When it comes to finding someone to manage your money, you want to make sure you can trust their integrity, knowledge and experience. You want to make sure that you’re working with a Certified Financial Planner™. Making the choice to work with an advisor that has earned these credentials is one of the most important financial decisions you will make.
It’s easy for it is for someone to call themselves a financial advisor. You only need to pass a basic, 100 question multiple choice exam. The standards required to become a Certified Financial Planner™ are far more rigorous.
What is a Certified Financial Planner?
To earn a Certified Financial Planning™ designation, the CFP Board requires over 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process. At a minimum, any applicant attempting to take the certification test must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree. Potential CFP® designees are required to show proficiency in several areas. The areas of expertise include investment planning, insurance planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, as well as professional conduct and fiduciary responsibilities.
After those qualifications are met, the applicant can sit for the CFP® exam. The exam is a 285 question, 10 hour long comprehensive financial planning test. The test takes a day and a half to complete, with a pass rate around 55%. If the applicant passes the exam, they are required to complete 30 hours of continuing financial planning education every two years. Unlike other financial advisor’s, a Certified Financial Planner™ must also agree to work under the strict fiduciary guideline.
These standards are not easy to achieve. Less than a quarter of all financial advisors have earned the right to call themselves a Certified Financial Planner ™. A CFP® Professional has the competence, education, and experience you need to plan your financial future.