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CFP Board

August 7, 2014

In This Issue:

Public Awareness Campaign Study Finds Significant Jumps in Consumer Awareness, Favorability

A recent study tracking the results of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign shows that American consumers are more aware than ever before of the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.

The 2014 IPSOS brand tracking study found that that unaided awareness of CFP® certification among the campaign’s target audience – known as “mass affluent initiators” – rose by six percentage points, from 24 percent in 2013 to 30 percent in 2014. The “mass affluent initiator” is defined as a subset of the mass affluent (those with investible assets of $100,000 to $1 million) who are willing to seek the help of a professional. Total awareness among this target audience is 79 percent – up four percentage points. Unaided awareness measures a person’s knowledge about designations without prompting, while total awareness reflects someone’s knowledge after also seeing or hearing something that prompted a response.

The research also showed the CFP® certification is one of the best known designations among the nearly 200 financial, banking and insurance designations and certifications in the marketplace. CFP® certification is more than three times as well-known (based on total awareness among the mass affluent) as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations (25 percent), more than four times as well-known as the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation (19 percent), and five times as well-known as the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation (14 percent).

Further, the IPSOS study showed that the CFP® certification brand is viewed positively. More than 73 percent of consumers who had seen the campaign’s advertising said that the CFP® certification brand demonstrates competence and another 65 percent said the brand represents accountability.

“We are very pleased to see that the Public Awareness Campaign is moving the needle, helping consumers become more aware of the CFP® certification and the need to look for a financial professional who has the training, competency and ethics that form the highest standard in financial advice,” said Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer.

CFP Board began its national Public Awareness Campaign in April 2011 with advertisements on television, in print, online and on the radio, and has seen significant increases in awareness ever since. The Public Awareness Campaign encourages consumers to visit www.LetsMakeaPlan.org to learn more about the benefits of financial planning and how to find a CFP® professional in their area. As part of the campaign, CFP® professionals have access to a Public Awareness Campaign toolkit including the advertising and other materials to help extend the reach of the campaign in their own marketing efforts .

Recorded Webinar: CFP Board’s Leadership Shares Latest Updates

If you attended CFP Board’s Business Update Webinar on July 17, 2014, you were among the first to hear about the latest research on the successes of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign. A recording of this webinar is now available for viewing.

Presented by Ray Ferrara, CFP®, 2014 Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors, Richard Rojeck, CFP®, 2014 Chair-Elect, and Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board's CEO, the webinar also featured:
  • Updates from the July 2014 meeting of CFP Board's Board of Directors
  • Updates on CFP Board’s initiatives to grow the number of CFP® professionals, including the WIN initiative to encourage more women to pursue careers in financial planning
  • Updates on the CFP Certification Requirements
  • Answers to audience questions

View the recorded webinar >

G. Joseph Votava, Jr., CFP® Elected 2015 Chair-Elect

At its July meeting, CFP Board’s Board of Directors elected G. Joseph Votava, Jr., CFP® to serve as its 2015 Chair-elect. He will begin his duties as Chair-elect on January 1, 2015, when Rich Rojeck, CFP® begins his term as 2015 Chair.

G. Joseph Votava, Jr.

“Between the launch of the latest phrase of the Public Awareness Campaign and the Women’s Initiative (WIN) to increase the ranks of female CFP® professionals, CFP Board has taken on some exciting initiatives to foster the growth and advancement of our profession,” said Votava. “I am honored to help lead CFP Board as we continue to work to strengthen our organization and the CFP® certification.”

Votava is currently the CEO of Seneca Financial Advisors LLC. With offices in Rochester, New York, and Washington, DC, Seneca provides comprehensive personal financial planning services to individuals and families throughout the country.

Until February 2010, he was a partner serving corporate executives and closely held businesses at Nixon Peabody LLP, a law firm with local, national, and international clients. During his tenure, Votava was the founding president of the law firm’s subsidiary, Nixon Peabody Financial Advisors LLC. Prior to joining Nixon Peabody in 1985, he served as a certified public accountant specializing in taxation at Coopers & Lybrand, an international accounting and consulting firm.

"Joe has already made a significant impact on the financial planning profession through his efforts to raise awareness of the profession and advocate on behalf of it," said current Board of Directors Chair Ray Ferrara, CFP®. “He will harness his extensive leadership experience to sustain CFP Board’s mission of benefitting the public by upholding the CFP® certification as the recognized standard of excellence in personal financial planning.”

