After nearly 18 months, the CFP Board’s Commission on Standards has released newly proposed standards for CFP professionals. If the standards are enacted following a public comment period ending Aug. 21, CFP professionals will be subject to an enhanced definition of fiduciary duty.

On that score, the new standards appear to advance planning as a profession. They clearly set forth the importance of a fiduciary duty and the need to manage conflicts of interest, as well as formalizing how CFP professionals must define their scope of engagement with the client. Yet the CFP Board still retains limited means of enforcement, and because the board is not a government-sanctioned regulator, it is still limited in its ability to gather information to investigate complaints.

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