A Certified Financial Planner™ Certification (CFP) Professional helps individuals determine whether and how they can meet their life goals through the management of financial resources. To do this a Certified Financial Planner Professional analyzes where the individual is financially, where they want to go, and how do they get there.
In most cases a Certified Financial Planner Professional analysis and recommendations are provided in a written financial plan. The CFP® oftentimes coordinates the implementation and monitoring of the plan.
Income is generally fee-based.
The Certified Financial Planner™ Certification exam format is determined by the CFP® Board of Standards. The exam is given over a two-day period, Friday and Saturday, for a total of 10 hours. The CFP® exam is a rigorous exam that tests knowledge and application. There are currently 106 job knowledge requirements specified by the Board of Standards — and these topics are tested on in the CFP® exam.
You must contact the CFP® Board of Standards at (800) 487-1497 to register for the exam. The purchase of study materials does not register you for the exam.
To receive a list of CFP® study materials providers please click here.
Many Certified Financial Planner™ Professionals affiliate with FINRA member firms (i.e., brokerage houses) and become Registered Representatives (i.e., “stockbroker”). This allows the CFP® to receive commissions on the securities they buy or sell on behalf of their clients. Accordingly, they go on to take the FINRA Series 7 and Series 63 exams.
A CFP® may form their own Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms. In this instance they charge a fee (hourly or percentage of assets under management) for their advice and are required to register with their state securities commission, create a disclosure document (i.e., “ADV”), and pass the Series 65 exam.
Click here to order FINRA study materials.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and Federally registered CFP (with flame logo) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification.