CFP Board, Schwab Debut Diversity Scholarship
The CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning has partnered with Schwab Advisor Services and the Charles Schwab Foundation to offer a collaborative scholarship to individuals pursuing the Certified Financial Planner designation in underrepresented populations in the profession.

The Charles Schwab Foundation CFP Certification Scholarship is expected to cultivate a more diverse pipeline of future RIA talent by awarding as many as 16 scholarships a year, up to a total amount of $10,000 per student seeking to complete an undergraduate-level CFP Board registered program, or up to $5,000 per student seeking to complete a certificate-level CFP Board registered program.

Scholarship applicants must have a demonstrated financial need, and they are awarded financial assistance based on their underrepresented gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status.

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Amplify ETFs Launches International Income-Generating ETF
Amplify ETFs, sponsored by Amplify Investments in Wheaton, Ill., has debuted an actively managed exchange-traded fund that seeks to provide monthly income from international dividend-paying stocks.

The Amplify International Enhanced Dividend Income ETF (IDVO) offers investors the opportunity to generate monthly returns of approximately 3% to 4% from dividend income and 2% to 4% from sold call options by investing in dividend-paying stocks in the form of American depositary receipts (ADRs) and by opportunistically writing covered calls on those stocks.

To generate those opportunistic gains, the funds will invest in 30 to 50 securities that have been screened according to attributes such as earnings, cash flow, return on equity, market capitalization and management track. The use of tactical covered call writing on individual securities will lower risk and enhance total return. The primary investment objective is to generate current income and the secondary objective is capital appreciation.

Raymond James Introduces Fintech Ed Offering
Raymond James, a multinational investment bank and diversified financial services firm headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., has launched a new education offering for financial advisors, the company said.

“Tech Savvy,” which provides advisors with advanced training on integrated practice management technology, is the latest addition to the firm’s established technology education program. The program comprises multiple tracks and offers training on foundational technology through the adoption of new applications and enhancements. Tech Savvy’s virtual sessions, hosted by live tech consultants and recorded for later replays, are designed to help advisors master targeted areas of practice technology. Courses are highly interactive, encouraging hands-on practical application throughout.

The firm’s technology education series also includes “Tech Orientation,” a self-paced and self-guided orientation program to introduce advisors to Raymond James technologies crucial for daily management. “Tech Essentials” consists of live virtual sessions that provide users with a strong technology foundation to simplify their work and increase productivity. “Tech Forward” includes live virtual sessions that build on an existing technology foundation to upgrade productivity and strengthen client relationships. And “Tech Power Up” provides advisors with monthly updates on the latest Raymond James technology enhancements and practice management tools to optimize business practices.

Equisoft Launches Automated Fund Analysis Compliance Solution
Equisoft, a Philadelphia-based provider of digital business solutions, has launched a new fund analysis module to help wealth management professionals meet regulatory requirements. “Fund Compare” is an online tool that lets advisors conduct their due diligence and achieve compliance by automatically comparing investment funds’ key metrics such as historical performance, volatility, product risk, fees and asset allocation. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Rule 211 requires a capital acquisition broker to have a reasonable basis to believe, based on reasonable diligence, that a fund recommendation is suitable for at least some investors. Fund Compare uses technology and data to automatically select comparable products within the same investment category using a configurable proprietary algorithm.

Vestwell Debuts Two New Products For 401(k) Third-Party Administrators
Vestwell, the New York City-based 401(k) and Roth IRA platform, has launched two new products for third-party retirement plan administrators.

Vestwell Flex provides small businesses and retirement plan advisors with a record-keeping product. The second launch, the TPA Portal, supports plan design and setup, as well as offering key insights necessary to monitor and continue to service a plan throughout its life cycle. In tandem with Flex, the portal allows third-party administrators to efficiently scale their practices in the small and midsize 401(k) retirement plan market.

Third-party administrators are critical for small businesses that need hands-on support and bespoke retirement plan designs. Nearly 50% of small plan retirement plans below $10 million in assets use an outside third-party administrator, Vestwell says.