Why Choose a CFP®?

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One of the biggest misconceptions that consumers face when choosing a financial advisor is to assume that all financial professionals are certified Financial Planners or CFP’s®. In reality, only the top 5% percent of financial advisors are certified, which means they meet the industry’s highest ethical and professional standards and rigorous education and experience requirements. Working with a CFP® professional is an important step toward reaching your financial goals.


CFP® professionals must master nearly 100 integrated financial planning topics including:

  • Investments
  • Income tax planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Employee benefits
  • Estate planning
  • Risk management
  • Insurance

In addition to completing a comprehensive financial planning curriculum approved by CFP® Boar, or equivalent academic coursework, CFP® professionals are required to complete continuing education coursework, including a CFP® Board approved coded of ethics course, to ensure their competence in financial planning.


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. This rigorous exam has a 56% pass rate.

The exam covers:

  • Establishing and defining the Client-Planner relationship
  • Gathering information necessary to fulfill the engagement
  • Analyzing and evaluating the client’s current financial status
  • Developing recommendations
  • Communicating recommendations
  • Implementing recommendations
  • Monitoring the recommendations
  • Practicing within professional and regulatory standards


CFP® professionals must have a minimum of three years’ experience in the personal financial planning process prior to earing the right to use the CFP® certification marks. As a result, CFP® practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial planning knowledge.


As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP® Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility that set forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employer. CFP® Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.

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