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Updates from CFP Board - June 28, 2012

Financial Planning Coalition: Investment Adviser SRO Legislation Is Wrong Solution

On June 6, 2012, CFP Board and our partners in the Financial Planning Coalition delivered a prepared statement to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services as part of the record for the Committee’s hearing concerning H.R. 4624, the Investment Adviser Oversight Act of 2012, urging Members of Congress to reject the self-regulatory organization (SRO) approach to investment adviser oversight outlined in the legislation and put in place a solution that will work to “truly protect investors.

In our statement, we express strong opposition to H.R. 4624. We agree that increased examinations of advisers are needed, but think that an SRO, which will likely be FINRA, is the wrong solution. It will not solve the policy problems it is intended to address, would create an unnecessary and costly new regulatory structure, would impose higher fees and regulatory burdens on the small investment advisory firms, and would create incentives that would discourage advisers from serving retail clients. Our statement also discusses the findings of the Boston Consulting Group, which show that an SRO will be twice the cost of an enhanced SEC examination program.

As an alternative to an SRO, we support Congress authorizing the SEC to collect user fees from investment advisory firms. This solution, which was also one recommended to Congress in its Section 914 Study, would:

  • Address the SEC’s lack of resources with no impact on taxpayers or the federal deficit;
  • Increase examinations for all investment advisers to an acceptable level to protect investors;
  • Be the most cost-effective and efficient solution;
  • Not require establishing a whole new regulatory structure;
  • Treat large, mid-sized and small investment advisers consistently;
  • Be supported by investment advisers (81 percent according to a BCG survey) who have stated a strong preference for paying user fees to the SEC as an alternative to a FINRA-IA SRO; and
  • Allow Congress to retain direct oversight and accountability over the SEC.

Read the Financial Planning Coalition’s Statement on H.R. 4624 > (PDF, 253 KB)
Read the Financial Planning Coalition’s news release >
Read the Boston Consulting Group findings > (PDF, 154 KB)

The Coalition’s statement is one of several activities the Coalition has undertaken to aggressively and proactively communicate its opposition to H.R. 4624:

  • Upon introduction of the bill, we released a statement to the press opposing the legislation.
  • In anticipation of release of the bill, we have been meeting with members’ offices from the House Committee on Financial Services expressing concerns about an SRO approach. The Coalition has communicated our opposition to HR 4624 to all Committee members, and we will continue to meet with members’ offices. Read the statement > (PDF, 35 KB)
  • We sent action alerts to our stakeholders who are represented by members on the House Committee on Financial Services encouraging them to express their opposition to H.R. 4624.
Join Us in Opposing Investment Adviser SRO Legislation
You can have an impact on this legislation that will dramatically affect the way investment advisers are regulated and the related cost of doing business. Please contact your Representative to express your opposition and urge him or her to oppose H.R. 4624.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your representative via CFP Board's Legislative Action Center >

CFP® Certification Renewal Process Updates

As CFP Board shared in its November 12, 2010 announcement (PDF, 40KB), a resolution was approved for the launch of a Public Awareness Campaign to increase consumer awareness of CFP® professionals and to change the fee structure to an annual certification fee. Beginning in July 2011, the billing cycle for certification fees changed to an annual basis. The annual certification fee is $325, $145 of which goes directly to the expenses of the Public Awareness Campaign.

CFP® professionals continue to renew certification every two years by satisfying the CE requirement, completing a Certification Application, and paying the annual certification fee. Every other year, CFP® professionals maintain their certification by paying the annual certification fee, with no CE reporting or Certification Application required.

To better help CFP® professionals ensure that they complete all renewal requirements, CFP Board has updated the order of the steps in our online renewal process. CE requirements must be completed first, followed by completion of the Certification Application. Payment of the annual certification fee is now the final step of the online renewal process, and payments will not be accepted online until the CE requirement and Certification Application requirements are complete.

