Certified Financial Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Anyone can call himself or herself a “financial planner.” In fact, many insurance agents and stockbrokers use the term “financial planner” or “financial advisor.” But only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP®Board can use its marks.

The certification process assures the general public that the individuals authorized to use its marks have met the education, examination and experience requirements to provide co-ordinated financial planning advice.

There are four:

  1. Candidates must pass a rigorous two-day, 10 hour exam which currently has a less than 54% pass rate;
  2. At least three years of experience in the financial planning process;
  3. A bachelor’s degree, or higher; and,
  4. Each candidate must undergo a thorough background check and disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional conduct.

The Board has the absolute and unrestricted authority to revoke the right to use the certification marks if it finds the practitioner has failed to adhere to the strict code of ethics and professional responsibility requirements.

Although there are several hundred thousand licensed insurance agents and stock brokers, there are only approximately fifty thousand CFP® professionals at present.

Please see above!

Simply go to www.CFP.net, scroll down the left sidebar, click on “Search for CFP® professional” and type in his or her last name.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you confused about the vast array of investment options?
  • Are you unclear about how your current investments are performing?
  • Is your current level of risk appropriate for your goals?
  • Do you and your spouse differ over how to handle money?
  • Have you created an estate plan?
  • Do you feel you’re missing some tax planning opportunities?
  • Do you really know how much money you will need to carry you through your retirement years?

If you answered “yes” to any or several of these questions, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can help!