How to Build a Successful Career with CFP Certification

by | Nov 2, 2015 | Financial Management

The need for personal financial planning expertise is greater than ever and CFP becomes the most desired designation for that purpose. A CFP certification differentiates your ability to understand, advice and provide value to your clients.

Personal financial planning has become increasingly vital with today’s complex rules, tax laws, and regulations.

Having a financial planner to develop one’s financial plan, can not only save our time and money; it can also help us to reach our long and short term goals.

Anyone can call themselves as “financial planner”.

But all financial planners are not “certified”, or they have no proof of ethical standards they maintain. That is why now a days clients seriously consider hiring a professional with the Certified Financial Planner designation.

A CFP professional is uniquely qualified to help individuals pull all their finances together, solve financial problems, and make a plan to achieve their financial goals.

Below are the requirements in process to become a CFP professional. More details on the 4E requirements can be found in both CFP Challenge Status and CFP Regular Pathway courses.

CFP Certification Requirements – (The Four E’s)

Education : A CA/Intermediate level, CFA (US), ICWA,AA CAIIB, CS, LLB, PhD, M. Phil, PG, Licentiate/Associate/ Fellowship of Life Insurance, Actuary, FFSI & FLMI from LOMA, Civil Service Examinations by UPSC

Experience: Minimum 3 years’ experience in the Financial Services industry in areas of Accounting, Banking, and PM, Insurance, Law, Retirement / Pension planning, Securities, Taxation & FP (or) 5 years in non-financial services industry.

Examination: CFP practitioners should pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP Certification Examination that tests the ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, employee benefits and retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.

Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.

Once certified, CFP practitioners are required to maintain technical competence and fulfill ethical obligations.

Every two years, they must complete a minimum 30 hours of continuing education to stay current with improvements in the financial planning profession and better serve clients. Two of these hours are spent studying or discussing CFP Board’s Code of Ethics or Practice Standards.

In addition to the periodic continuing education requirement, all CFP practitioners voluntarily disclose any public, civil, criminal or disciplinary actions that may have been taken against them during the previous two years as part of the renewal process.

6 Steps to Create a Financial Plan

  • Create a relationship with a client
  • Collect client data and develop financial goals
  • Examine and evaluate client’s financial status
  • Get recommendations reviewed by client
  • Implementation of recommendations
  • Benchmark progress against the financial goals client established

“To obtain financial planning success, only a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional can help clients reach their financial goals in better way.”

To learn more about what exactly financial planning is or to become certified planner you can enroll into CFP Challenge Status or CFP Regular Pathway course on

Satish Rajagopalan, CISA, ITIL Foundation
CEO & Founder at Spearhead EduOnline Pvt Ltd. (the company that owns and operates He holds a btech in Computer Science, an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship and a post graduation in Finance. Read More.

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