Throughout his career, Votava has contributed to the growth and development of financial planning as a profession in the U.S. and around the world. He formerly held chairman positions on Financial Planning Association’s National Board of Directors, and the National Endowment for Financial Education’s Board of Trustees, as well as FPA’s International Advisory Council and CFP Board’s Pubic Policy Council. He was an honorary director of the Japan Academic Society for Financial Planning from 2000 to 2002 and also participated in an international commission to promote the growth and development of financial planning in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Votava’s testimony before Congress in 1999 was relied upon by lawmakers when they made changes expanding tax deductions for 401(k) and IRA savings accounts commonly known today as “catch-up” contributions.

Votava has a J.D. from University Dayton School of Law, and a B.B.A. from Siena College.

CFP Board Welcomes Financial Planning Educators to 2014 CFP Board Registered Program Conference

We are pleased to welcome financial planning education faculty and program directors from CFP Board-Registered Programs around the country to our annual Registered Program Conference on August 7-8 in Washington, DC. The largest financial planning education conference in the country, it will allow attendees to connect with CFP Board and each other, share ideas for enriching their financial planning education curricula, and learn about CFP Board's commitment to education partnerships.

The conference provides financial planning education faculty and program directors with a forum for sharing best practices and key research. This year’s conference features new research that highlights how CFP Board is helping the next generation of financial planners achieve CFP® certification.

For the first time ever, CFP Board has invited firms to participate in a Firms' Night event during the conference during. This innovative event provides the opportunity for representatives of Registered Programs to meet with national and regional firms that employ CFP® professionals to discuss ways to partner in providing support to registered programs and new hires to employers.

Learn more about the 2014 CFP Board Registered Program Conference >

CFP® Examination Update

The latest administration of the CFP® exam was held July 18-19, 2014. CFP Board wishes the best to everyone awaiting results, which will be released via candidates' secure online accounts approximately five weeks after the exam. For weekly updates on the scoring process, visit www.CFP.net/examupdate.

Registration for the November 2014 CFP® exam is now open through November 4, 2014. This will be the first computer-based administration of the CFP® exam, allowing candidates to select a testing date during the November 18-22, 2014 testing window and take the exam at one of more than 250 Prometric testing sites around the country. Learn more about the computer-based testing format at www.CFP.net/cbt, and encourage your qualified colleagues to register at www.CFP.net/exam.

CFP Board now offers two 50-question practice exams as another tool to help candidates prepare for the CFP® exam. Comprised of authentic CFP® exam questions, the practice exams are accessible online, with results and feedback available immediately. Access to the practice exams can be purchased individually or as a bundled package at a reduced price. Learn more about the new Practice Exams >

Share the Benefits of CFP® Certification with Your Colleagues

Growth in the number of CFP® professionals strengthens the profession and the certification. Help a colleague provide better client advice, stay competitive, and achieve greater recognition in the financial planning profession.

Refer your colleagues to receive information on CFP® certification >

Important Job Analysis Survey for CFP® Professionals Coming Soon

CFP Board is conducting the latest Job Analysis Study to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform tasks involved with the practice of financial planning, and we need all CFP® professionals to participate by completing a survey.

This important study is the largest research project in the U.S. related to the body of knowledge for financial planning, and its results are used to verify and update the content of CFP Board’s examination and education requirements. The study’s findings will determine the blueprint for the CFP® Examination – what will be covered on the exam and how it is weighted – and the topics that make up the curricular framework for CFP Board-Registered Programs as well as the acceptable topics for the continuing education (CE) required for CFP® certification renewal.

CFP® professionals will receive an email regarding the survey on Monday, August 11, 2014 from our exam partner, Prometric. Please keep an eye out for the email from Prometric and make time to complete this important survey before it closes on September 8, 2014.

Your participation in the survey will help ensure that CFP Board’s CFP® certification program continues to represent the practices of a wide range of financial planners.

Updates to Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

CFP Board has updated its website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Financial Planning Coalition Launches New Website to Inform and Engage Stakeholders for Legislative, Regulatory Advocacy

The Financial Planning Coalition has updated its logo and launched a revamped website – located at www.FinancialPlanningCoalition.com.

The new Coalition logo better reflects the cooperation inherent to this partnership between CFP Board, FPA® and NAPFA – the three leading organizations representing the development and advancement of the financial planning profession – in a distinctive, bold and contemporary fashion. The seal with interlocking letters forming the core of the logo further represents this collaboration, while the color palette incorporates an element of each partner organization’s branding.

