The Road to Becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Certified Financial Planner pic
Certified Financial Planner
Image: cfp.net

Sheaff Brock is a fee-only independent investment firm specializing in portfolio management for high net-worth individuals located in Indianapolis. There are currently five Certified Financial Planners (CFP), one CFA, and one CPA working for Sheaff Brock.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., is responsible for conferring the CFP designation. A CFP must pass a comprehensive initial exam and complete continuing education classes annually to remain certified.

Becoming a CFP demands that a candidate meets the requirements in four different areas: education, CFP exam, work experience, and ethics.

First, the candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Secondly, the candidate must have completed the financial planning courses deemed necessary by the CFP Board. This coursework can be waived if the candidate holds other credentials such as CFA, CPA, or graduate degree in business.

The CFP exam has 170 multiple-choice questions. It is taken on a computer and lasts three days. Topics on the exam include but are not limited to financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement.

The candidate must have three years of verified full-time industry experience (two years of apprenticeship is allowed under strict evaluation and requirements). In addition, the board conducts an extensive background check, and the candidate must disclose all relevant financial and professional information on a regular basis.

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