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Despite pandemic, some CFPs are ‘awash’ in CE credits. Here’s why.

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To get CE credits, advisor Mark Wilson typically attends several conferences per year and relies on education offerings from his local FPA chapter.

In the age of coronavirus, such in-person events are off the table. Yet finding CE credits has rarely been a problem, Wilson says in an email.

As a subscriber to Financial-Planning.com, you can earn up to 12 hours of CE credit from the CFP Board and the Investments & Wealth Institute.
July 1

“After COVID, there have been twice as many webinars available,” says Wilson, who is the president and founder of MILE Wealth Management in Irvine, California.

He’s not alone.

There are over 8,400 CE programs available, but only 82 have been canceled due to the virus, mostly to avoid in-person gatherings, according to John Loper, managing director of professional practice for the CFP Board.

“There’s been no feedback, that I've heard, that CFPs are having trouble meeting CEs,” Loper says. “If anything, this environment has actually pushed people to complete their credits.”

Nadine Burns, CEO of A New Path Financial in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one such CFP. She says that when her state’s governor issued a stay-at-home order in March, her firm encouraged employees to find ways to address CE credit requirements. Because of the abundance of webinars, her team “is awash with CE credits,” she said in an email.

Wilson says his go-to educational sources have included Vanguard, JPMorgan and Michael Kitces’ website (Kitces, co-founder of XY Planning Network, is a Financial Planning contributor). All have “offered lots of solid CE opportunities,” Wilson says.

“They are discussing important topics ranging from the CARES act and PPP loans to the economic environment and market opportunities,” he says.

One of the certifying organizations has taken a Netflix-like approach to advisor education.
June 26

The CFP board does not provide training for credits, but partners with approved sponsors who do. Some examples include live webinars but on by local FPA chapters, on-demand recordings from the Retirement Resource Center, or Kitces articles. Approved programs can be found on the CFP Board website.

Major conferences -- the kind where advisors like Wilson would get credits -- have gone virtual or have been canceled and those scheduled for this year may also be called off. The FPA annual conference is slated to take place Sep. 30 through Oct. 2 in Phoenix. For now the conference is “proceeding as planned,” according to the FPA website.

CFPs need 30 CE credits every two years, two of which must be in ethics.

There are over 87,000 CFPs in the U.S., according to the CFP Board.

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