August 2019 Newsletter

From the Desk of Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, Executive Director

August 2019

Marilyn Mohrman-GillisThe publication of the Center’s Annual Report always provides an opportunity for reflection on the initiatives we’ve undertaken and the progress we’ve made since the launch of the Center in late 2015. Our 2018 Annual Report, released in May, was no exception. The report shows that, even at this early stage, our work is making an impact in advancing the profession. We are improving the health of our talent pipeline, fostering greater diversity within our workforce and increasing the quality of our practitioners’ knowledge and insights. We invite you to read about these green shoots of success and our programs’ tangible impact in our 2018 Annual Report.

Of course, there is plenty of work yet to be done, and the Center continues to push forward. Planning for our 2019 Diversity Summit is in full swing, and registration for this landmark event is now open. We invite firm executives, leaders from schools with financial planning programs, diversity and inclusion experts, influencers at organizations that can reach diverse populations, financial planning practitioners and the media to register and join this vital conversation about creating a more diverse and inclusive profession.

Among the Center’s initiatives to advance diversity are our scholarships. We recently partnered with Envestnet, a Founding Sponsor of the Center, to create an additional scholarship opportunity for aspiring CFP® professionals. The Envestnet Scholarship is offered as part of the Envestnet Institute On Campus program and provides financial assistance to applicants with a demonstrated need and who belong to an underrepresented population within our profession.

To advance knowledge for practice, the Center issued a call for papers for our fourth annual Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines, which will take place February 20-22, 2020, in Arlington, VA. Research papers and posters will be accepted through September 15.

You can read more about these and other accomplishments below. Finally, I would also like to thank the Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services, for becoming a Founding Sponsor of the Center. Their generous contribution – along with those of our Lead Founding Sponsor TD Ameritrade Institutional, Founding Sponsors Northwestern Mutual and Envestnet, and our other valued contributors – make the Center’s work possible. As always, I encourage you to consider making a contribution to the Center as an investment in our profession’s future.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in the Center and our work to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession. I look forward to our continued engagement and collaboration.

Warm Regards,

Executive Director
CFP Board Center for Financial Planning


  • Registration Open for 2019 Diversity Summit: The Center invites thought leaders within and outside the profession to attend the 2019 Diversity Summit, scheduled for November 13, 2019, at the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C. The Summit builds on the success of last year’s convening with a focus on accountability, highlighting what key stakeholder groups are doing to create a more inclusive profession based on the Center’s research-based recommendations. The event will feature case studies, best practices and the release of a comprehensive new report showcasing why a diverse workforce is important for both the profession and financial planning firms.

    We are seeking participation from firm executives, leaders from CFP Board Registered Programs, experts in diversity and inclusion, influencers at key organizations that can reach diverse populations, financial planning practitioners and students. We encourage you to register early for this thought-provoking event since we are expecting another high turnout this year. Learn more and register.

    2019 diversity summit sponsors











  • Center Convenes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leaders: On June 25, the Center hosted a first-of-its-kind convening for diversity, equity and inclusion leaders from financial planning firms to network and discuss avenues for addressing the lack of racial diversity in the profession. The event provided an unprecedented platform for collaboration and exchange of ideas, including case studies for advancing diversity that will be highlighted during the 2019 Diversity Summit.

  • New Envestnet Scholarship Program Supports Aspiring CFP® Professionals: In May, the Center and Founding Sponsor Envestnet announced a new scholarship opportunity for individuals seeking to complete the education and exam requirements for CFP® certification. The Envestnet Scholarship program provides up to $5,000 in scholarships to applicants who demonstrate a financial need and come from an underrepresented population within the financial planning profession. The first round of Envestnet Scholarships was recently awarded to 11 individuals. The next application window will open in fall 2019, with awards made in 2020. Read more.

  • Firms Consult Center’s Career Path Guide for Recruiting and Retention Best Practices: The Center’s Financial Planning Career Paths: Building More Sustainable and Successful Businesses has been immensely popular with firms and professionals alike, generating more than 15,000 downloads. Released in April, the guide examines five rungs of the financial planner career ladder: Analyst, Associate Advisor, Service Advisor, Lead Advisor and Partner. For each rung, the guide analyzes the requisite skills, experience and responsibilities necessary to achieve it. It is designed to help firms across the profession structure and effectively communicate career path opportunities through best practices and guidance on recruitment, compensation and advancement decisions. Read more.

  • Financial Planner Re-Entry Initiative (FPRI) Now Accepting Applicants: The Center, in partnership with career re-entry firm iRelaunch, is promoting career opportunities offered by FPRI pilot firms for experienced professionals seeking to re-enter the workforce after a career break. FPRI pilot firms are currently seeking candidates for the following open positions:

    Additional positions will be posted on the FPRI webpage as they become available. 

  • 2020 Academic Research Colloquium Registration, Call for Papers and Keynotes Announced: Registration for the fourth annual Academic Research Colloquium is now open. We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the discounted early bird pricing. The annual event, which convenes leading scholars and researchers to showcase the latest research within financial planning and related disciplines, will be held February 20-22 in Arlington, VA. Learn more and register.

