Did you know that today anyone can claim to be a “financial planner”? It’s true. But not just anyone can call himself or herself a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.
As a consumer, it’s important to understand the difference.
CFP® professionals must meet rigorous education, examination and experience standards. They must participate in ongoing professional education. And, they follow a strict code of professional ethics and standards of practice.
The standards promulgated and enforced by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. are referred to as “the 4Es.”
Education. CFP® certificants complete an education requirement to demonstrate to the CFP Board that they have the theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge to practice personal financial planning. In addition, every two years, they complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education to stay current with developments in the field.
Examination. CFP® certificants pass an exam administered by CFP Board to test their understanding of the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits, retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
Experience. Before earning the CFP® certification, CFP® certificants fulfill a minimum of three years’ experience in the financial planning process.
Ethics. CFP® certificants agree to abide by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. The Code of Ethics requires CFP® certificants to act fairly and diligently, with integrity and objectivity, when providing financial planning services to clients. They also agree to submit to background checks by CFP Board and promise to disclose any investigation or legal proceedings related to my professional or business conduct.
It’s never too early and never too late to take charge of your financial future. To learn more, visit CFP Board’s Web site at www.CFP.net/learn.