What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certification has been the standard of excellence for financial planners for over 30 years. CFP® professionals have met extensive training and experience requirements and commit to CFP® Board’s ethical standards that require them to put their clients’ interests first.

The rigorous training of a CFP® includes 72 areas of financial expertise and thousands of hours of experience. As a Certified Financial Planner®, you can feel confident that I will always put your best interests first, and every recommendation I make is based solely on helping you achieve your personal goals.

Education

A CFP® must have a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution, in addition to coursework on financial planning through a CFP® Board Registered Program.

The CFP® Board exam is a 170-question, multiple-choice test that consists of two 3-hour sessions over one day. It includes stand-alone and scenario-based questions, as well as questions associated with case studies.

The CFP® exam is much longer and more difficult than the FINRA proctor tests for securities license or state-sponsored tests for life, health, and property/casualty insurance. In fact, only 55%-60% of people who take the CFP® Board exam pass.

Experience

To become a CFP®, you need to complete either 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience under a Certified Financial Planner®.

Ethics

The ethics requirement for a CFP® means that you agree to comply with high ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning, and will act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice to all clients, always putting their best interests first.

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