5 Reasons You Should Work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFPⓇ)

Are all financial advisors the same? The obvious answer to this question is no, but many aren’t sure what makes them different, and, consequently, they aren’t sure which advisor to choose. You’ll notice that many planners have the letters CFP behind their names. And, while you might know that CFP stands for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, you may not know what sets that person apart from others who don’t hold this credential. To help you choose, here are five reasons to work with a CFP

1. They have the education to back up their strategies.

When hiring a CFP, you know that your advisor has the education to back up their skills. Your CFP is required to have a four-year degree from an accredited institution—if not when they sit for the exam, then they must complete their degree within five years of passing. In addition, those who wish to have the title of CFP must complete five courses in areas of financial planning, tax planning, estate planning, risk management, and financial plan development.

A CFP has studied for years to learn how to build a comprehensive financial plan that fits each of their unique clients. When you see those letters behind a planner’s name, you know that they’ve put in the time and effort to help give you quality results.

2. They passed a rigorous exam.

Passing the CFP exam is no small feat. Planners must sit for a day-long exam that covers a wide range of financial planning topics. It goes beyond the CFP coursework to test the planner’s ability to apply their knowledge to real-life scenarios—a much more rigorous format than a simple multiple-choice test.

The pass rate of this exam is between 55% and 60%, illustrating that those who pass have put countless hours of studying, shadowing, and research into reaching this goal.

3. They’ve put in the time.

Your CFP has put a lot of time into learning their trade—4,000 to 6,000 hours to be exact. They can go about this in two ways: the apprenticeship pathway or the standard pathway. With the apprenticeship pathway, the candidate must earn 4,000 hours working directly under a CFP professional, which must be thoroughly documented. As for the standard pathway, the candidate must earn 6,000 hours of qualifying experience in an approved setting.

This experience is yet another example of how your CFP has put in the time to learn everything they can about how to best serve you and your financial future. They have spent time working with financial planners on all types of financial challenges and plans for all types of clients. 

4. They have ethical standards.

Southwestern Investment Group is a company that follows the fiduciary standard when creating financial plans. This means that we act in our clients’ best interests, no matter what. The same goes for CFPs. They are sworn to keep your best interests in mind while also following a stringent set of standards outlined by the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct handbook. Finally, a CFP must undergo a thorough criminal and career background check prior to being awarded the certification.

5. They are dedicated to your success.

Your CFP put in a minimum of 4,000 hours of work, studied long hours for their exam, passed the exam as well as a criminal and professional background check, and they’ve finally received their certification. You can rest assured that this person has the qualifications and the understanding you’re looking for to handle one of the most sensitive areas of your life—your finances. 

Ready to discuss your future with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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