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What is a Certified Financial Planner™? Written by Sam Detke in Portland, Oregon Thumbnail

What is a Certified Financial Planner™? Written by Sam Detke in Portland, Oregon

After 425 hours of studying, I can now say I am a Certified Financial Planner™. Before embarking on the journey of studying I wanted to find out what is the CFP® designation and why should I get this certification. The CFP® certification for more than 30 years has been the standard of excellence for financial planners. CFP® professionals take a holistic personalized approach to bring all the pieces of your financial life together. The Certified Financial Planner certification is made up of four sections known as the 4 E’s of the CFP®, Education, Exam, Experience, Ethics. Education section has a 2-part requirement.

First, you must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college as well completing coursework in financial planning from a board-certified program. The coursework must be completed before you are able to sit for the exam Exam section you must pass a 170 question 6-hour test that tests not only your ability to recall information you have studied, but also apply your knowledge to real life client situations. Experience section requires you to complete either 6,000 hours of professional experience or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements. Ethics section is the final step in which you adhere to high ethical and professional standards and to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice meaning always putting their best interests first. Obtaining the CFP® certification has been my biggest career accomplishment and I look forward to continuing to learn about financial planning and being able to showcase my knowledge to current and prospective clients.