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CFP Board

May 20, 2013

In This Issue:

CFP Board Seeks Candidates for 2014 Board of Directors

CFP Board is currently accepting applications for individuals interested in serving on the Board of Directors beginning in January 2014. 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 14, 2013.

CFP® Certification Examination Update

Results from the March 2013 CFP® Exam were released to examinees on April 18, 2013. The pass rate for this administration of the exam was 62.6%, with 955 individuals receiving a passing score. View historical exam statistics at www.CFP.net/exam-statistics.

The next CFP® Exam will be held July 19-20, 2013. Encourage your qualified colleagues to register online for the July 2013 exam by the registration deadline, June 11, 2013, at www.CFP.net/exam.

CFP Board Announces Effort to Increase the Ranks of Women CFP® Professionals

A new initiative to increase the number of women entering the growing financial planning profession, including the number of women CFP® professionals, was announced by Nancy A. Kistner, CFP®, Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors, at the Women Advisors Forum in New York City on April 15, 2013.

"As more and more Americans need help to meet their financial goals, CFP® professionals – and those who aspire to join our ranks – have an important opportunity to help Americans get back on track and take control of their financial lives," Kistner said. "Growing the ranks of female CFP® professionals not only makes good business sense, but it builds the heart and soul of this profession, which is all about helping Americans achieve financial security. When more women advisors are helping more women clients, they are also helping spouses, children, families and communities."

Currently, only about 23 percent of the 68,000 CFP® professionals are female -- a statistic that hasn't changed for a decade. With fields like education, medicine and law, among others, seeing more gender parity, "it is well past time that we welcome more women in financial services, particularly financial planning," Kistner said.

To inform the initiative's efforts, CFP Board has appointed a Women's Initiative Advisory Panel made up of leading experts in the financial planning field. The Advisory Panel will help to identify the challenges women face when becoming certified and beginning a career in financial planning, as well as recommend solutions to increase the ranks of female CFP® professionals. Kistner will serve as Chair of the panel, in addition to leading the overall effort.

Members of the panel include:

  • Alexa von Tobel, CFP®, Founder and President, LearnVest
  • Bob Glovsky, CFP®, Former Chair of the Board of Directors, CFP Board
  • Karen Schaeffer, CFP®, Former Chair of the Board of Directors, CFP Board and Former Chair, Financial Planning Standards Board
  • Kate Healy, Managing Director, TD Ameritrade Institutional
  • Mindy Diamond, President and CEO, Diamond Consultants
  • Mary Beth Franklin, Journalist
  • Lazetta Braxton, CFP®, Founder, Financial Foundations
  • Kathleen McQuiggan, President, Catalina Leadership
  • Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, Consumer Advocate, CFP Board

The panel will meet twice in 2013, beginning with a spring meeting to closely examine the problem. Following this inaugural meeting, CFP Board will draw upon the panel's discussion to conduct in-depth quantitative and qualitative research. The panel will meet again in the fall to review the research findings and make recommendations, resulting in the release of a report by CFP Board detailing research conclusions, as well as recommended solutions to increase the number of American women providing ethical and competent financial planning advice.

"While there are certainly challenges to encouraging more women to attain certification and enter the financial planning profession, the opportunities are enormous," said CFP Board's Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller. "CFP Board is dedicated to increasing the ranks of women in financial planning, beginning with research to better inform our understanding of the challenges and barriers women face, and to help identify actionable solutions to grow the number of women CFP® professionals."

"Let's Talk Planning": CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate Launches New Blog

CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate, Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, has launched a new blog, “Let’s Talk Planning” on CFP Board’s consumer website, www.letsmakeaplan.org. The blog will feature weekly posts with practical financial planning tips for consumers, as well as insights into the latest developments at CFP Board. In addition to offering counsel on timely and evergreen financial planning topics, once a month Blayney will remind readers that “financial planning is for everyone,” with tips for consumers of all ages and life stages.

The inaugural blog post featured timely advice for Mother’s Day, with steps to help mothers move toward greater financial security, including the recommendation that children pay for their mother to visit to see a CFP® professional who will put her financial interests and security first and bring her finances together.

Visit the blog >
Subscribe to the blog >

New Additions to Public Awareness Campaign Toolkit

Three new online banner ads have been added to the advertising for CFP Board’s “Let’s Make a Plan” public awareness campaign. The new “Crystal Ball,” “Hero” and “Kaleidoscope” online banner ads emphasize the importance of working with a CFP® professional and are available from our Public Awareness Campaign Toolkit, with instructions for adding the ads to your website.

