Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Anyone can use the title “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP certification trademarks which represent a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism. And because they are held to a fiduciary standard of care, a CFP professional is required to act in your best interest.

As a consumer, it’s important to understand the difference. Allow me to take this opportunity to explain why.

I have earned the right to call myself a CFP® professional because I have voluntarily agreed to meet rigorous education, examination and experience standards. I participate in ongoing professional education. And, I follow a strict code of professional ethics and standards of practice.

The standards I adhere to are promulgated and enforced by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. CFP Board refers to these standards as “the 4Es.”

  • Education. I completed an education requirement to demonstrate to CFP Board that I have the theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge to practice personal financial planning. In addition, every two years, I complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education to stay current with developments in the field.

  • Examination. I passed an exam administered by CFP Board to test my understanding of the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits, retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.

  • Experience. Before earning the CFP® certification, I fulfilled a minimum of three years’ experience in the financial planning process.

  • Ethics. I agree to abide by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. The Code of Ethics requires CFP® certificants to act fairly and diligently, with integrity and objectivity, when providing financial planning services to clients. I also have agreed to submit to background checks by CFP Board and have promised to disclose any investigation or legal proceedings related to my professional or business conduct.

If you are looking for a measure of a financial planner’s commitment to ethical behavior and adherence to high professional standards … if you are looking for a financial planner who will put you and your needs first. 

It’s never too early and never too late to take charge of your financial future. To learn more, call me at (931) 337-1458 or Chris@PWAplanner.com. I will be pleased to meet with you to answer your questions.

Click on the picture to view:   CFP Board: Guide To Financial Self-Defense