Percentage Of Female CFPs Shows Little Change
If you were in a room with only certified financial planners, the chances of running into a woman would be about the same as it was 14 years ago. The number of both male and female CFP certificants has risen dramatically during that time, but, to the surprise of many, the percentage of each gender has remained stagnant.
According to the CFP Board, 24.6% of CFP certificants in 1991 were female, compared with 23.5% this year. "It's surprising that we have not seen an increase in the percentage of female certificants in the 14 years since we've been collecting the data," says Anne Kern, the Board's director of external relations.
Why hasn't the percentage of women increased, as it has in many other professions? Kern says it could be because many CFP certificants came from the brokerage and insurance industries, which traditionally have been male-dominated.
The Securities Industry Association doesn't have statistics available that compare the number of women in the industry over the last ten or 15 years, says Dan Michaelis, vice president of corporate communications. However, the SIA's 2003 Report On Diversity Strategy, Development & Demographics shows the percentage of women in the securities industry dropped from 43% in 1999 to 37% in 2003.
The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America provided statistics showing across all agencies, women filled 20% of principal positions last year, down from 25% in 2002, and 57% of nonprincipal agency manager positions (unchanged from 2002).
Still, other professions have shown increases in the percentage of women. Tom Lemmon, a spokesperson for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, says that in 2004 roughly 30.6% of AICPA members were female, compared with about 22% in 1995. AICPA last year had about 350,000 members, all of whom must be CPAs, he adds.
The American Bar Association has statistics showing the number of women awarded J.D. degrees in 2004 was 19,818, or 49.5% of 40,018 awarded, compared with 16,580, or 42.7%, in 1991. The ABA has statistics back to 1984, when 37%, or 13,566, of the total of 36,687 J.D. degrees awarded went to women.
Kern is hopeful the percentage of female CFP certificants will rise in the future. "As more people enter financial planning as a first career, maybe these statistics will start to change," she says.

FPA, Aetna Join To Educate Expectant Parents About Costs
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) and Aetna have teamed up to educate expectant mothers on the financial considerations of having a child.
It's an effort that is sorely needed, according to a survey by both groups. One of the findings of the survey was that 71% of expectant mothers say they have spent "no time at all" or less than an hour reviewing their health benefits.
Even expectant mothers who are focused on financial planning during their pregnancy don't make the connection between financial planning and health benefits, according to the survey.
"Most new parents consider daily expenses such as diapers and formula but forget about the cost of health insurance, noncovered medical expenses and life insurance," says FPA Chairwoman Elizabeth Jetton. "It is important for moms and dads to prepare for these costs before their baby arrives, because your family's health is one of the most important factors in your financial future."
The FPA and Aetna also launched a Web-based public education program at
The Web site includes tools for calculating the costs of having a baby, picking a suitable health plan and identifying which health benefits are important. It also provides a list of answers for expectant mothers' most commonly asked questions and provides tips for picking a pediatrician.

IRS Crackdown On Stock Options Abuse Nets 95 Settlements
An Internal Revenue Service settlement offered to executives and companies involved in stock option abuses has resulted in settlements with 95 corporate executives, according to the IRS.
The stock option scheme, as described by the IRS, involved executives attempting to defer tax on stock option income for up to 30 years through the transfer of stock options to family-controlled partnerships. The IRS estimates that about 19 executives who did not participate in the settlement offer underreported their incomes by a total of more than $400 million.
Those who chose not to participate are either under audit or are facing other pending criminal tax investigations, according to the IRS. The settlement offered by the IRS required executives to include 100% of their stock option compensation in income and pay applicable interest, income and employment taxes and a 10% penalty.
"When we announced this initiative in February, we wanted to give corporations and executives a chance to turn the page and make things right," says IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "The vast majority of those involved chose to come forward under the settlement's tough terms."
A financial advisor who specializes in stock option says the IRS settlement is directed at abuses that apparently arose during the height of the Internet bubble. "I think it was the size of the option wealth and the suddenness of the option wealth that caused people" to do this, says Tim Kochis, CEO of Kochis Fitz in San Francisco. "There was a certain amount of arrogance on the part of people relative to their sense of being held to task."
Kochis says the abuses were few when compared to the amount of compensation that has been granted in the form of options since the 1990s. "The abuses were relatively few but pretty notorious," he says. "As societies and lawmakers often do, they overreacted to those abuses and scared many companies into feeling that options were not an appropriate compensation vehicle."
The result has been a decrease in the granting of options and an increase in the utilization of restricted stocks, Kochis says. The irony, he says, is that restricted stocks are poorly structured for use as executive compensation.
"If you have a dim view of stock options, you should have an even dimmer view of restricted stock," he says. "They provide a reward even if there is no increase in the stock's value. Typically, you can be compensated just for hanging out."
The IRS settlements resulted in about $500 million worth of income adjustments, according to the IRS. Of 124 executives identified as having potentially been involved in the transactions, ten were cleared of any wrongdoing, 80 chose to accept the IRS settlement and 15 reached separate agreements under the IRS audit process.
Among corporations, 33 chose to participate in the settlement initiative, according to the IRS.

