Kenneth Butler, CFP®, Enrolled Agent
Ken is president of Butler Financial Services, Ltd. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and Finance from California State University Northridge and is a graduate of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. He earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 1987 and is also an Enrolled Agent.
Nicholas Butler, CFP®, Enrolled Agent
Nick is vice president of Butler Financial Services, Ltd. He graduated California State University Channel Islands with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He earned his Enrolled Agent license in 2014 and has held the Series 65 registration (Uniform Investment Adviser) since 2016. Nick completed the CFP® Certification Program through the College for Financial Planning in 2017, and earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2018.
Butler Financial Services, Ltd. is an Investment Advisory Firm registered with the state of California located in Westlake Village, CA.
Why choose a Fiduciary?
Many broker/dealers, advisors, and insurance salespeople operate under the “suitability standard”, which merely requires them to ensure a product is suitable for a client at the time of investment. In contrast, Butler Financial Services is a registered investment advisory held to the higher “fiduciary standard”. As fiduciaries, we are required to avoid conflicts of interest and operate with full transparency. In addition, fiduciaries have a “duty to care” and must continually monitor a clients investments and changing financial situation in order to provide honest advice based solely on the needs on each individual client. At Butler Financial Services, we are committed to the highest professional, educational, and ethical standards.
About the CFP® certification
The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients.
To attain the right to use the CFP® marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:
- Education – Complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that CFP Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, and attain a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a foreign university). CFP Board’s financial planning subject areas include insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning; CLICK HERE for a more detailed overview of the topic areas covered by the CFP educational and examination requirement.
- Examination – Pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination. The examination, administered in 10 hours over a two-day period, includes case studies and client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real world circumstances;
- Experience – Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience (or the equivalent, measured as 2,000 hours per year); and
- Ethics – Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.
Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:
- Continuing Education – Complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field; and
- Ethics – Renew an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP® professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP® professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their clients.
CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.
What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals.
Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.
Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.