What is a CFP?
Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks, which represent a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism. CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct require CFP® professionals to act in your best interest, putting your needs above their own.
CFP® Certification Requirements
Unlike many financial advisors, CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a personal financial planning (link to home page) curriculum approved by CFP Board. Applicants may also satisfy the education requirement by submitting a transcript review or previous financial planning-related course work. Or, they can show that they have attained certain professional designations or academic degrees that cover the important subjects in CFP Board’s financial planning curriculum.
CFP® professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam, which tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations. The exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance. The average pass rate for this difficult exam is only 56%. This comprehensive exam ensures that Certified Financial Planner™ professionals are highly qualified to develop a plan for your finances.
When it comes to ethics and professional responsibility, Certified Financial Planner™ professionals are held to the highest of standards. CFP Board’s Code of Ethics outlines CFP® professionals’ obligations to uphold principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence. And the Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary” — acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients. CFP® professionals are subject to CFP Board sanctions if they violate these standards. https://www.cfp.net/
“Why Choose a CFP® Professional Copyright ©2012 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.” AND “CFP Board’s Consumer Guide to Financial Planning Copyright ©2012 Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.”