Why work with a Certified Financial Planner™?
CFP® certification has become the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The requirements for attaining and maintaining the Certified Financial Planner™ certification are rigorous. Consumers increasingly choose a Certified Financial Planner™ because of these rigorous educational and ethical requirements.
CFP® EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
CFP®s develop theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering financial planning curriculum registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. To maintain their certification, CFP®s must complete a minimum of 30 hours of financial planning continuing education every two years. Two of these hours must be spent studying the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility or Financial Planning Practice Standards. CFP® continuing education requirements are among the strictest of all financial planner credentials and help CFP®s better serve clients and stay current with developments in the financial planning profession.
CFP® EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
CFPs® must pass a two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life financial planning situations. The exam is based on a list of financial planning topics that reflect skills needed to perform comprehensive financial planning, as determined by periodic surveys of practicing CFP®s. The exam covers the general principles of financial planning, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and insurance planning and risk management.
CFP® EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
Before receiving the CFP® certification, a financial planner must complete three years of work experience, including the supervision, direct support, teaching, or personal delivery of the personal financial planning process to a client. This ensures that CFP®s can apply their financial planning knowledge in real-world client situations.
CFP® ETHICS REQUIREMENTS
As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners must pass an ethics review and agree to abide by the CFP Board’s Financial Planning Practice Standards and a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. The Code of Ethics states that CFP practitioners must act with integrity and offer professional services that are objective and based on client needs.