? Three of the largest organizations of financial planners--the CFP Board, the FPA, and NAPFA--announced that they are holding a series of exploratory meetings to "discuss a unified response to widely expected reform of the financial services industry in the 111th Congress." (see page 70)
? FPA's Best Practices Task Force recently completed a new set of checklists of compliance requirements to better serve financial planning professionals and their clients, and to help its financial planning members conform to the new CFP Board Standards of Conduct. These checklists cover six different transaction scenarios, and an initial financial planning engagement, that a financial planner may encounter on a routine basis.
? The Independent Advisor Technology Forum (IATF) has been formed to provide an online forum at www.iatechforum.com where advisors going independent can educate themselves on their technology needs. The brainchild of industry veteran Tim Welsh of Nexus Consulting, IATF charter members include Laserfiche, Junxure, Black Diamond Performance Reporting, IPS AdvisorPro, Laser App, and Nexus Strategy.
? The Center for Political Accountability (CPA) reported December 11 that at least 13 mutual fund families have reversed their votes so far this year and now support shareholder resolutions that call on public companies to disclose when they spend corporate funds on politics.
? A new think tank underwritten by Prudential Retirement, the Institutional Retirement Income Research Council (IRIRC), whose mandate is to evaluate decumulation strategies for retirement, had its first open meeting in November and issued a Call to Action white paper.
? The CFP Board has awarded grants totaling $199,390 to five projects designed to help the public realize the benefits of financial planning and working with CFP professionals. The recipients are: AccountAbility Minnesota of St. Paul, Minnesota; Capital Area Asset Builders of Washington, D.C.; Institute for Financial Planning Education of Castro Valley, California; The University of California, Irvine; and The University of Northern Colorado Foundation--Monfort College of Business.
? Of the 150 financial professionals honored by Medical Economics magazine's list of the "Top 150 Best Financial Advisors for Doctors," 52 are members of NAPFA, the association of fee-only advisors announced.