    The Center is currently accepting research papers and posters to be presented at the Colloquium on topics such as Big Data/AI/robo-advising, behavioral economics and finance, communication and counseling, financial sociology, household finance, insurance, psychology and public policy. Papers and posters can be submitted here and must be received by September 15, 2019.

    The Center is also pleased to announce three of the distinguished keynote speakers to be featured at the Colloquium: 

    • Dr. Lauren Cohen is the L.E. Simmons Professor in the Finance & Entrepreneurial Management Units at Harvard Business School, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Editor of the Review of Financial Studies, and a member of the editorial board for the Review of Asset Pricing Studies.
    • Dr. J. Anthony Cookson is Co-Director of the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making, an Associate Professor of Finance at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado – Boulder, and an Associate Editor of Financial Planning Review.
    • Dr. Annamaria Lusardi is the Denit Trust Endowed Chair of Economics and Accountancy at The George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) and the founder and academic director of GWSB’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. She is also the Director of the Financial Education Committee charged with designing Italy’s national strategy for financial literacy.

  • The Center and Wharton Offer Second Client Psychology Course for Financial Planners: CFP® professionals participated in the second offering of the Center and The Wharton School’s Client Psychology course that took place July 29-31 in San Francisco. This unique course is designed to help financial planners develop a more effective client-centered practice by drawing heavily from advances in psychology, behavioral finance, evidence-based decision making, and the human sciences to better understand the biases, behaviors, and perceptions that impact client decision-making and financial well-being. Learn more.


Rock the Street Wall Street

In 2014, when CFP Board released its white paper, Making More Room for Women in the Financial Planning Profession, many CFP® professionals expressed interest in getting involved in efforts to increase the number of women CFP® professionals. CFP Board responded by creating the Women’s Initiative (WIN) and the WIN Advocate Program. WIN Advocates connect with women and girls in their communities to promote the profession and share their own stories of becoming financial planners.

In 2016, the WIN Advocate program became an initiative of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and over the last four years the Center has been developing partnerships with women’s advocacy organizations to further expand the reach of WIN. One of these partners is Rock the Street, Wall Street (RTSWS), a non-profit organization dedicated to equipping girls to succeed financially and inspiring them to pursue careers in finance. In partnership with investment firms, RIAs, foundations, and schools across the country, RTSWS offers a year-long program of financial literacy workshops in the fall, mentorship in the spring and a Wall Street experience field trip.

The Center for Financial Planning is working to increase the number of women CFP® professionals by, in part, raising awareness of financial planning as a career. The partnership with RTSWS enables WIN Advocates to participate as mentors or instructors during five-week literacy-to-career programs for high school girls. By volunteering their time, WIN Advocates are providing young women with insight into what financial planners do, as well as valuable financial planning skills.

To date, over 40 CFP® professionals have either volunteered for or funded RTSWS programs. Currently in 17 cities, RTSWS is looking for additional volunteers as well as sponsors to expand and continue to grow the women in finance pipeline. To learn more about RTSWS, please click here. To become a WIN Advocate and volunteer with RTSWS in your area, please register here.

  • Enroll in the Financial Planning Teaching Seminar: The Center is pleased to partner with the Columbia University School of Professional Studies to offer the next session of our Financial Planning Teaching Seminar on August 18-20, 2019, on Columbia’s Morningside Campus in New York City. The experience-based program is designed for faculty who currently teach finance or accounting, CFP® professionals who are interested in becoming full-time or part-time faculty in a CFP Board Registered Program, current CFP Board Registered Program faculty and doctoral students. The curriculum covers financial planning content as well as basic instructional design, including how to set learning objectives, assess students, and incorporate experiential learning into a classroom or virtual teaching environment. Registration is open here.

  • Center’s Academic Journal, Financial Planning Review, Announces Fourth Installment and Special Issue Guest Editor: The Center is pleased to announce the fourth installment of its peer-reviewed academic journal to be released in August. Prior editions have generated 21,500 downloads since October, with 260% more average downloads per article compared to other finance journals. The third installment is now available online and features papers on consumer shifts from high-interest to low-interest debt, the survival of active equity management, the financial behaviors of boomerang children and the impact of shared financial decision making on overconfidence for married couples.

    We are also proud to name Dr. David Musto of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as guest editor of Financial Planning Review’s upcoming FinTech Special Issue. Dr. Musto is Wharton’s Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Finance and Director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance. The FinTech Special issue will present the latest research in financial technology and innovation that encompasses the eight major content areas of the Review, and directly or indirectly relates to financial planning practice. Topics may include robo-advising, insurtech and other digital services; innovations in value storage, transfer and payments; and technology-driven lending and investment. Submit a paper for the special issue here.

