Learn Why Our Certified Financial Planners Offer The Highest Level Of Expertise and Professionalism
A Certified Financial Planner, also referred to as a CFP, is a professional certification through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. A CFP is a prestige title for a financial planner. In order for a person to become a CFP, he/she must complete the 4 E’s: education, examination, experience and ethics requirements.
You can have the opportunity to work with a top CFP in your area. We have partnered with a nationwide network of local financial planners, and accordingly, you can receive a FREE financial check-up along with a personalized financial analysis from a CFP just by filling out the form to the right.
A potential CFP must have a bachelor degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They then need to master topics that range from general principles of finance and financial planning to estate tax and gift tax. After about 6 classes, the potential CFP can go onto the examination. The CFP exam is a multi-hour exam divided into multiple segments. The pass rate ranges from 42% to 68%.
The potential CFP must almost meet work requirements. He/she must show that they have extensive experience in financial planning. The CFP Board outlines work experience as the supervision, direct support and teaching of all or part of the financial planning process to a client. Also the work experience must cover one or more of the six primary elements of financial planning.
The six elements are:
1. Establishing and defining client relationship
2. Gathering client data and goals
3. Analyzing and evaluating a client’s financial situation
4. Creating and presenting financial planning recommendations
5. Implementing financial planning recommendations
6. Monitoring the financial planning recommendations
Establishing and defining client relationship includes explaining the issues and concepts related to the financial planning process, and explaining the specific services will provide. Gathering client data and goals includes questioning his/her client about their financial situation and determining their goals and risk tolerance. Analyzing and evaluating a client’s financial situation involves analyzing a client’s data based on cash flow needs and risk management, taxes, and investments. Creating and presenting financial planning recommendations should meet the goals of the client and reflect their values, situation and risk tolerance. Implementing financial planning recommendations is the process to help clients put the financial plan into action. This includes working with accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, investment advisers, stockbrokers and insurance agents. Monitoring the financial planning recommendations involves checking the client’s progress and discussing any changes that need to be made.
After passing the CFP exam and completing one or more of the six primary elements, he/she must complete three more work experience phases. The first phase is to complete three years of full time work in financial planning or two years of full time experience as an apprenticeship under a CFP; in order to focus on the personal delivery of all the steps of the personal financial planning process to a client.
The second, and really the final phase to become a CFP is to be approved by the CFP Board during initial certification. To maintain the CFP credentials, the financial planner must complete continuing education requirements, as well as continuing to follow the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the Financial Planning Practice Standards. CFPs must complete ongoing education to maintain their certification, such that they must complete thirty hours of continuing education and pay a licensing fee every two years.
As you can see, CFPs represent the highest standards of the financial services industry. You can have the opportunity to work with one of these financial planners for FREE through our partnership with hundreds of certified financial planners across the country. Get started today by filling out the form above!