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CFP Board



November 21, 2018


In This Issue:

Updates to CFP Board’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws

CFP Board’s Board of Directors recently revised its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. The Board amended the Articles of Incorporation primarily to include the work of the Center for Financial Planning in the organization’s purpose. The revisions to the Bylaws are comprehensive. The Board improved the organization and formatting, made the language simpler and more clear, and clarified that the Board will follow Robert’s Rules of Order. The result is a shorter, more user-friendly document.

Recording of Special Webinar with CFP Board Leadership

During CFP Board’s latest Business Update Webinar, recorded November 9, 2018, Richard Salmen, CFP®, 2018 Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors, Susan John, CFP®, 2018 Chair-Elect, and Kevin Keller, CFP Board's CEO, shared the latest news and updates on CFP Board’s initiatives, with a look ahead to next year’s priorities.

Topics addressed include:

>> View the recorded webinar

Election Night Survey Finds that Even with Booming Economy, Consumers Are Not on Track to Retire on Their Terms

According to a new survey released by CFP Board in collaboration with research-led consulting firm Heart + Mind Strategies, a majority of American voters are less confident about their retirement prospects than they were five years ago. There is a silver lining – today’s political climate and the current state of affairs in our country is positively impacting Americans’ perspective when it comes to managing their finances, with one-in-three saying they are now much more proactive about setting and following a financial plan. “Fortunately for the American public, CFP® certification is the best-in-class standard for financial planning and requires all CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals to always act as a fiduciary,” said Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board’s CEO, in a press release accompanying the survey results. Learn more >

Public Awareness Campaign Resources Allow You to Extend Campaign’s Reach

The primary television, online and radio advertising from the fall flight of CFP Board’s new Public Awareness Campaign recently concluded, but some print and online advertising, as well as ongoing social media and earned media efforts, will remain in the field through the end of 2018. The ads encourage the public to visit www.LetsMakeaPlan.org to learn about the competency and credibility of CFP® professionals, and to identify a CFP® professional through our online search tool. This year’s campaign will reach a national audience and generate over a billion impressions.

Your clients and potential clients around the country will be seeing the ads on national cable television channels and online platforms, and we want your clients and prospective clients to connect you with the great messages they’re seeing in the campaign advertising. To help you do that, we’ve developed a number of resources you can use to help extend the campaign’s reach in your communities. Visit www.CFP.net/PAC to access resources including:

  • Links to TV ads on CFP Board’s YouTube channel, where you can find options for sharing and embedding the videos
  • Banner ads for use on personal websites
  • Print ad PDFs
  • Sample social media posts
  • Customizable radio announcements
  • Links to consumer brochures you can share with clients and potential clients

We hope you will find these resources useful. Look for updates on the campaign’s progress in the coming months.

Pro Bono Hours Reporting Now Available

Have you provided free, no-strings-attached, one-on-one financial advice and financial planning? CFP Board is interested in gathering data about the amount of pro bono hours our CFP® professionals deliver to underserved populations of the public. A new pro bono hours reporting form allows CFP® professionals to report and keep track of the hours of pro bono planning they provided during recent certification periods. Optional reporting of pro bono hours can be completed through an online tool available from the "My CFP® Certification" section of CFP® professionals' online accounts.

Focus on Ethics: The 7-Step Financial Planning Process

CFP Board’s new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (“Code and Standards”), which takes effect on October 1, 2019, incorporates a shorter Financial Planning definition and a comprehensive update to the Practice Standards that reflects the delivery of Financial Planning, provides detailed requirements for the Financial Planning process, and increases the number of steps in the Financial Planning process from six to seven.

The revised Financial Planning definition in the new Code and Standards, which is set forth in both the Glossary and Standard B1, consists of 30 carefully chosen words:

Financial Planning is a collaborative process that helps maximize a Client’s potential for meeting life goals through Financial Advice that integrates relevant elements of the Client’s personal and financial circumstances.

The delivery of Financial Planning and detailed requirements for the Financial Planning process are reflected in the Practice Standards. The revised Practice Standards in the new Code and Standards – which are set forth in Standard C – have been comprehensively updated. CFP Board has increased the number of steps in the Financial Planning process from six to seven.

