The Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP® Board)[1] in the United States, and by 25 other organizations affiliated with Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB),[2] the international owner of the CFP® mark outside of the United States.

To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing certification fee.[3] The information relates specifically to CFP® certification in the United States.[4] In the UK, the CFP® licence is available to financial planners through membership of the Institute of Financial Planning.[5]

To earn the CFP® Board designation, candidates in the United States must meet several requirements—the first of which is the educational requirement, which requires candidates to have a bachelor's degree (or higher), or its equivalent in any discipline, from an accredited college or university.[6]  The bachelor's degree requirement in the United States may be completed after passing the CFP® exam (within five years) and is also not a requirement to be eligible to take the CFP® Board Certification Examination. [1] As a first step to the present CFP® certification criteria, students must master a fairly rudimentary list of approximately 100 topics on financial planning.[7] The curriculum taught must be the equivalent of 18 semester credit hours (e.g. 6 courses). The topics cover major planning areas such as:

  • General Principles of Finance and Financial Planning
  • Insurance Planning
  • Employee Benefits Planning
  • Investment and Securities Planning
  • State and Federal Income Tax Planning
  • Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Transfer Tax Planning
  • Asset Protection Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial planning and consulting

www.cfp.net

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