When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The Certified Financial Planner or CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks.  The requirements are based on four categories: Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics.

Education

Candidates complete studies on over 100 topics, including stocks, bonds, taxes, insurance, retirement planning and estate planning. The program is administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.  In addition, in order to maintain the designation, every two years planners must complete a minimum of 30 hours continuing education.

Examination

CFP® candidates must pass a comprehensive 170 multiple-choice questions CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format.

Experience

CFP® professionals must have three years minimum experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks.

Ethics

As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers.  The CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.

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