Certified Finacial Planner
Why is a CFP® so different and why does it matter?
Why the CFP® Ethics And Enforcement Matter to You
Trust is central to a successful financial planning relationship. You rely on your planner’s honesty, professionalism, and abilities to achieve your goals. When you know your planner takes his professional obligations seriously and places principles over personal gain, you can form a good working partnership. CFP Board’s strict Standards of Professional Conduct are designed to ensure your CFP® professional acts in a professionally responsible manner.
CFP® professionals have demonstrated an appropriate level of knowledge to offer financial planning advice. The CFP® certification provides confidence that your financial planner has completed rigorous education and experience requirements — including continuing education coursework—designed to ensure competence in financial planning.
Your needs will be at the heart of all your planner’s recommendations. A CFP®professional has an ethical obligation to act in your best interest when she provides financial planning advice. Your planner will use her experience and judgment to carefully consider your situation, and then give you advice that best meets your goals. Sometimes this objectivity may require your planner to explain that your goals are unrealistic given your current resources and financial commitments.
Fair treatment means your CFP® professional will clearly state what services will be provided and at what cost. Your planner will also explain the risks associated with all financial recommendations, along with any potential conflicts of interest.
THE FOUR E’S
Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Anyone can use the title “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP® certification trademarks which represent a high level of competency, ethics, and professionalism. And because they are held to a fiduciary standard of care when providing financial planning services, a CFP® professional is required to act in your best interest.
Unlike many financial advisors, CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board. Applicants may also satisfy the education requirement by submitting a transcript review or previous financial planning-related course work. Or, they can show that they have attained certain professional designations or academic degrees that cover the important subjects in CFP Board’s financial planning curriculum.
CFP® professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam, which tests their abilities to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations. The exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance. This comprehensive exam ensures that a CFP® professional is highly qualified to develop a plan for your finances.
CFP® professionals complete several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification trademarks. This hands-on experience guarantees that CFP® professionals have practical financial planning knowledge, so you can count on them to help you create a realistic financial plan that fits your individual needs.
When it comes to ethics and professional responsibility, CFP® professionals are held to the highest of standards, as outlined in CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct. They are obliged to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence as outlined in CFP Board’s Code of Ethics. The Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary”—acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients. CFP® professionals are subject to CFP Board sanctions if they violate these standards.
The information and text on this page are provided by The CFP website with their permission. For additional information regarding Certified Finacial Planners please go to CFP.net
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