What a Certified Financial Planner™
Professional Can Do for You

No matter where you are in life, CFP® professionals know how to deliver the highest standard of financial planning service to make sure you’re on the right track. From planning for retirement to saving for college, CFP® professionals are trained to help you develop a comprehensive strategy to reach your short- and long-term financial goals.

Ten Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

Download the Consumer Guide to Financial Planning

Select the category that best describes you, and learn what working with a CFP® professional can do for you.


Starting Out

It’s never too early to get on the right financial path. A CFP® professional can equip you with the tools to start out on the right foot.

Merge Finances with
a Loved One
Student Loans | Let's Make a Plan
Manage Student Debt and
Balance Your Budget
Set Short- and Long-
Term Career Goals
Establish and Maintain 
Good Credit
Consider Health 
Care Options
Purchase a Car or 
House – or Both

Certified Equals Qualified

Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled CFP Board's rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® professional.

CFP® professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure financial planning recommendations are in your best interest. What’s more, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can call themselves a CFP® professional.

Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may evolve over the years due to shifts in your lifestyle or circumstances such as an inheritance, career change, marriage, house purchase or a growing family. As you begin to consider how best to manage your financial future, you should feel confident knowing that with a CFP® professional, you’re working with someone committed to providing the highest standard of financial planning.

How to Start Planning With a CFP® Professional

Financial planning can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your introductory meeting with a CFP® professional.


Set Aside Some Time

No two meetings with a CFP®  professional are the same, but the first one will take some time. Be prepared for a lengthy discussion about your finances to help your planner get started.


Think About Your Goals

There’s no avoiding this question - your planner will ask about your financial goals in detail and likely ask you to prioritize them, too. Take time before your meeting to consider your top short- and long-term goals.

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Prepare to Be Open

Your CFP® professional needs to have a comprehensive understanding of your financial life, as well as your attitude toward risk and experience with money management. Depending on what services you've asked for, your planner may analyze your assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments and/or tax strategies.

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Work Through the Details

Once your CFP® professional understands your financial situation, they will outline a process for developing their recommendations. Before you proceed, make sure to discuss fees, potential conflicts of interest and details of your working relationship. And don’t be afraid to ask your planner the tough questions.