Raising Twins While Becoming a CFP®
As the certificate above shows, I received my CFP designation in February of 2011. The reason why I went through the process of becoming a CFP is because I wanted to answer important and complex financial questions for my clients and increase their confidence in the plans we create. For me, becoming a CFP started when my wife was pregnant with twins. During the nearly three years of CFP prep I was starting my business, studying, taking exams and feeding a baby girl in each arm! I took my final exam and passed a couple of months before they turned two.
As more people call themselves “financial planners,” finding the right professional to address your financial planning needs isn’t always easy. Financial advisers come with a wide array of designations but only a few have high standards with rigorous exams and qualifications. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) is top on the list for advisors and should be sought out by consumers looking for an advisor.
Working with a CFP professional is an important first step toward reaching your financial goals. Among other requirements, a CFP must pass a series of 6 topic specific exams and then take a two-day comprehensive exam over all subject areas. They also must complete 4,000 hours of apprenticeship with a CFP or 6,000 hours of professional experience.
When all of the exam and experience requirements are met, a Certified Financial Planner will have additional knowledge and expertise to help address a range of planning needs, such as budgeting; saving for retirement; college savings; estate and tax planning; insurance and allocating or managing investments.
CFP professionals must act as fiduciaries, meaning they must put their clients’ best interests above their own. CFP practitioners also 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. The 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.
It is interesting to look back and think about the sacrifices my wife and I made during the years I was working at becoming a CFP. We leaned on each other, giving support where and when it was needed to get through many short nights of sleep. In the end, I am extremely happy I completed the requirements to become a CFP and have seen the benefits of sharing that knowledge and expertise with my clients.