The Coalition’s new website is designed to serve as an educational tool to better communicate relevant updates and recent news with you – as well as lawmakers, regulators and consumers – on the important policy issues impacting the delivery of financial planning services. The site is also designed to serve as a platform to more effectively engage you in our efforts to educate policymakers and consumers on critical investor protection measures needed to ensure financial planning services are delivered in the public’s best interests

Visit the Financial Planning Coalition’s new website >

CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative: Join the Discussion

CFP Board’s Women’s Initiative (“WIN”) has put a spotlight on the low number of women CFP® professionals and started discussions on how we can succeed in attracting more women to the financial planning profession and making the profession and CFP® certification more attractive to women.

Read the white paper, “Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession” and join the conversation through CFP Board’s online discussion forum, which features topics like:
  • Shining a Light on Gender Bias
  • What Makes Financial Planning a Great Career for Women?
  • Encouraging Broader Diversity in the Financial Planning Profession
  • Women CFP® Professionals: Share Your Stories

Get Involved

Get InvolvedWant to get involved with CFP Board's Women's Initiative? Let us know.

Contact Us

WIN Discussion Forum

ForumPost your comments and discuss topics related to CFP Board's Women's Initiative.

Discussion Forum

CFP® Professionals Sought to Participate in Nationwide Financial Planning Days

This fall, hundreds of CFP® professionals will participate in Financial Planning Days in cities around the U.S. During these events, taking place between September 27 and November 8, 2014, CFP® professionals will partner with local city governments and gather in designated schools, municipal buildings, and libraries to provide Americans with the opportunity to get competent financial advice at absolutely no cost, and with no strings attached.

2014 marks the fifth year of Financial Planning Days, a joint endeavor by CFP Board, the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the Foundation for Financial Planning, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The mission of the initiative is to bring free, ethical financial planning advice to the general public through pro bono one-on-one advising sessions and classroom-style workshops. CFP® professionals will be donating their time to offer “no-strings-attached” advice. For many individuals, Financial Planning Days events represent their introduction to financial planning and their first experience with CFP® professionals.

To learn more about events near you, including opportunities for CFP® professionals to get involved, visit www.FinancialPlanningDays.org.

“Let’s Talk Planning” blog on LetsMakeaPlan.org Now “Experts’ Corner”

The content on CFP Board’s consumer website, www.LetsMakeaPlan.org, has been refreshed in recent weeks, and the site’s blog is now its “Experts’ Corner.” In addition to regular posts from CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, the blog is featuring guest posts by many of the dedicated CFP Board Ambassadors who have volunteered to promote CFP Board’s mission and increase awareness of CFP® certification in their own communities and regions. Recent posts include:

  • “Penalty Kicks and Financial Planning: What You Can Learn From Soccer” by David Zuckerman, CFP®, CFP Board Ambassador in Los Angeles, CA
  • “Jumpstarting Retirement Funds” by John Hauserman, CFP®, CFP Board Ambassador in Baltimore, MD
  • “Clark vs. Ramecker: The Asset Protection Wake-up Call” by Joel T. Redmond, CFP®, CFP Board Ambassador in Syracuse, WA
  • “Choice, Control & Collaboration: Planning for Your Vacation” by Marguerita Cheng, CFP®, CFP Board Ambassador in Washington, DC

Visit www.LetsMakeaPlan.org to catch up on the new website and blog content, and for timely topics you can share or discuss with your clients and potential clients.

CFP® Professionals: Apply for CFP Board’s Ambassador Program by August 18

The CFP Board Ambassador program is powered by the contributions of a group of CFP® profe ssionals acting on behalf of CFP Board in their local communities and with national news media. Given the success of the program, we are seeking to broaden our local reach as well as expand areas of financial planning expertise represented by program participants. A limited number of additional CFP® professionals will be accepted into the program, and special training and resources will be made available to all participants. Learn more and apply at www.CFP.net/ambassador.

CFP Board in the News

In recent weeks,CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate and CFP Board Ambassadors have been featured by CNN Money, CNBC, Consumer Reports, The Street and NASDAQ on topics ranging from diversification to estate planning to balancing debt repayment and retirement savings. Read these and other notable articles >

Upcoming Events

Display the CFP® Marks with Pride

New merchandise featuring the CFP® marks is available from CFP Board’s online store!

Products with the CFP® mark include a key fob, silver travel tumbler, a new pen set and polo shirts in an array of colors.

View and purchase products featuring the CFP® marks >

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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.