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Q: money smarts II ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: money smarts II
Category: Business and Money > Finance
Asked by: timespacette-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 05 May 2006 08:52 PDT
Expires: 04 Jun 2006 08:52 PDT
Question ID: 725755
What does it take to become a Certified Financial Planner?

(minimal requirements and optimal suggestions would be great)

Subject: Re: money smarts II
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 05 May 2006 11:37 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello timespacette-ga!

There are a number of requirements for acceptance as a Certified
Financial Planner (CFP). Fortunately, there are a number of websites
that delineate the specific process by which one can become eligible
to sit for the certification exam and begin work as a CFP. I have
included the most relevant and simplest sites for your reference.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


While anyone can claim to be a ?financial planner,? only the Certified
Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. has the ability to truly
?certify? a financial planner as a CFP. They list basic requirements
in four particular areas: Education, Examination, Experience, and
Ethics. The requirements below come from their website.

* Education: This component is usually satisfied by completing an
approved curriculum in financial planning from a college or
university. A CFP candidate may also submit a transcript review, or
submit proof of attaining equivalent professional designations or
academic degrees in lieu of a formal CFP program. The CFP Board site
has a searchable database for qualified educational programs

* Examination: All CFP candidates must pass a two-day, 10-hour
certification examination. This exam covers the following topics:
?financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and
retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and

* Experience: Before earning the right to use the CFP certifications
marks, candidates must have three years of experience in financial

* Ethics: Candidates must agree to abide by the CFP Board?s ?Code of
Ethics and Professional Responsibility.? There is also a background
check that is done during the certification process and a disclosure
of any investigations or proceedings ?related to their professional
and business conduct.?

For detailed instructions on becoming a CFP, please see:

Here is a sheet that explains a little about the CFP Board:

Here is a set of links to publications intended for the public, as
well as to a number of institutions that may interest financial

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The CFP Board site lists what qualifies as ?experience? when applying
to become a CFP. It defines it as ?the supervision, direct support,
teaching, or personal delivery of all or part of the personal
financial planning process to a client.? It further includes the
following six areas into which this experience must fit:

* Establishing and defining the relationship with the client
* Gathering client data including goals
* Analyzing and evaluating the client's financial status
* Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations and/or alternatives
* Implementing the financial planning recommendations
* Monitoring the financial planning recommendations

Gatlin Education, which offers an online CFP course, gives this
explanation to potential applicants:

?Approximately 90% of the students in this program possess a
bachelor's degree, and many individuals possess advanced degrees.
Beginning January 2007, the CFP Board of Standards will require
individuals to have earned a bachelor's degree prior to awarding the
CFP certification.?

The University of Missouri-St. Louis offers a certificate program that
will enable qualified individuals to sit for the CFP Exam. Some of the
occupations listed as possible perquisites include: CPAs, tax
attorneys, bankers, financial planners, investment specialists, and
retirement planners.

The UC Berkley Extension offers a similar course that will qualify
participants to take the CFP Exam. Their requirements are that,
?Students should possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree and at least
two years of professional experience in a financial services field. If
you do not meet these prerequisites but possess comparable skills, you
may request advance approval to enroll by contacting the program

The College for Financial Planning provides yet another similar
certificate program. They do not have any specific experience
requirements, but point out that after January 1, 2007, the CFP Board
will require that all CFP candidates possess a bachelor?s degree.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There are hundreds of degree and/or certificate programs that will
enable someone with the appropriate experience to apply for CFP
status. Finding the program that fits your specific needs is the key.
I?ve included a lot of references to the CFP Board site, and it has
been by far the most useful website that I?ve found. Their homepage is
found at:
Within their site, a great resource for people contemplating applying
to be a CFP is:

I hope that this information is what you are seeking. If you have need
of clarification please let me know how I can help.


Search terms:

Certified financial planner requirements
CFP recommendations
timespacette-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
thanks so much!

Subject: Re: money smarts II
From: boquinha-ga on 07 May 2006 06:29 PDT
You're welcome! Thanks for taking the time to rate my answer.


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