CFP® professionals receive a series of notifications by email and/or mail when it is time to take steps to complete certification requirements. The initial notice of outstanding requirements and deadlines for those needing to report CE, complete the Certification Application and pay the annual certification fee is sent 3-4 months prior to the certification expiration date. In years when only payment of the annual certification fee is required, the initial notice is sent 6-8 weeks prior to the certification expiration date.

If you have questions about the processes for maintaining CFP® certification, please contact us at 800-487-1497 or renewal@cfpboard.org.

Public Disclosure Process for Bankruptcy Filings Takes Effect July 1, 2012

As announced in April 2012, beginning July 1, 2012, CFP Board will no longer investigate, and the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission will no longer adjudicate, cases involving a CFP® professionalo or candidate for CFP® certification who has filed bankruptcy within the previous five years, and who is not under investigation by CFP Board for any other conduct (“bankruptcy-only cases”). Rather, CFP Board will verify all bankruptcy filings by CFP® professionals that are disclosed to or discovered by CFP Board, and CFP Board will make public disclosure of verified bankruptcy filings by CFP® professionals. In the case of a candidate for CFP® certification who is the subject of a bankruptcy-only case, the candidate will be approved for certification and the bankruptcy will be disclosed in accordance with the aforementioned procedure.

The public disclosure will include noting the bankruptcy filing on the CFP® professional’s public profile, which is available through the search functions on CFP Board’s website, www.CFP.net, including the “Find a CFP® Professional” and “Verify an Individual’s CFP® Certification” search functions.

CFP Board will also share with consumers and other stakeholders who contact CFP Board regarding a CFP® professional’s certification status the information in the CFP® professional’s public profile, including identifying whether the CFP® professional has filed bankruptcy. The public disclosure of the bankruptcy in a CFP® professional’s public profile will continue for 10 years from the date CFP Board is notified of the bankruptcy, whether resulting from disclosure by the CFP® professional or discovery by CFP Board.

Additionally, CFP Board will issue a news release no less frequently than four times each year to identify CFP® professionals who have filed bankruptcy within the previous five years. The news release will contain the name of the CFP® professional, the city and state of residence, and the type and date of the bankruptcy filing. A CFP® professional will appear one time in a news release.

View complete details about the new process > (PDF, 81KB)

If you have questions about the new public disclosure process for bankruptcy filings, or if you wish to report a bankruptcy filing to CFP Board, contact us at compliance@cfpboard.org.

CFP Board Disciplinary Actions

CFP Board recently took the public disciplinary actions listed below. 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 .

Arizona David Dick, CFP® Tempe Letter of Admonition
Arizona David Lesnick Goodyear Revocation
California David A. Dickson, CFP® Orangevale Letter of Admonition
California Warren V. Einolander Lompoc Revocation
California Micheal Ono La Mirada Suspension
California Richard M. Yacko San Diego Revocation
California Russell Wayne Young Irvine Revocation
Colorado Gordon M. Budreau Denver Revocation
Florida Bruce Pivar Tampa Revocation
Kansas Larry Lee Crawford North Newton Revocation
Maryland Christopher T. Holcomb, CFP® Severn Letter of Admonition
Massachusetts Philip C. McMorrow Methuen Suspension
Massachusetts William B. Smith Grafton Revocation
Nebraska Ken J. Koubsky, CFP® Omaha Letter of Admonition
New Jersey Barbara L. Steinberg Livingston Revocation
New Jersey Daniel J. Trolaro East Hanover Revocation
New Jersey Sandra M. Venetis Branchburg Revocation
North Carolina R. Michael Slaughter Charlotte Suspension
North Carolina Frank S. Sparger Norwood Suspension
Ohio Jeffrey G. Best Westerville Suspension
Pennsylvania Timothy Higgins, CFP® Harrisburg Letter of Admonition
Tennessee Martha J. C. Hawk Blountville Revocation
Texas Matthew J. Anderson Austin Suspension
Utah David P. Soper Salt Lake City Revocation
Wisconsin James E. Putman Menasha Revocation