SEI Advisors Are Slow To Offer Comprehensive Service, Survey Says
Advisors may recognize that their profession is moving toward a fee-based comprehensive service model, but they've been slow to respond to the trend.
That was the finding of a recent survey by SEI Investments of 200 of its independent advisor clients.
"Advisors can see where the industry is headed and agree that it's drastically changing," says Carl Guarino, head of the SEI Advisor Network. "Yet they just can't seem to keep up with it by relying on their current resources."
Advisors participating in the survey indicated that providing holistic advice was a key factor in serving clients, but few of them indicated they had plans to add specialists and services-such as estate, trust and tax planning-over the next five years.
The survey found that although 60% of advisors polled said that "offering competitively superior services that help clients achieve their goals" defined their view of success, many were not making service a priority. Instead, a majority said their success strategy hinged on better marketing.
When asked about their clients' attitudes, the most frequently mentioned priority was "overall well-being for the client and family." About 33% of advisors cited this as a priority, more than protection of assets, financial independence and accumulation of assets.

Big Companies Are Getting Greener
The nation's S&P 100 companies are getting "greener" when it comes to reporting their activities to the public, according to a new study.
Among the key findings is that companies are increasingly reporting on their environmental and social activities in their annual reports, according to the Social Investment Research Analysts Network, which conducted the study.
Among the studies findings:
 Nearly 40% of the companies comprising the S&P 100 Index issue annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports.
Fifty-eight of the S&P 100 companies share information about these activities on their corporate Web sites.

Advisor's Book Looks At What Puts Top Managers On Top
When he first started out as an investment manager, Scott Kays often wondered why some fund managers performed better than others-and whether it was due to skill or luck.
After a few years of interviewing managers, however, Kays felt the answer was pretty clear. Successful managers, he observed, had a certain something that had nothing to do with luck. "I began to see that, boy, there really is something different about these top guys," he says. "I think what impressed me at first was how well they can articulate their philosophy."
About five years ago, Kays decided to explore the common traits of successful fund managers more deeply-an exploration that led to his recently published book, 5 Key Lessons from Top Money Managers.
The book focuses on the lives and investment philosophies of five successful fund managers: Andy Stephens, manager of the Artisan Mid Cap Fund; Bill Nygren, manager of the Oakmark Select Fund and Oakmark Fund; Christopher C. Davis, manager of Selected American Shares; Bill Fries, manager of Thornburg Global Value Fund, and John Calamos Sr., manager of the Calamos Growth Fund.
At first glance, the list of managers seems varied, with a mix of growth and value investment styles, and small- and large-cap concentrations. What Kays found, however, were many similarities.
All the managers, he says, deeply believe in active management and the ability to extract value out of the market through systematic analysis. "None of the gentlemen I interviewed believe in the efficient market hypothesis," says Kays, the president of Financial Advisory Corp. in Atlanta, which he founded in 1985. "That's how they make their living-by exploiting those inefficiencies."
Furthermore, they all have a clear and defined investment system that is repeatable over time and through all market conditions-including the tumultuous Internet bubble and subsequent bear market.
They are adamant in their distinction between investing and speculating, and clearly articulate how they assess equity value, Kay says, adding that they don't lock themselves into a Morningstar style box.
"Their fund will be in one of the Morningstar boxes, but they will tell you they don't invest at all to try to fit into one," Kays says. "They don't worry about that."
That means that they don't view themselves as growth or value managers, either. "These guys don't distinguish between value and growth investing," Kays says.
All the managers, for example, consider a company's growth rate, and none have a prejudice against companies that are growing very rapidly, he says. At the same time, all of them pay attention to valuation, and feel that when people try to distinguish between value and growth investing they are really talking about fundamental investing versus momentum investing.
Kays also noted that successful managers pay as much attention to portfolio management as they do stock selection. "Portfolio management is having the most money in the stocks that do well and the least money in the stocks that do poorly," Kays says.