What is a Certified Financial Planner?

Certified Financial PlannerIf you are interested in earning the Certified Financial Planner mark of distinction, you first need to know the answers to the question, “What is a Certified Financial Planner?” A Certified Financial Planner is much more than just an individual who calls themselves a financial planner, it is a professional who has gone to school to learn about financial planning and passed a uniform certification examination. Anyone in the country can call themselves a financial planner, but only people who have passed the CFP exam to become certified can claim that they are a CFP.

What Does a Certified Financial Planner Do?

Certified Financial Planners can work for a company in the finance industry or independently to as a business owner. In either setting, your primary professional goal will be to help your customers become financially responsible. As you may know from first hand experience, your financial situation can change dramatically as the years go by and you change jobs or you take on more debt. As a CFP, you will maintain a long-term relationship with your clients to discuss long-term financial goals, recommend financial solutions to current problems and discuss long-term investing strategies to build wealth in the most ethical way possible.

What Differentiates a Certified Financial Planner from other Finance Professionals?

To become a Certified Financial Planner, you must meet the educational standards, the ethics standards and examination standards set by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards. These standards have been set to help consumers choose the best possible financial planning service or professional who is dedicated to meeting the high standards. Based on surveys that have been taken by upper-income households, 97% of the respondents feel that a code of ethics is important, and this is one thing that really separates CFP’s from professionals who are not certified.

To become a CFP, you will need to start by acquiring the knowledge that you need to deliver competent financial planning services by enrolling yourself into an accredited formal degree training program. According to the Certified Financial Planners Board, There are several different college-level programs that you can enroll in to study financial planning, but it is important to choose a bachelor’s degree program that includes a capstone course. This educational requirement is one that has been set so that you can register and sit for the CFP exam. You will then be expected to pass a background check and continually follow the Standards of Professional Conduct to remain certified. If you have any grievances that are considered ethical issues, this could affect your ability to renewal your certification.

Related Resource: Learn the Difference between a CPA, CFA and a CFP

If you would like to earn a mark of distinction so that you can take your financial career places, you need to do what it takes to meet the CFP requirements. Dealing with a families savings and investments is serious, and you need to understand that you will be dealing with stress daily based on the investment recommendations that you make. Be prepared to deal with the simple financial moves that can become complex and situations that you could not predict. Certified Financial Planning can be a very worthwhile and steady career choice.