Why Choose a CFP® practitioner?



In the absence of uniform government regulation of financial planners, anyone can call themselves a “financial advisor”. This means it is up to you to seek out a "certified" advisor to deliver objective financial planning advice combined with rigorous standards – similar to those you probably assume are in place when consulting with your doctor, lawyer or CPA.
The CFP® certification was introduced in 1972 and has become the most widely recognized financial planning credential among consumers. Only those who have fulfilled the certification requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks.  When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose is competent and held to high ethical standards.
The following requirements must be met in order to earn the right to use the CFP® certification marks:
Education: CFP Professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a curriculum approved by the CFP Board.  Other options for satisfying the education component include submitting a transcript for review or previous financial planning-related coursework to CFP Board for review and credit, or showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees.
Examination:  CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10 hour CFP Certification examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format.  Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management planning and insurance.
Experience: CFP® practitioners must have three years minimum experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP certification marks.  As a result, CFP® practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial planning knowledge.
Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Boards Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers.  CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.
How does CFP Board's Code of Ethics benefit you?
Through the Code of Ethics, CFP® Practitioners agree to act fairly and diligently when providing you with financial planning advice and services, putting your interests first.  The Code of Ethics states that CFP® practitioners are to act with integrity, offering you professional services that are objective and based on your needs.  These are required to provide you with information about their sources of compensation and conflicts of interest in writing.



 Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. owns the marks above outside the U.S. and permits qualified individuals to use these marks to indicate that they have met FPSB's initial and ongoing certification requirements.