Why Choose a CFP® Professional
Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title “financial planner.” CFP Board benefits the public by independently certifying financial planners. Although CFP Board does not guarantee their work, CFP® professionals have met rigorous qualifications for financial planning. Only those who have fulfilled CFP Board’s rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® professional.
As part of their certification, CFP® professionals commit to high ethical standards. 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.
Your Interests should come first
Working with a CFP® professional can help you find the path to achieving your financial goals. Your goals may evolve over the years as a result of 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 who has committed to CFP Board, as part of their certification, that they will act as a fiduciary, and therefore, act in their client’s best interests, at all times when providing ﬁnancial advice to a client. CFP Board doesn’t guarantee a CFP® professional’s services, but CFP Board may sanction a CFP® professional who does not abide by this commitment.
What Sets a CFP® Professional Apart
When you hire a CFP® professional, you work with an advisor who has met rigorous qualifications for financial planning. Most important, a CFP® professional has made a commitment to CFP Board to act in the best interests of their client.
|Financial Planner Without CFP® Certification||CFP® Professional|
|It’s easy for someone to call themselves a financial planner.||Meets requirements established by CFP Board.|
|May not be required to put your best interests first.||Makes a commitment to CFP Board, as part of their certification, to place your best interests first. Can receive sanctions from CFP Board, and even risk losing their certification, for violations of ethical standards set by CFP Board.|
|Level of financial planning knowledge varies.||Has demonstrated the knowledge required to deliver holistic financial planning.|
|Years of experience varies.||Must have a minimum of 2 years of financial planning experience.|
What Makes CFP® Professionals Different
When you choose a CFP® professional, you can be assured that you’re working with a financial advisor who has demonstrated competency and made a commitment to ethics. CFP® professionals must successfully complete a multi-year, multi-step process to obtain the skills and real-life experience they need to serve your best interests, no matter what your financial goals are.
Learn more about the certification process for becoming a CFP® professional
CFP® professionals have the knowledge required to deliver holistic financial planning services, and they must fulfill continuing education requirements.
CFP® professionals must pass the CFP® exam, which tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations and ensures that they are highly qualified to help you plan for your financial future.
CFP® professionals have at least 2 years of real-life experience providing financial planning services.
CFP® professionals commit to follow a code of ethics and standards set and enforced by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). They can receive sanctions for not abiding by them, and even risk losing their certification.
Learn about how a CFP® professional’s commitment to uphold the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct can benefit your plans for a confident and secure financial future.
Resources for Working With a CFP® Professional
What does the process look like? What do I need to prepare? What’s the right time to reach out? Here are some helpful resources to ensure you get the most out of working with your CFP® professional.
When You Should Make a Plan
The Financial Planning Process
10 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor
Checklist for Your First Visit
Here's some of the key financial information to gather in advance so your CFP® professional can start to understand your current situation.
Working with a CFP® professional provides peace of mind, as she or he is trained to guide you through the daunting process of pulling your financial life together into a clear picture.
A CFP® professional is your partner along the way. Someone to check in with and someone who is there to answer your questions, give you peace of mind and help you pursue your financial goals.
The only guarantee in life is that it changes. A CFP® professional is prepared to adjust your financial plans as you make adjustments to life’s never-ending changes.