  • Application Window Opens on August 15 for The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship: Eligible individuals must be U.S. residents seeking to complete the education requirements for CFP® certification through a CFP Board-Registered Program, and have a demonstrated financial need and come from underrepresented populations within the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. Learn more.


  • Career Path Guide: We encourage firm leaders and CFP® professionals to read Financial Planning Career Paths: Building More Sustainable and Successful Businesses and share it within your networks. The guide is designed to help employers attract and develop talented professionals while giving financial planners a roadmap for navigating their own financial planning careers. Establishing and communicating clear career paths is crucial to helping today’s professionals achieve their full potential and to attracting the next generation of talent our profession needs. Download the guide here.

  • Report on Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: 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 in this important issue. The paper outlines research-based, actionable initiatives to advance racial diversity in the profession that can be implemented by firms, colleges and universities with a financial planning program, partner organizations and CFP® professionals.  

  • “I am a CFP® Pro” Campaign: The Center encourages CFP® professionals to promote the financial planning career to young people through the “I am a CFP® Pro” campaign. In support of this effort, the Center has developed a customizable presentation, including social media and other communications tools, that can be delivered at local schools or alumni associations. For questions, please contact us at


  • Become a Mentor to an Aspiring CFP® Professional: The Center invites CFP® professionals to volunteer as mentors in the CFP Board Mentor Program. The program is designed to match CFP® certification candidates with CFP® professionals who can provide guidance and support as they complete the certification process and begin their financial planning career. For questions, please contact us at

  • Promote Gender Diversity by Becoming a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate: The Center is seeking CFP® professionals to become WIN Advocates and help raise awareness in their communities of financial planning as a rewarding career opportunity for women. Advocates receive a toolkit of resources from the Center, including presentations and handouts, and are invited to participate in periodic webinars to share updates, experiences and other information. Learn more and sign up to become a WIN Advocate.


  • Make a One-Time Gift or a Multi-Year Pledge to Support Our Programs: We hope this newsletter inspires you to support the important work of the Center for Financial Planning to advance the profession. One hundred percent of your donation helps to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planner workforce and a research-based, recognized body of knowledge for financial planning. You can make a one-time gift by donating online, or through your donor advised fund, stock transfer or IRA. If you are interested in making a multi-year pledge or planned gift, contact Diane LaVigna, CFRE, Director of Development at or 202-379-2255. Support the Center.

  • Donate to a Specific Program

    • Financial Planning Knowledge Center Website: Be among the first to help build an online space for practitioners that translates research and ideas into practical insights. The Financial Planning Knowledge Center is being designed to share the latest in financial planning research, best practices and other emerging trends within financial planning practice. The website will feature content from the Financial Planning Review, additional papers, videos and interactive capabilities that present innovative research on financial planning and related disciplines, as well as opportunities to engage with practitioners and researchers across the profession. Make a one-time gift today (select “Financial Planning Knowledge Center” in dropdown menu) and learn about the benefits of making a multi-year pledge.

    • The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship: You will have significant impact by supporting The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship that helps qualified individuals from underrepresented populations complete the educational requirements for CFP® certification. The scholarship was established by former CFP Board Chair David Diesslin, CFP®, in memory of his wife, Deena. To date, the Center has awarded 16 of these life-changing scholarships, but there is a need for many more. With your help, we can increase our award rate so that all our most worthy applicants can receive a scholarship. In addition, your gift will be doubled through a dollar-for-dollar match. Click here to donate.

    • The Richard B. Wagner Memorial Scholarship Fund: Support aspiring CFP® professionals through the Richard B. Wagner Memorial Scholarship Fund, established jointly by the Center and FPA. We thank all of the donors who have helped us reach $247,169 of our $250,000 goal. To make  difference in someone’s life by donating to the fund, please click here.

  • For Firms: If your company is interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities with the Center, please contact Joseph V. Maugeri, CFP®, Managing Director, Corporate Relations, at or 202-379-2254.

The Center is grateful to the Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services, for becoming our newest Founding Sponsor. The Charles Schwab Foundation has been a longstanding Center partner, providing general support for Center initiatives in addition to contributions that made possible the inaugural Diversity Summit and the Center’s thought leadership paper Racial Diversity in Financial Planning: Where We Are and Where We Must Go. We look forward to a continued partnership and thank the Charles Schwab Foundation for its ongoing commitment to creating a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.

In addition to the Diversity Summit sponsors recognized under the “What’s New” section of newsletter, additional support is provided by Ariel Investments and Janney.  The Center also welcomes SEIA as a member of our RIA Partners Club.  

Thank you to the following individual major donors for their generosity: Ray Ferrara and Ed Moore for contributions to the Financial Planning Knowledge Center, Susan John and Bob Glovsky for contributions to the Diesslin Scholarship, James Williams and Robert Frater for contributions to the Wagner Scholarship, and Larry Johnson, Karen Schaeffer and Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis for general program support. 

We are very pleased to report that the Center has raised more than $12.5 million in gifts and pledges through June 2019. Thank you to all of our corporate sponsors and individual donors. A listing is available here.


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