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Placing Your Interests First

CFP practitioners are distinguished from other financial advisors by the rigorous requirements needed to obtain and retain the use of the CFP mark, including:

Education   CFP licensees must complete a professional academic program covering more than 100 financial planning topics, including investments, estate planning, income tax, retirement planning, risk management, insurance, and general finance.

Examination  The candidate must pass a two-day, 10-hour comprehensive exam to assess his or her ability to apply financial planning principals.

Experience  Candidates must have at least three years of financial planning experience prior to using the CFP mark.

Ethics  CFP professionals must abide by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING Boards Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. This includes serving as a fiduciary a person in a highly trusted position. As such, CFP practitioners are obligated to place your needs ahead of their financial gain. The fiduciary status distinguishes CFP practitioners from many other financial counselors.

Continuing Education  CFP practitioners must complete 30 continuing education units every two years.

Practice Standards  The financial planning process, conducted by CFP professionals, is based on established norms of practice to enhance the professionalism and value of the process.

Six-Step Financial Planning Process   CFP practitioners adhere to a prescribed framework that helps the public understand what to expect in a financial planning engagement.  The six steps to the financial planning process are:

  • Establish and define the client relationship

  • Gather Client data

  • Analyze and evaluate the client's financial status

  • Develop and present financial planning recommendations

  • Implement financial planning recommendations as agreed upon

  • Monitor results

"The CFP,
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, and  trademarks were developed to provide consumers with recognizable symbols of competent and ethical personal financial planning."
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
Board of Standards, Inc.