The Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation is a professional designation which is frequently held by financial planners, investment advisers and other financial advisers. It is conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university, three years of full-time personal financial planning experience and complete a course of study in financial planning topics. These subject areas include investments, taxes, estate planning, insurance planning, employee benefits, and asset protection.
A candidate may be exempt from the course of study requirement if he or she holds a CPA, ChFC, CLU, CFA, Ph.D in business or economics, a Doctor of Business Administration, or an attorney’s license.
All candidates must successfully complete the CFP® Certification Examination, which has a reputation for being very challenging, comprehensive and arduous.
CFP® practitioners are subject to the CFP Board’s ethical standards, and must abide by a fiduciary standard.
Certificants must typically complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, and 2 hours of these 30 hours must be in topics related to ethics.
In many jurisdictions, the CFP® designation will exempt an investment adviser representative from having to pass the Series 65 examination.