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Nov 3, 2009 12:02 pm

I am currently looking into getting my CFP.


I run an office in a small town of about 10,000 with 1 other competitor who has been in the business for 20 more years than I. I thought that getting a CFP would help me differentiate myself from him as we are both Edward Jones advisors.


Has anyone gotten their CFP and successfully marketed the education? Has it brought in new business? Anyone thought it was a waste of time?
 
Thanks.
Nov 3, 2009 12:15 pm

I don't see the point if you are against a guy with the same stuff.. I think it would be different if you were against a person with a different platform.

 
Might help with the other letter crowd(CPA,JD etc).
Nov 3, 2009 1:23 pm

MY opinion is that it helps with the lettered crowd a great deal (I have been told this specifically by some professionals), but only a small amount with the public.  So if the plan is to develop several relationships with professionals, it can only help.  However, if you are just going after "five-and-dime" business, and won't have many professional referral sources, don't bother.

Nov 3, 2009 3:14 pm

Anyone on here have a CFP

Nov 3, 2009 3:58 pm

Nope but a friend of mine does. He said it helps creates instant credibility with Letter people other than that people don't care.

Nov 3, 2009 5:01 pm

I hear ICA performs much better if you are a CFP....hey wait a sec....awwww I couldn't resist! 

Nov 3, 2009 9:13 pm

I think it is worth it, but you have to be all in or its a waste of time.  You don't want to spend all the time and money and not be able to pass the board exam.  Like others have said some people will care, some will not, but like anything in this business you have to sell it to people.  If you are in a competitive situation you can check if the other guy has it and leverage that in your presentation an why its important, all it takes is a few million dollar accounts a year extra to make it well worth it.  There are plenty of million dollar producers without it and plenty of struggling guys with it but I think it helps.  Sometimes the great sales guys don't think they need it while the intravert guy gets it, the sales guy will still get more business but if the sales guy got it also it would only help him. 

Nov 3, 2009 10:11 pm
BioFreeze:

Gay = CFP
Straight = No CFP
Piker = CFP
Producer = No CFP



What's gay about further enhancing your knowledge about our business? It really bugs me when people just knock it because they don't want to do it, which is fine as well.  Just don't knock others who actually want to expand their knowledge base. 

Nov 3, 2009 10:17 pm

And the argument of "I can research anything I need to lookup" doesn't
fly.  Bottom line, you don't know what you don't know.  Example . . . I
was sitting next to a broker who was in the business longer than me and
we were both opening accounts over the phone while he was opening an
IRA account for an existing client over the phone.  I just got off my
call and hear the tail end of his convo.  He asks for beneficiary
information and the guy couldn't come up with one, so the guy says
"Don't worry, I'll just name your estate as the beneficiary".  So he
just made an asset that that passes outside of probate now pass through
probate because he didn't know any better.  Again, you don't know what
you don't know.

Nov 4, 2009 1:23 am

I've had my CFP for a while, and it does come in handy occationally.  Most people don't ask, but I certainly tell.  I've had a couple competitive situations where I will ask the client to research what a CFP is and see why it makes sense to work with one.  It was a reasonably tough exam, but I figured I would knock it out before I got too old.  If you've got 10-30 years left in a career, there's no question it will pay for itself.

Nov 4, 2009 8:16 am

I think it's pretty fair to say it's not the $2000 for the cost of the exam; it's the lost productivity/lifestyle while taking it. The CFP-takers I know saw their numbers drop pretty significantly and were challenged by the information. Could Rankstocks put a number on that?

 
(FWIW, both the Jonesers I know significantly increased productivity. Coincidence or not.)
Nov 4, 2009 8:55 am

Here's my take - the people that I know that have it have leveraged it.  One of my friends is the president of the local CFP chapter (or whatever it is called), he regularly teaches at the local college, and is often asked to guest lecture for local organizations.  He said it ALL come from his involvement in the CFP chapter (maybe the FPA?).  So it's not as if clients flock to him BECAUSE he has the CFP, it's that a lot of doors opened for him because he has it.

Look at it this way, who would be held in higher regard....the local CPA, or the "Tax Preparer" at H&R Block?  The "Tax Preparer" may actually do excellent work, but nobody will ever know unless they become a client.  Most people aren't going to the H&R Block "Tax Preparer" for advice and requesting him as a guest lecturer, etc.
Nov 4, 2009 8:56 am
rankstocks:

I've had my CFP for a while, and it does come in handy occationally.  Most people don't ask, but I certainly tell.  I've had a couple competitive situations where I will ask the client to research what a CFP is and see why it makes sense to work with one.  It was a reasonably tough exam, but I figured I would knock it out before I got too old.  If you've got 10-30 years left in a career, there's no question it will pay for itself.

