Updated Friday, May 22, 2015 as of 12:13 PM ET

CFP Board Offers Broad Amnesty to Rule-Breaking Advisors

The CFP Board extended a broad amnesty to hundreds of advisors who had been breaking its rules by calling themselves fee-only on the board’s website. The surprise move prompted calls for the board to reconsider and possibly rescind recent sanctions of other CFP holders for similar transgressions.

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Comments (8)
Not so fast!

Amnesty implies wrong-doing.
The advisors were not wrong; the Board was wrong.
They need the amnesty; not the mark holders.

This is the beginning of the end for the CFP BoS; feigned hubris.

Ann Miller RN MHA
Posted by Ann M | Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 12:39PM ET
The CFP license becomes meaningless if the board revisist Goldfarb et al, and says that the prosecution should not have taken place. He did violate the standards, just as much as any body who inadvertently broke any other rule or principle. Goldfarb and Florence went through the hearing process, presented their cases and lost. They could have appealed had they thought the process was not in accord with the codes.

Each and every sanction would need to be revisited and that isn't going to happen. Obviously, the CFPBOS sold out to the wirehouses, possibly under the threat that the wirehouses would no longer allow their employees to use the license.

Wirehouses 1 - Narcissists 0
Posted by Pat P | Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 1:02PM ET
I always thought that the point of the "fee only" question is to identify how the typical client will pay the CFP professional when engaging in the financial planning process, and/or purchasing products as a result. It shouldn't matter to the client if the CFP professional receives revenue from other activities that don't directly affect the client/CFP relationship. The fair solution to this would be to reverse the sanctions against the individuals who who unfairly punished, particulary when it wwas discovered that all of the wirehouse guys and gals seeemed to be deliberately skirting the system.
Posted by Robert K | Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 1:34PM ET
Nothing immoral about earning commissions. Nothing immoral about earning fees and/or commissions. If you want to hold yourself out as fee only then don't hold securities and insurance licenses to sell product. If you are holding onto your securities and insurance licenses to collect trails, 12(b)1 fees and potentially a commission in the future or you want to hold onto your licenses because the test was hard and you don't want to take it again, then you should not refer to yourself as fee only.

This is not a complicated issue. The rules are not complicated. The application of the rules should not be complicated. If you are fee and/or commission be fine with that. There is more credibility in being transparent and honest than there is in trying to disquise that you can collect commissions.
Posted by David S | Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 3:31PM ET
I believe you all are missing the whole point here and so is the Board. You really have to ask why does it appear that the Board was so very vindictive on the Goldfarb situation? I myself never even though about the trailer issue or the firm itself receiving some form of compensation and that would fall onto you when it was a small piece. We blame the Board or failure to fully describe what each meant IN DETAIL and point out to us, the little lamb masses to the slaughter, that there were issues we might never have considered. This is a smear on the Board's conduct and has truly done nothing to raise the standards of my profession and I am truly saddened by this. Perhaps the Board would like to share exactly why all this has transpired so that we call can consider whether or not the risks are worth the title and the fee.
Posted by Susan C | Tuesday, September 24 2013 at 5:57PM ET
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