Suspension


David C. Ferwerda

Grand Rapids

Automatic Interim Suspension


Sam Aziz


Automatic Interim Suspension

South Carolina

Benjamin Galloway


Automatic Interim Suspension

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 >
  • Report 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.

Display the CFP® Marks with Pride

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! We recently released an Apple Watch band, sunglass case, and water bottle, so make sure to keep checking in for new products!

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


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