View the “Crystal Ball” Online Banner Ad >
View the “Hero” Online Banner Ad >
View the “Kaleidoscope” Banner Ad >


New Online Banner Ads

CFP Board Urges Policymakers and Regulators to Act on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

On April 18, 2013, CFP Board urged federal and state policymakers to swiftly adopt recommendations made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent the misuse of senior designations, certifications and titles used by individuals working in the financial services industry.

“These recommendations mark an important step toward addressing the proliferation of designations, certifications and titles used to mislead, confuse and deceive America’s seniors,” said Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board’s CEO. “We fully support the Bureau in its efforts to shine a light on this significant problem and hope policymakers and regulators will quickly implement these common sense recommendations to better protect older Americans.”

Among the Bureau’s recommendations, CFP Board particularly supports the following:

  • Creating a centralized tool for consumers to research and verify senior designations, including whether the designation meets certain fundamental criteria to be considered a valid and credible designation;
  • Tracking by the Securities and Exchange Commission of complaints related to senior designations, as well as requiring understandable disclosures by any individual claiming expertise specific to seniors;
  • Requiring that those individuals holding senior designations and certifications meet and maintain minimum levels of professional standards, including education and accreditation, as well as a minimum standard of conduct; and
  • Increasing the supervision and related enforcement of individuals holding certain designations and working with seniors.

In August 2012, CFP Board submitted a comment letter to the Bureau, along with the results of its Senior Financial Exploitation Study. A number of CFP Board’s recommendations from that letter are reflected in whole or in part in the Bureau’s report.

Recommendations included establishment of a rating system for professional certifications and designations, the execution of an educational campaign in connection with the rating system, and the use of objective criteria, modeled after CFP® certification standards, when evaluating other financial services designations. These standards include accreditation; substantial education and experience; a fair, valid and reliable exam; continuing education requirements; high ethical and professional standards; and a rigorous enforcement process that includes revocation of the certification where appropriate and a public disciplinary process.

“We appreciate the Bureau’s commitment to addressing the misleading use of designations and titles by individuals who use them as a way to exploit unwitting consumers – especially older Americans,” said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, Managing Director for Public Policy and Communications. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Bureau on this important issue.”

CFP Board in the News

CFP Board and the CFP® certification have been featured prominently by national media in recent weeks.

  • USA Today published an article on the need for financial advice among the middle class, which featured quotes from CFP® professionals and CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate, and recognized the CFP® certification as the most significant credential for financial planners
  • The Dallas Morning News coverage of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent report on senior financial designations highlighted CFP Board’s support of the Bureau’s recommendations, featuring a quote from CEO Kevin Keller
  • The Washington Post reported on senior citizens being lured into riskier investments during this time of low-interest rates included a quote from CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate
  • Financial Planning magazine featured CFP Board’s Dr. Charles Chaffin on the importance of the CFP® certification standards to the growth of the financial planning profession

Read these and other notable media references to CFP Board and the CFP® certification >

Recorded Webinar: “Avoiding a CFP Board Rule Violation – A Practical Approach”

A recording of CFP Board’s recent webinar to provide CFP® professionals with a practical approach to avoiding CFP Board rule violations is now available for on-demand viewing.

Hosted by Rex Staples, Esq., CFP Board’s Director of Investigations, and presented by Bill Hayes, CFP®, a member of CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, and Adam Zajac, Esq., CFP Board’s Adjudicatory Counsel, this webinar addressed questions of how CFP® professionals can adhere to the Standards of Professional Conduct in their daily practice through real- life scenarios encountered by CFP® professionals, including:

  • Establishing the scope of engagement
  • Making required disclosures to clients and prospective clients
  • Documenting client disclosures and interactions
  • Addressing issues that arise when clients divorce
Learn more and view the webinar recording >

Upcoming CFP Board Events

CFP Board's Financial Planning Competency Handbook


CFP Board’s Financial Planning Competency Handbook

CFP Board's first book, the Financial Planning Competency Handbook, is now available in print and digital formats from CFP Board and your favorite booksellers. Published by highly respected academic publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Handbook is designed for the entire financial planning profession — including students, professors and practitioners — and provides a theoretical framework for many of the major content areas in financial planning as well as real-world guidance for practicing professionals. Learn more and order your copy today >


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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.