 
Why does it make sense to work with one?(honestly).. And then based on your answer, does it matter if that advisor has no fiduciary responsibility..?
Nov 4, 2009 9:47 am
B24 - Your comment about how you use your CFP is really what I am thinking. If I can sell it as a very important piece of knowledge then I think it would be worth it.
I had a situation where I was in a competitive situation and the prospects asked if I was a CFP b/c another CFP that they meet with told them that they didn't have to work with him if they didn't like what he had to say but he advised them that they must work with a CFP and that was the basis of him getting the account.
 
I certainly don't want to pay for the courses and then not pass the test. What was the time committment like in study for those who have it?
Nov 4, 2009 9:54 am

No offense but I think you got out sold... The guy who was a cfp knows probably that in his area there are only so many CFPs, so why not use that as a line.

 
To my knowledge(looked into it briefly) there is an educational requirement(takes 1 year). Then you can take the test.. I might be wrong about that. Was also told by some people who have passed it that most of it is common sense in the beginning.
Nov 4, 2009 10:27 am
army13A:
BioFreeze:

Gay = CFP
Straight = No CFP
Piker = CFP
Producer = No CFP



What's gay about further enhancing your knowledge about our business? It really bugs me when people just knock it because they don't want to do it, which is fine as well.  Just don't knock others who actually want to expand their knowledge base. 


The knowledge is a good thing.   That's not the issue that non-CFP advisors have with the CFP.  Everyone is in favor of expanding one's knowledge base.  That's not the same as being in favor of the CFP.
Nov 4, 2009 10:30 am
army13A:

And the argument of "I can research anything I need to lookup" doesn't fly.  Bottom line, you don't know what you don't know.  Example . . . I was sitting next to a broker who was in the business longer than me and we were both opening accounts over the phone while he was opening an IRA account for an existing client over the phone.  I just got off my call and hear the tail end of his convo.  He asks for beneficiary information and the guy couldn't come up with one, so the guy says "Don't worry, I'll just name your estate as the beneficiary".  So he just made an asset that that passes outside of probate now pass through probate because he didn't know any better.  Again, you don't know what you don't know.


 
What makes you think that the guy doesn't know that?  Since his client doesn't care what happens when he dies, why should he care about probate?  If he ever does care, the beneficiary can be changed.
Nov 4, 2009 10:47 am
RealWorld:
B24 - Your comment about how you use your CFP is really what I am thinking. If I can sell it as a very important piece of knowledge then I think it would be worth it.
I had a situation where I was in a competitive situation and the prospects asked if I was a CFP b/c another CFP that they meet with told them that they didn't have to work with him if they didn't like what he had to say but he advised them that they must work with a CFP and that was the basis of him getting the account.
 
I certainly don't want to pay for the courses and then not pass the test. What was the time committment like in study for those who have it?

 
There is simply no question that you got outsold.   Every year, the CFP question comes up less often in my practice.  The last time that I was in the situation like you described, I think that my conversation went something like this:
 
Prospect: "Joe Schmoe says that I should work with a CFP if I don't work with him.  Are you a CFP?"
Me: "Heck no.  Do you know what a CFP allows Joe to do?"
Prospect: "No."
Me: "A CFP is a beginner's designation that gives the advisor the ability to do absolutely nothing.  It's done for marketing purposes."
Prospect:"But I thought that a CFP was needed to be certified to do financial planning."
Me: "Nope.  The CFP allows him to do nothing.   In order to be able to charge fees for financial planning, one must possess their series 65.  This is what gives someone the ability to do financial planning for a fee.  He's telling you to use a CFP because he knows that most veteran advisors like myself aren't willing to waste our time with a designation that neither helps us nor our clients.  It's all marketing."
Me: "What's your biggest financial concern?" (I then shut up.)
Nov 4, 2009 11:44 am
I am a CFP®.  The CFP® course work took me a year. I did take a hit in production of around $40,000.00. When I decided to study for the CFP®, I believed that the CFP® would NOT increase my production. I did believe that it would increase my knowledge. I was correct in my belief that the CFP® course work would increase my knowledge. As to increasing my production, the results are mixed. Most people (maybe 8 of 10) do not care if I have a CFP®. I have found that some people do care if I have a CFP®.  Several prospects that have became clients called me, because I am a CFP®. I have conservatively added around $2,500,000.00 in ADDITIONAL assets. So, in the end, the CFP® did pay for it self, but it did take a couple of years. In the end, the real value of a CFP® in the knowledge that you gain from studying for it. The increase of production may or may not come, but you will increase your knowledge of Financial Planning either way.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Nov 4, 2009 12:07 pm

I just want the little ® by my name.