What Is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?
The CFP is a professional certification that recognizes financial planning expertise in addition to taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement.
The designation of Certified Financial Planner is a professional credential that identifies financial planners who have met rigorous educational and professional requirements and are experienced in their field. Individuals earn the CFP® certification by passing the CFP Board's initial examinations and continuing to fulfill strict continuing education requirements.
- A CFP is someone who has been awarded the CFP designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
- Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) work with clients on a variety of financial matters, including retirement planning, investing, education funding, insurance coverage and tax strategy.
- Becoming a CFP is one of the most difficult and rigorous ways to become a financial advisor. It necessitates years of expertise, successful completion of standardized tests, adherence to ethical standards, and a formal education.
- The most important aspect of a CFP is that they have a fiduciary duty, meaning their only loyalty lies with their client.
Role of a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
CFPs are there to assist individuals in managing their finances. This might include a wide range of demands, such as investment planning, retirement planning, insurance, education, and so on. The most essential component of a CFP is to be a fiduciary for your assets, which means that they will act in your best interests.
CFPs get a more panoramic perspective of your finances than investment advisors. They frequently start by appraising your current money situation, including any cash, investments, or properties you have to calculate your net worth. They also survey your liabilities, such as mortgages or student loans.
They'll partner with you from this point forward to create a financial strategy that suits your needs. For example, if you're approaching retirement and you want to know how to manage your finances during those years, they'll develop a financial plan for you. They can even assist in creating a budget for your child who will be attending college.
A CFP is short for "certified financial planner." They are a type of financial advisor that has met certain requirements, such as an in-depth knowledge of financial planning. A CFP can be thought of as a step up from a financial advisor. In order to become a CFP, you have to meet some of the most difficult requirements in the industry.
Fiduciary Duty and CFP
All CFPs are required to follow the principle of fiduciary duty, which means that they must put your interests ahead of their own at all times. If one product brought them more money than another, but the latter was superior for you, they should suggest it.
A CFP's fiduciary duty is outlined by the CFP Board and reads, "At all times when giving financial advice to a client, a CFP professional must act as a fiduciary and therefore act in the best interests of the client." The Board then notes that three fiduciary responsibilities must be fulfilled. These are (1) the duty of loyalty, (2) the duty of care, and (3) the obligation to comply with client instructions.
CFP vs. CFA
Although a certified financial planner (CFP) and a chartered financial analyst (CFA) may sound the same, they are in fact different certifications with unique job functions and clients. A CFP typically works with individuals, often retail clients, aiding them in reaching their financial goals. This may include assistance with investing and retirement planning.
CFA's provide investment analysis for corporations, with a focus on financial reporting, portfolio management and analysing trade options such as derivatives. They often work for investment banks or hedge funds and are responsible for helping out with mergers and acquistions.
When Do You Need a CFP?
If you're not well-versed in financial products and tax law, you might need a CFP (certified financial planner) to help you reach your desired monetary goals. A CFP can be useful for managing different financial aspects like investments, estates, and retirement if you need help making large-scale decisions. A CFP is someone with a greater level of experience than a non-designated financial adviser, indicating their expertise in financial planning.