The Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)
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) in the United States, and by 25 other organizations affiliated with Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), 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.The information relates specifically to CFP® certification in the United States. In the UK, the CFP® licence is available to financial planners through membership of the Institute of Financial Planning.
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. 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.  As a first step to the present CFP® certification criteria, students must master a fairly rudimentary list of approximately 100 topics on financial planning. 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
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