What is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)?

As the name suggests, financial planners help their clients, generally, individuals or business owners, reach their financial goals. To remain current with the latest investment strategies and products, financial planners must be serious about ongoing professional education.

Creating a Financial Plan
Financial planning establishes both personal and financial goals for a client. The process is a continuous one and requires taking stock of all a person’s existing resources, developing a plan to utilize them, and then systematically implementing the plan to achieve your short- and long-term goals.

A comprehensive financial plan is often composed of a number of financial assets in a person’s life, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Tax Planning
  • Employee Benefits
  • Insurance

Financial planning is a dynamic process. Financial goals may evolve over the years due to shifts in a client’s lifestyle or circumstances. That’s why a financial plan must be monitored and reviewed periodically so necessary adjustments can be made.

The Benefits of CFP Certification

Practically anyone can call themselves a financial planner of those who have met the rigorous requirements to earn the CFP designation can claim the title of a Certified Financial Planner.

CFP professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure their recommendations are always in the clients’ best interest. They are required to also have years of experience delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the CFP Exam.

Being a CFP holder can rapidly advance your career in financial planning. That’s because clients actively seek out of CFP professionals and they often bring with them larger portfolios of assets. CFP professionals also make more than general “financial planners”. In terms of CFP salaries, it varies greatly depending on where you live and work but Payscale pegs the U.S. national average salary for a Certified Financial Planner at close to $80,000.

Learn more about the CFP designation