Read the full news release announcing these disciplinary actions >

CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate Shares Strategies for Managing Debt during Difficult Financial Times

Throughout 2012, CFP Board's Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® is sharing a set of tips each month designed to help people address all the components and steps required for successful personal financial management. This “12 for ’12 Approach to Financial Confidence” campaign addresses a specific topic each month, with a message from our Consumer Advocate issued in a nationally-distributed news release, and included in our monthly “Let’s Make a Plan” consumer eNewsletter. June’s “12 for ‘12” messages focus on debt management:

“Smart debt management goes well beyond just trying to get the best interest rate or finding ways to prop up your credit score. Your debt needs to be considered in the context of all your financial circumstances and needs,” says Blayney. “What is right for one individual in terms of the appropriate amount and cost of borrowing may be wrong for another. Let a CFP® professional help you find a balanced and thoughtful debt management approach that fully reflects all the financial facts and circumstances of your life.”

Media outlets across the country have featured messages from our Consumer Advocate’s “12 for ‘12” campaign during 2012, including a recent article on Time magazine’s website.

Read more about the 12 for ‘12 Approach to Financial Confidence campaign >
Subscribe to the “Let’s Make a Plan” eNewsletter >

Extend the Reach of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign

CFP Board's multi-year “Let’s Make a Plan” Public Awareness Campaign includes a toolkit of resources – including customizable advertisements, artwork for the CFP® marks and more – available to CFP® professionals who wish to extend the reach of the campaign in their local communities. Visit the Public Awareness Campaign Toolkit >

  CFP (with plaque design) mark

Updates from CFP Board’s Leadership:
Business Update Webinar, July 13, 2012, 3:30 p.m. (Eastern)

Get the latest information on CFP Board’s work to uphold the CFP® certification as the standard of excellence for financial planning during CFP Board’s Business Update Webinar on Friday, July, 13, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). Get the latest information on CFP Board’s work to uphold the CFP® certification as the standard of excellence for financial planning during CFP Board’s Business Update Webinar on Friday, July, 13, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). span>

This webinar will feature CFP Board’s leadership sharing updates and addressing audience questions about CFP Board’s recent activities and initiatives, including:

  • Recent research measuring the progress of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign to increase awareness of CFP® professionals
  • CFP Board’s work with the Financial Planning Coalition opposing potential FINRA oversight of investment advisers
  • Recent updates to CFP Board’s enforcement of the Standards of Professional Conduct
  • Developments related to the CFP® certification requirements

If you haven't attended previous Business Update Webinars, we encourage you to participate. To register for the July event and access recordings of past Business Update Webinars, visit www.CFP.net/aboutus/webinars.asp.

CFP Board Registered Program Conference, Washington, DC, August 9-10, 2012

Join us for the CFP Board 2012 Registered Program Conference on August 9-10, 2012, in Washington, DC! CFP Board's annual conference brings together representatives from institutions around the country that provide professional financial planning education and assist individuals in pursuing CFP® certification. It provides an opportunity to connect with CFP Board and faculty and program directors from financial planning education programs around the country, to share best practices for financial planning education, and to learn about CFP Board's commitment to education partnerships.

This year's theme, Financial Planning Education Vision 2020: Engagement, Application, Assessment, will be a platform furthering our discipline relative to engaging students, applying context to the classroom or learning platform, and assessing student achievement. This year's conference is both a showcase for innovative ideas as well as forward thinking, considering financial planning education in the near future.

View the schedule of events and register to attend at www.CFP.net/conference

Volunteer Opportunities

CFP Board’s work benefits greatly from the generous contributions CFP® professionals and other stakeholders provide through volunteer service. If you have interest in making a direct contribution to CFP Board’s work, please take time to complete a volunteer application form. Learn more >


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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.