FPA Debuts College Planning Certificate Program For Broker-Dealer Financial Advisors
The Denver-based Financial Planning Association has partnered with College Aid Pro, a college planning software developer headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, to offer financial advisors a certificate course in college planning.

The course, called “College Planning Made Easy: An FPA Certificate Program,” is designed to help planners better understand how to assist their clients with the challenge of financing a college education. Advisors who take the course qualify for 4.5 CFP CE credits. It takes four hours to complete the course through the FPA’s online Learning Center. 

Planners taking the course will learn how to project a family’s financial aid and out-of-pocket cost at different institutions. They will also learn how to create a college funding plan so students will graduate with manageable debt while parents will still be able to save for their own retirement. The course furthermore helps advisors understand the key differences in federal and institutional formulas used to calculate a family’s expected contribution for need-based financial aid eligibility. And the course will help advisors understand the pending changes and planning opportunities stemming from the FAFSA Simplification Act, which modifies the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The course is available to members at a $199 fee, and to nonmembers at a $299 fee. Upon completing the course, financial planners will also receive one month of complimentary access to the College Aid Pro Advisor Workstation and a complimentary one-on-one consultation with a member of the College Aid Pro team.

Transamerica Introduces Workplace Emergency Savings Accounts
Transamerica, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has partnered with Millennium Trust Company and SecureSave to offer emergency savings accounts as a new employee benefit.

The new offering is designed to help employees save for unexpected events that may affect their ability to contribute to or preserve their workplace retirement savings account, the company said.

Employers are able to choose one of Transamerica’s pre-selected providers—either Millennium Trust or SecureSave. Both providers enable employers to provide an easy way to offer and manage an emergency savings fund as a workplace benefit. And Transamerica’s multi-provider approach gives employers the ability to match their company’s needs with the best solution for their employees. 

Employees using the accounts can automatically save a portion of their regular paychecks to build an emergency savings fund. To incentivize employees to establish the accounts, employers can contribute to them as well. 

Transamerica’s emergency savings offerings, which are FDIC-insured up to the standard maximum deposit insurance amount of $250,000, provide employees with a complete savings solution that is automated and easy to deploy.

Transamerica is now part of the Netherlands-based Aegon group of companies.

Raymond James Announces New Advisor Affiliation Option
Raymond James, a diversified financial services firm headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., has unveiled a new affiliation option for independent financial advisors.

The “corporate registered investment advisor” model allows fee-only advisors to use the firm’s corporate RIA to provide investment advice recommendations while operating as independent contractors—without the need to establish and manage an independent RIA of their own. Affiliates of the new model have unlimited access to the firm’s infrastructure of advisor services, which include wealth management strategies for multiple life stages; turnkey asset management options; lending services; insurance and research services; and access to specialists in each department. 

A robust, integrated technology platform supports advisors’ needs with mobile access and integration capabilities and gives advisors access to strategic and creative marketing support. Affiliates using the new model also benefit from the high-profile Raymond James brand when marketing their services.

In addition to comprehensive wealth management services, Raymond James provides practices using the new model with succession planning consulting services.

Raymond James Financial Inc. has approximately 8,700 financial advisors.

Paxos Launches Financial Advisor Crypto Trading For B-Ds
Paxos, a financial technology and services company headquartered in New York City, has debuted a financial advisor crypto trading service.

The service, located within the Paxos Crypto Brokerage, allows broker-dealers to offer their affiliated financial advisors crypto trades on behalf of their clients. Broker-dealers can allow registered advisors and financial advisors to trade or manage end user assets at their discretion. The tool verifies advisor identities to satisfy compliance requirements through independent sanctions screening. It attaches an advisor to every transaction to create a documented record of discretion for each trade.

Founded in 2012, Paxos Trust Company, marketed as Paxos, is a financial institution and technology company specializing in blockchain.