The chart below compares the existing and revised Practice Standards:

Standard B3 of the new Code and Standards specifies three circumstances in which a CFP® professional must comply with the Practice Standards:

  1. When the CFP® professional agrees to provide or provides Financial Planning. This occurs when a CFP® professional and a Client explicitly agree that the CFP® professional will provide, or the CFP® professional actually provides, Financial Planning. An example of this is when a CFP® professional has provided to the Client, in writing, the terms of the Engagement for Financial Planning as required by Standard A10.
  2. When the CFP® professional agrees to provide or provides Financial Advice that requires integration of relevant elements of the Client’s personal and/or financial circumstances in order to act in the Client’s best interests. This occurs when a CFP® professional provides Financial Advice to a Client, but there is no explicit agreement or understanding between the CFP® professional and Client to provide Financial Planning. Rather, the nature of the Financial Advice requires the CFP® professional to provide Financial Planning to meet his or her fiduciary obligations. While this circumstance is similar to the historical concept of “material elements of financial planning” this standard examines the potential effect of the Financial Advice on the Client rather than the types of services the CFP® professional provides to the Client.
  3. When the Client has a reasonable basis to believe the CFP® professional will provide or has provided Financial Planning. While the current Practice Standards examine the Client’s subjective understanding and intent in engaging the CFP® professional as one relevant factor in determining whether Financial Planning is required, the new Code and Standards provides an objective standard that, if satisfied, is sufficient to require Financial Planning. Whether the CFP® professional has held out to the Client that he or she provides Financial Planning is one of the relevant factors to be considered in assessing whether the Client’s belief is reasonable.

A CFP® professional who is providing Financial Planning must complete the first five steps of the Financial Planning process that are set forth in Standard C. It is not necessary, however, for a CFP® professional to complete the last two steps of the Financial Planning process if those steps are specifically excluded from the Scope of Engagement. For example, some Clients may engage a CFP® professional to complete the first five steps of the Financial Planning process and then work with another financial services provider to implement or monitor and update those recommendations. However, Standard A10 provides that a CFP® professional is responsible for implementing, monitoring, and updating the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) unless specifically excluded from the Scope of Engagement.

CFP Board recognizes that a Client who does not want to engage a CFP® professional for Financial Planning should be able to engage the CFP® professional to provide more limited services and the Client should not be required to work with a non-CFP® professional. Therefore, when a CFP® professional otherwise would be required to comply with the Practice Standards, but the Client does not agree to engage the CFP® professional for Financial Planning, the CFP® professional has several options set forth in Standard B6. These include (a) not entering into the Engagement, (b) limiting the Scope of Engagement, (c) providing the requested services after informing the Client how Financial Planning would benefit the Client and how the decision not to engage the CFP® professional to provide Financial Planning may limit the CFP® professional’s Financial Advice, or (d) terminating the Engagement.

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.

Join Us at Public Forums on New Code and Standards: In-Person Forums in Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Atlanta, December 5-7, Webinar Forum on December 13

CFP Board invites you to join us at public forums focused on educating CFP® professionals, firms and the public on the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which take effect October 1, 2019. Public forums will be held in Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Atlanta on December 5-7, and a webinar public forum on December 13 at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern).  Additional forums will be held across the country through 2019.

These events feature:

  • A presentation on the new Code and Standards by a member of CFP Board’s Standards Resource Commission and CFP Board's General Counsel
  • Time for dialogue and questions about the new Code and Standards
  • The opportunity to provide input on the kinds of resources that CFP® professionals and firms would find helpful in their understanding, adoption and compliance with the new Code and Standards
  • Complimentary continental breakfast or refreshments

Details and online registration are available on our website at: www.CFP.net/forums

CFP® Examination Update

The final 2018 CFP® exam administration took place during the testing window of November 6-13, 2018. The November 2018 CFP® exam was the first to test the federal tax law changes resulting from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017.

November 2018 exam candidates did not receive a preliminary pass/fail exam result at the end of their exam, as CFP Board is establishing a passing standard for the November 2018 exam after collecting statistics on revised items related to the tax law changes, in alignment with certification best practices. Final result reports will be sent to candidates approximately one month after the November 2018 exam administration, during the week of December 17, 2018. Preliminary result reporting will resume for the July 2019 CFP® exam administration.

The first CFP® exam administration of 2019 will take place during the testing window of March 12-19, 2019. Early Bird Registration is available through January 8, 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.

