From the September 2007 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Group Think

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox announced that two new organizational units will be formed within the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy: The Office of Policy and Investor Outreach, which will focus on assessing the views and needs of retail investors and ensuring that those views inform the Commission's regulatory policies and disclosure programs; and the Office of Investor Education, which will be devoted to improving financial literacy and helping investors make informed investment decisions. These two new organizational components will join the existing Office of Investor Assistance and the Office of the Freedom of Information Act...

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has allocated $456,063 in grant funding to eight projects that are "developing innovative and sustainable methods of delivering the benefits of financial planning to communities not traditionally served by the financial planning profession." The awards were made through the CFP Board's Financial Planning Grants Program, which has provided grants totaling $1.3 million to 28 projects across the U.S. The recipients of the 2007 awards are: California Lutheran University's California Institute of Finance, The Curators of the University of Missouri, The Economic Awareness Council, The Hope Pastoral Care & Counseling, Mind's Eye Resource Management, Sage Financial, Skills for Living, and the University of Central Arkansas College of Business Administration.

Fidelity's National Financial has joined forces with The Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP), giving it the opportunity support a wide range of projects across the U.S. that include pro bono financial advice and outreach programs to a variety of groups including low-income families, high school students, and victims of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. National Financial's monetary contribution of $50,000 brought it to a total contribution of $100,000. According to FFP, over 10,000 individual financial planners have made contributions to the foundation...

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) announced the winners of its second annual Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Awards, recognizing those who "engage in extraordinary work to contribute to the financial planning community and/or to the public through financial planning." This year's winners include Humberto Cruz, for his syndicated columns, Gwen Fletcher, for the development of the financial planning profession in Australia, Patricia Garman, of Capital Planning and Investments, Inc. for providing financial assistance to those in need, Larry Johnson, for his involvement in the merger between the FPA's predecessor organizations, the IAFP and ICFP, and for his service as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Financial Planning, Royce Monk, for advocating the need for financial literacy, Bobbie Munroe, for teaching young adults healthy financial habits, and James Tissot, for his dedication to preparing those who were thinking about becoming independent planners and providing pro bono financial planning for those with HIV/AIDS. Also, James Russell Parker was recognized posthumously for serving those seeking financial guidance. The awards will be presented at FPA Seattle 2007 during the FPA and Foundation for Financial Planning Heart of Financial Planning Awards and Charitable Gala on September 8.

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