Almost anyone can call themselves a financial planner. But only individuals who have passed a rigorous set of criteria and met strict ethical qualifications can use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.
Choosing a financial planner is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. Therefore, you want to make sure to choose someone you can trust and who’ll work with you to develop a customized plan that fits your unique objectives.
The following CFP® certification requirements are managed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards:
An individual is required to have at least three to five years of financial planning-related experience to be eligible to sit for the CFP® examination.
The Board’s Comprehensive Certification Exam, which tests the individual’s knowledge of a multitude of key financial planning topics, must be successfully completed. Many financial planners spend up to three years preparing for the two-day CFP® examination.
CFP® professionals are required to obtain a minimum of 30 hours every two years of financial planning-related continuing education – which includes financial planning areas such as estate planning, retirement planning, investment management, tax planning, employee benefits and insurance.
As a CFP® professional, the individual must voluntarily adhere to the Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. This voluntary decision empowers the Board to take action if the individual should violate the code of ethics, including disciplinary action and the potential permanent revocation of the right to use the CFP® designation.