Why I became a CFP® Professional I recently completed my CFP® certification and I am very glad that I did. There are several individuals in the financial services industry that call themselves Financial Planners or offer advice. What does that mean? Do they sell insurance, stocks, bonds, mutual funds or look at your entire financial picture? This article by the CFP® board explains some of the differences http://www.letsmakeaplan.org/other-resources/types-of-financial-advisorsI have found that the majority of people I speak with don’t know the difference and may not care. The most common response I encounter is a change in an individual’s body language from relaxed to more tense or defensive demeaner (crossing their hands over their chest) when introducing myself as a Financial Planner. I think individuals have developed an untrusting attitude toward financial service providers as a whole and I don’t blame them for it with all the negative stories in the news.Because of this I want to try to hold myself to higher standard. Doctors have to take board exams and take a Hippocratic Oath to practice; lawyers take the Bar Exam, accountants become CPA’s and Enrolled Agents to represent clients in front of the IRS. It is only natural that Financial Planners should hold themselves to a higher standard as well.What are the requirements to become a CFP? http://www.letsmakeaplan.org/other-resources/why-cfp-certification-mattersComplete 18 to 24 months of course work in 6 areas including a capstone courseGeneral Financial Planning principles, Professional Conduct and RegulationRisk Management, Insurance and Employee Benefits PlanningInvestment PlanningTax PlanningRetirement Savings and Income PlanningEstate PlanningCollege Graduate (Bachelor’s degree minimum)Must pass a comprehensive Examination (with an average pass rate of 55 – 60%)Must have 3 years of experience in financial planningCFP® professional must adhere to the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct requiring CFP®professionals to put clients’ interests above their own, and to provide their financial planning services as a "fiduciary" — acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients.CFP® Board enforces their Standard of Professional Conduct.There are several financial professionals that are competent and experienced in their lines of business that do not hold a CFP® designation and provide excellent services to their clients every day. I don’t mean to take anything away from their professional acumen. In fact, I consult with many subject matter experts in estate planning, tax preparation and insurance to provide comprehensive financial plans to my clients.When and if you do seek advice about your financial situation choose a CFP® Professional that looks at your entire financial picture and helps you make an informed decision that meets your financial objectives. Here is a helpful guide to consider from the CFP® BoardHopefully this has been helpful! Stay tuned for future guides for academic and healthcare professionals to help them take control of their money. Future articles include: college planning and student loan debt.Want to work with a CFP® Professional to get your financial affairs in order?Want a 2nd Opinion?Schedule a time for us to talk hereChip Hill, CFP® AAMS®Financial Advisor155 W Bell CtLexington, Ky 40508Cell: 859.948.8717[email protected]chillfinancialplanning.com Investment adviser representative and registered representative of, and securities and investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (member SIPC). *Neither Voya Financial Advisors nor its representatives offer tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation. Chill Financial Group is not a subsidiary nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors.