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December 11, 2012
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A weekly digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community

  Top Story 
  • What NAPFA hopes to achieve with its new membership criteria
    Starting in January, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors will require those seeking membership as registered financial advisers to have the certified financial planner designation. "It's really not a big departure from what we've done in the past," said Lauren Locker, NAPFA chairman. "The bigger issue here is that the CFP Board and the FPA are taking that first step in trying to make financial planning a real profession. I think we're all in agreement that let's all start with the CFP designation." (12/4), AdvisorOne (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Analysis: How the "fiscal cliff" drama could play out
    President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, met over the weekend after a break of several weeks to continue negotiations on a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," but it's unclear whether the two are making progress. Time is running out for a deal, with Congress scheduled to break in less than three weeks. Politico offers a look at three possible outcomes of the negotiations. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fiduciary-definition proposal is coming soon, Borzi says
    The U.S. Labor Department will rekindle its effort to redefine "fiduciary" under ERISA sometime in the next few months, according to Phyllis Borzi, assistant labor secretary. The proposal will take account of industry feedback and will address various concerns about the previous iteration, Borzi said. "The reproposal will be better, clearer, more targeted and more reasonably balanced," she said. AdvisorOne (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fiscal fixes might hurt retirement industry, experts say
    Several proposed solutions to the country's fiscal woes include measures that would end the favorable tax treatment of 401(k) and similar retirement plans. That could take a disastrous toll on America's retirement industry and on Americans' ability to plan for their future, some experts say. "Destabilizing the employer-sponsored retirement system could have serious unintended consequences for the future," warns Lynn Dudley of the American Benefits Council. Financial Advisor online (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 10 senators speak out for employer-based retirement system
    Worried about the possible loss of retirement tax incentives, 10 senators have expressed their support for the employer-based retirement system in a "Sense of the Congress" resolution introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. "A reformed and simplified tax code should include properly structured tax incentives to maintain and contribute to such plans and strengthen retirement security for all Americans," the resolution said. AdvisorOne (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  Industry Report 
  • Continuing education policy still under review, CFP Board says
    The Certified Financial Planner Board plans further research on potential changes to its continuing education policy, officials say. Changes proposed earlier this year drew heavy opposition. "The additional review requested by the Board will ensure that any CE changes balance the interests of the public in maintaining the ongoing competency of CFP professionals with the interests of our CFP professionals in standards that are professionally acceptable, economically affordable and do not create unnecessary administrative burdens," said Kevin Keller, the CFP Board's CEO. AdvisorOne (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Alternatives play growing role in investors' portfolios
    Alternatives can add yield to a portfolio, but these assets also come with risk. Still, many advisers think these investments are worthwhile. More than 75% of institutional investors see alternative investments as essential to diversification, according to studies, with 72% believing that the typical mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds is no longer an efficient way to achieve returns. Myths about alternative investments include the idea that a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio has low volatility, one expert says. In addition, the term "uncorrelated" can be misleading. AdvisorOne (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Capitol Update 
  FPA News 
  • Get Kilroy's and McClanahan's video webinars before they're gone!
    Two CFP® CE qualified video webinars that are exclusively available on FPA's Virtual Learning Center will expire Dec. 31. Don't miss your opportunity to hear John Kilroy discuss federal tax law and Carolyn McClanahan address how impending health care reform affects you and your clients. Register now at FPA's Virtual Learning Center. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New: Access your national compensation average
    Just released! FPA's 2012-2013 Financial Planning Compensation tool allows FPA members to access nationwide averages for individual compensation across various financial planning positions. Learn how managing partners, financial planners and support staff are compensated annually. Access this tool and more at Want a more local perspective? Order the 2012-2013 Financial Planning Compensation Study by contacting member services at 800-322-4237, option 2, or LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
While conscience is our friend, all is at peace; however, once it is offended, farewell to a tranquil mind."
--Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,
British writer and aristocrat

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