How to Become a Certified Financial Planner (CPF)?

How to become a CFP professional? If YES, here’s a guide on how to do it with no experience.

A financial planner is a practitioner who prepares financial plans for people that cover various aspects of personal finance such as cash flow, education, retirement, insurance, taxation, and estate planning.

Financial planners are tasked with using their skills and wealth of knowledge to help their clients formulate a specific financial plan in a way that will ensure they achieve their long-term financial goals. In other words, to help their clients plan for their future, the financial planner must first analyze some aspects of the client’s current financial condition, such as their condition, financial resources, lifestyle, preferences and goals.

Features of a good financial planner

  • You are good at finance: You must understand finance, debt, insurance, investment, and other complex financial concepts;
  • You are good with people: As a financial planner, you must communicate well with people because you will be helping them to consolidate their financial lives;
  • You are able to understand complex financial documents;
  • You have good knowledge of financial products;
  • You have excellent presentation skills.

To become a financial planner, you must first have a bachelor’s degree in fields such as accounting, finance, economics, or business. Of course, earning a degree in any of these areas is not a legal requirement, however, employers prefer to hire someone who has a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) title as well as a degree.

To work effectively as a financial planner, you first need to find out if you have the skills, interests, and personality traits that are appropriate for this career. Here are a few traits that you must possess if you are going to become a financial planner:

  1. You have a desire to help people prepare for their financial future;
  2. You enjoy meeting new people;
  3. You enjoy getting to know your customers’ needs and desires;
  4. You are interested in giving people advice and guidance;
  5. You want to enter the professional field with unlimited earning potential;
  6. You can understand complex financial documents such as wills, insurance policies and financial statements;
  7. You respect customer privacy.

Educational requirements needed to become a financial planner

The educational requirements required to become a financial planner (certified and otherwise) vary from state to state and even from employer to employer. Technically, it is possible to become a financial planner without any degree and without certification, although those who are serious about pursuing a career in financial planning will definitely get a certification due to the many additional benefits.

To become a Certified Financial Planner in the United States of America, you will need a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university (accreditation must be recognized by the US Department of Education at the time the degree is awarded).

There are no specifications as to what area the degree should be from, but a degree in areas such as accounting, finance, economics, business, or mathematics is highly applicable to a financial planning career.

Next, you will have to work in financial planning for at least three years in a full-time position that will put you in direct contact with financial planning by assisting an already established financial planner or financial planning instructor in an academic setting.

How to get a financial planner certificate?

When you achieve this, you will have to take the CFP exam. This exam can be taken three times a year, usually in March, July and November, and it can be recorded at over 50 test centers in different locations throughout the United States of America.

Alternatively, when you earned a PhD in business, economics, or business management, became a licensed attorney, or became a certified government accountant, chartered financial advisor, or chartered life insurer.

You can then apply for the CFP Board Certification Exam under Call Status. This means that while the training does not include the typical coursework that a blackboard requires, its content can be considered equivalent. If necessary, you can request a revision of the transcript of your previous education.

You must then complete a college-level “capstone” training course approved by the CFP Board to ensure that all professionals who intend to apply from other fields have the necessary knowledge to act competently as a CFP.

What is the average income of a financial planner?

According to data compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor, the average salary of American workers in a personal financial advisor employment group is about $67,520 per year. So how do financial planners earn money?

How do financial planners make money?

  • Commission: This commission is charged for carrying out certain transactions. When a financial planner sells a stock, bond, mutual fund, insurance plan, they get a percentage of that sale. This percentage varies by product;
  • Fixed fee: This is where you simply pay a flat fee for the advice you give your customers;
  • Management fee. You can also charge a specific fee for the amount you manage for your client. This fee is usually around one percent of the total money you manage;
  • Base salary: Planners can also pay monthly salaries to their employers (possibly along with a commission or bonus structure in addition to the base salary).

Many financial planners work on a full-time or contract basis in large firms and organizations such as banks. On the other hand, financial planners may also be hired by small financial planners or may even be self-employed. Here is a list of organizations that need the services of a financial planner:

  • banks;
  • trust companies;
  • insurance agencies;
  • brokerage houses;
  • law firms;
  • accounting firms;
  • self-employed;
  • mutual fund companies.

In conclusion, considering all the stages of becoming a CFP, some people may be overwhelmed by the whole process. Here are the steps you can take today to make your goals a reality:

  • Take a financial planner to lunch and ask him/her some questions like if they enjoy their job, how long it took them to become a financial planner, what is their average day, etc .;
  • Sign up for courses in finance, investment, banking or economics to start learning the basics;
  • Do an internship with an investment banker brokerage firm. It will teach you financial terminology and operations and allow you to gain work experience.

How hard is a CFP exam?

Most students that have taken the certified financial planner (CFP) board exam say that passing the CFP exam is difficult and case studies are the most difficult and important portion of the test. The exam lasts six hours, with 2 three-hour sessions that have a 40-minute break between them.

How long to study for CFP?

To become a Certified Financial Planner, you must have a bachelor’s degree, complete a CFB registered course, gain three years of experience as a financial advisor, and pass a certification exam.

Can you be a financial planner without a degree?

While a bachelor’s degree in finance is a standard prerequisite for applying for a financial management position, there are several steps you can take to get the career you want without a degree that employers might require. The key to success in the financial industry isn’t always an advanced degree but a relentless work ethic.

Is it difficult to be a financial planner?

The future is pretty bright. Successful financial planners pursue careers that provide them not only with healthy income but also self-fulfillment. Simply put, being a financial advisor is DIFFICULT. If you’re looking for an easy career where you can just sit back and relax, forget about it.

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