  CFP Board Center for Financial Planning  
  Updates from the Center for Financial Planning:
  • Center’s First Diversity Summit is a Resounding Success: On October 23, 2018, the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning hosted its first-ever Diversity Summit at the Times Center in New York City. The seminal event attracted over 300 leaders from financial services firms, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, as well as current and aspiring CFP® professionals, for an engaging and provocative dialogue on advancing racial and ethnic diversity in the financial planning profession.
    2018 Diversity Summit
    Less than 3.5 percent of the 80,000 CFP® professionals in the United States as of 2017 are black or Latino, which is significantly less than the percentage of blacks and Latinos across the U.S. population standing at 13.3 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively. The Summit provided a platform for a discussion of root causes and measures that can be undertaken by the Center and all stakeholders within financial planning and beyond, to address this challenge and create a more inclusive profession.
    The agenda featured distinguished speakers, personal reflections from CFP® professionals of color, breakout sessions that enabled attendees to work side-by-side on solutions, and the release of Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go, a thought leadership paper from the Center that outlines recommended, research-based initiatives for industry stakeholders to create a more inclusive profession.
    The feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing their appreciation for the Center’s leadership on this important issue and the opportunity to work collectively. In a post-event survey, 100 percent of attendees indicated they would participate in a future Diversity Summit hosted by the Center.
    Presentations and panel discussions during the event were shared through a live webcast stream that is now available for on-demand viewing. View the event program with the agenda and the recorded Webcast Stream.
    The Summit was made possible with the support from Signature Sponsors Merrill Lynch, the Charles Schwab Foundation and Fiserv; Major Sponsors Prudential and Morgan Stanley; as well as the Center’s Lead Founding Sponsor TD Ameritrade Institutional and the Center’s Founding Sponsors Northwestern Mutual and Envestnet.
  • Racial Diversity in Financial PlanningGet Involved in Tackling the Diversity Challenge in Financial Planning: The Diversity Summit was only the first step in our collective effort to affect change. We invite you to download Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go, to learn how you can get involved, and to forward the paper to your colleagues and networks to expand engagement around this important issue.
    The paper outlines research-based, actionable initiatives that can be implemented by firms, colleges and universities with a financial planning program, partner organizations and CFP® professionals.
  • Accepted Research Papers Announced for 2019 Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines: The Center has released the list of accepted papers that will be presented at the Academic Research Colloquium to be held February 19-21, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. For the first time, the Colloquium will also feature sessions designed for CFP® practitioners that will translate the research into practical application. Early Bird Registration for the Colloquium ends on November 30, 2018. Take advantage of the early bird pricing and find more information about discounted hotel rooms on the Colloquium webpage.
  • Registration Now Open for Client Psychology Course from the Center and Wharton Executive Education: The Center and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania are launching a first-of-its-kind educational opportunity for financial advisers, planners and brokers through a new course called Client Psychology. Learn more and Register to Attend >
  • Updates from Women’s Initiative Advocate Program: On November 1, the Center’s Executive Director, Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, and Kathleen McQuiggan, Special Advisor on Gender Diversity at the Center, presented a webinar update on the Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate Program, which involves CFP® professionals nationwide who volunteer to attract more women into financial planning by promoting the profession to women, girls, students, and centers-of-influence in their communities. View the recorded webinar update >
  • Include the Center in Your Year-End Giving: You can make a difference today! Your donation to the Center for Financial Planning supports important work to secure the financial future for all Americans by advancing a more diverse and sustainable financial planner workforce and building a research-based recognized body of knowledge for the financial planning profession.
    Support the Center >


CFP Board Disciplinary Actions

CFP Board recently announced public disciplinary actions against 7 individuals. 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.






Anne Marie C. Albertine, CFP®


Letter of Admonition


James Keith Cox

Baton Rouge

One Year and One Day Suspension

South Carolina

Rick M. Higgins, CFP®


Letter of Admonition


Richard D. Holdway, CFP®

Palm Springs

Letter of Admonition


Richard D. LaSpaluto

Las Vegas

One Year and One Day Suspension

New York

Victor Lee



New York

Jaime Paige Nelson

New York

6-Month Suspension

Read the full news release announcing these disciplinary actions >

Early Bird Registration for 2019 Academic Research Colloquium and Registered Programs Conference through November 30

Early Bird Registration discounts are available through November 30 for the February 2019 Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines and 2019 CFP Board Registered Programs Conference.

The 2019 Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines, which takes place February 19-21, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia, is an international meeting of researchers, practitioners, graduate students and leaders of financial planning practice was designed to be a forum to gather and share and provide a showcase for rigorous, relevant research within financial planning, as well as disciplines that directly or indirectly relate to the financial planning body of knowledge or financial planning practice. For the first time, the Colloquium will also feature sessions designed for CFP® practitioners that will translate the research into practical application.

The 2019 CFP Board Registered Programs Conference will be held in Arlington, Virginia on February 21-22, 2019, immediately following the Academic Research Colloquium. The CFP Board Registered Programs Conference brings together faculty and program directors from institutions around the country that deliver professional financial planning education and assist individuals in pursuing CFP® certification. For the first time, the Conference will include a student track with sessions for prospective and current registered program students, as well as networking opportunities with financial firms.

Register today for one or both events to take advantage of the early bird pricing.

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.
  • Fall Savings for Job Postings to CFP Board Career Center: The CFP Board Career Center can help streamline your hiring process by providing targeted access to highly qualified financial planning professionals. Through December 2, 2018, get 20% off five job postings using promo code 5SAVE20 (offer may be applied once per employer), or get $100 off the purchase of a single 30-, 60-, or 90-day listing using promo code 100SAVE18.
  • 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 >


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