Why You Should (Absolutely) Hire a Certified Financial Planner

It’s time to toot my own horn.

Toot, toot!

If you’re going to hire a financial advisor then they better have these marks after their name: CFP®.

Am I biased?  Absolutely

And proud of it.  :)

So what makes a CFP better than a regular financial advisor?

This short video should explain all:


If that wasn’t good enough, here’s some info for you. From the Financial Planning Association website:

CFP professionals are dedicated to using the financial planning process. To earn the prestigious CFP certification and remain certified as a CFP professional, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Education: They must complete a comprehensive course of study offered by a college or university program (ranging from certificate to doctoral degree levels) which covers a personal financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board. In addition, they must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Examination: CFP® professionals must successfully complete CFP Board’s comprehensive examination, which tests an individual’s ability to integrate and apply their financial planning knowledge.
  • Experience: They must acquire three years of financial planning related experience, or a limited 2-year structured option, before achieving the right to use the CFP® marks.
  • Ethics: They must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board’s code of ethics and additional requirements as mandated. This includes providing financial planning services as a fiduciary, or acting in the client’s best interest.

You can read my post where I talk about more on what it takes to become a Certified Financial Planner professional.

Why did I Become a CFP®?

At the time I decided to get the CFP® designation, I was already committed to the financial planning process. I didn’t see any other way to truly understand what the client was trying to achieve without uncovering their entire financial situation. Many of the brokers I used to work with weren’t as concerned about that. They were more interested in making the next sale instead of investing a lot of time putting together a financial plan.

The other motivation behind getting the CFP® marks was to give myself some credibility. I was only 30 years old at the time and many people still saw me as being young. The funny thing about that is it still happens to me even though I have 3 kids, have been married for almost 10 years, and I served our country overseas. Apparently, they don’t see all the white hairs in my head. :)

I knew that having the CFP® designation would give me both instant credibility and experience from going through all the study materials. There’s no question that becoming a CFP® was one of the best investments I’ve made in myself. I shared this on GFC podcast episode 15 (with my other best investments).

Bottom line: You want to a hire a financial planner? Better make sure they are “certified”.

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Comments | 2 Responses

  1. says

    Completely agree. Designations always bring more credibility to a person. I’m a CPA and I feel that before I received my designation I didn’t have the credibility with the average person compared to other accountants.

    I think the most important thing regarding the CFP is the fact there is a fiduciary responsibility.with it. I would never want anyone helping me withe my money on a professional level if they didn’t have it. Thanks for the good information!

  2. says

    It’s easy for me to agree as a CFP myself. I only hope for the day when the CFP is required to call yourself a financial planner. Awareness seems to be increasing, but we’re still a long way from where it needs to be.

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