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CFP Board

January 30, 2014

In This Issue:

Message from the CEO

2014 is off to a busy start at CFP Board, and I’m pleased to share with you two important developments.

We will soon be in the fourth year of our Public Awareness Campaign to increase consumer awareness of CFP® certification and the value of working with CFP® professionals. The advertising that is part of the campaign has included a TV ad, print ads and online display ads. All of the ads and other campaign materials have featured messages about the importance of bringing your finances together with the help of a CFP® professional. These ads and the campaign overall have been very successful, allowing us to achieve a four-year goal for increased consumer awareness in only two years.

Recently, our ongoing consumer research related to the campaign showed that a new message around "standards," when leading our other messages, can increase our impact even further. With this insight as our guide, we will now be refreshing our creative. A new set of advertisements will launch in the coming weeks, and we look forward to giving our CFP® professionals and other stakeholders a first look at the new ads during a webinar on February 3 at noon (Eastern Time). I hope you will join us.

CFP Board also recently announced that our CFP® exam will transition to a computer-based format beginning with the November 2014 exam administration. Since the introduction of the comprehensive CFP® exam in 1991, it has used the same paper-and-pencil format. Today, most financial services industry exams are delivered via computer and many high stakes exams have already transitioned to computer-based format. The computer-based CFP® exam will not only make use of the latest technology and best practices in testing administration, but will also provide increased accessibility for candidates through the increased number of testing centers and an expanded testing window. For more details about this transition, I encourage you to read the news release and answers to frequently asked questions.

I want to recognize all of the work accomplished over the past several years to achieve this important transition, with special thanks to our Council on Examinations and the more than 200 CFP® professionals who have participated in Item Writing activities to develop questions for the exam. Moving an exam to a computer-based format has involved much more than simply putting questions in an electronic format. It required us to strengthen our item writing activities and increase the pre-testing of questions. It also involved elaborate testing and validation by highly qualified psychometricians to ensure the new format meets the reliability standards of the testing industry, addresses the accreditation requirements of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, and tests at the same performance level of our current exam format.

The integrity of the CFP® exam has the primary consideration in our preparations for the transition, and I am confident that the new computer-based format for the CFP® exam will retain its rigor and continue to serve as a reliable measure of competence to practice financial planning.

Kevin R. Keller, CAE
CEO, CFP Board

First Look at New Public Awareness Campaign Ads, Webinar on Feb. 3, 2014

Join CFP Board’s leadership on Monday, February 3, 2014 at noon (Eastern Time) for an update on CFP Board’s ongoing national Public Awareness Campaign to increase consumer awareness of CFP® professionals.

Presented by Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board's CEO, and Tom Crowder, CFP Board’s Managing Director of Marketing and Business Development, this webinar will provide an inside look at the new advertisements that will be used as part of the campaign in 2014.

Register to Attend >

November 2013 CFP® Exam Results

Results from the November 2013 CFP® Exam were released to examinees on December 20, 2013. The pass rate for this administration of the exam was 63.5%, with 1,099 individuals receiving a passing score. View historical exam statistics at www.CFP.net/exam-statistics

The next CFP® Exam will be held March 21-22, 2014. Encourage your qualified colleagues to register online for the March 2014 exam by the registration deadline, February 11, 2014, at www.CFP.net/exam.

“Let’s Talk Planning” Blog: Living on Retirement Income

CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® recently posted the first of a four-part series of posts on the “Let’s Talk Planning” blog addressing the challenges retirees face in generating and managing retirement income. “Having an on-going relationship with a CFP® professional who can help advise on the needed tweaks and adjustments over the course of retired life is, in fact, as close to a 'one stop, sleep soundly' solution as it gets,” writes Blayney. “But even at that, there are many components that the financial planner will be monitoring and managing.”

Over the next three months, this series of blog posts will address retirement income issues that tens of millions of baby boomers now face as they retire without pensions, providing a look at the critical areas a CFP® professional focuses on in helping clients create their own “paychecks” during retirement.”

Visit the blog for timely topics you can share or discuss with your clients and potential clients.
Subscribe to the blog to receive notifications when new posts are added.

Financial Planning Coalition Calls on President Obama to Make Investor Protection a Priority

As President Obama prepared to deliver the State of the Union address this week, CFP Board and our partners in the Financial Planning Coalition – the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors – urged the President to fulfill the promise of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by making investor protection part of his “year of action for the American people.”

The Coalition’s statement noted that President Obama’s efforts to improve investor protection remain a work in progress and while the financial security of many Americans remains at risk, some policymakers continue to resist implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act – three and one-half years after enactment – and instead propose further impediments to these reforms designed to protect the investing public.

To enhance investor protection for all Americans, the Coalition urged the President and his Administration to act promptly to:

  • Call upon the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend a uniform fiduciary standard to broker-dealers who provide personalized investment advice to retail clients, and
  • Encourage Congress to authorize the SEC to collect user fees from the industry to fill the gap in SEC funding necessary to effectively examine SEC-registered investment advisers, who manage approximately $48 trillion of American investors’ assets each year.

“As consumers are called upon to take increasingly more responsibility for their financial well-being, the President and Administration have an obligation to ensure that the financial advice Americans receive is always in their best interests.”

Read the full news release >

CFP Board in the News

CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate and CFP Board Ambassadors have been featured prominently by the national media in recent weeks, including stories from NBC, CNBC and Investor's Business DailyRead these and other notable media references >.

Upcoming CFP Board Events

Resolved to Use Social Media More Effectively in 2014?

Want to incorporate social media within your financial planning practice, but not sure how to get started?

To help CFP® professionals effectively use social media, CFP Board has created a resource document with tips for getting started with social media, best practices for enhancing a current social media strategy, and resources to help address related compliance issues

Download CFP Board’s Social Media Guide for CFP® Professionals >

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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.