CFP Timing

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May 16, 2007 8:33 pm

I am interested in obtaining my CFP designation.  I've only been in the business now for a year and I understand that I must have 3 years of experience to earn the designation.  Do you know if I can satisfy the education portion and take the exam prior to having logged the experience? 


Also, I live in CT and am considering a program at Fairfield Univ. for the education.  They have a program that is certified by the body that grants the destination.  It would cost about 5k to go through it.  Is it worth it?


Thanks for the input.

May 16, 2007 9:59 pm

not if it is going to reduce your production/prospecting.  your
first year should be all about prospecting and selling.  the
designation is nice to have, but i think the mistake some of us make is
thinking it will bump our production up just by having it.  just
my 2 cents.

May 16, 2007 10:38 pm
justcheckin:

I am interested in obtaining my CFP designation.  I've only been in the business now for a year and I understand that I must have 3 years of experience to earn the designation.  Do you know if I can satisfy the education portion and take the exam prior to having logged the experience?

Yes it is possible.  This information and much more is on the CFP website.  www.cfp.net .


Also, I live in CT and am considering a program at Fairfield Univ. for the education.  They have a program that is certified by the body that grants the destination.  It would cost about 5k to go through it.  Is it worth it?

It's not so much a question of being "worth it".  You MUST complete an educational component before sitting for the exam.  It is not an option unless you are an attorney, CPA, or carry certain other certifications that allow you to take the exam on a challenge basis.  Again, I suggest you look at their website as it is all there.

There is also plenty of information on the website about the many prep programs that you can take.  I am taking the online program through Boston Institute/Boston University, and have found it to be pretty good.

Unless you are single, running ahead of your firm's goals, and have few outside commitments, I'd suggest you might want to wait another year or two before starting on the CFP program.  In my experience it's no cakewalk.  Not impossible, but it does demand some prep time.


Thanks for the input.

May 17, 2007 12:31 pm

BTW, I agree with Joe. I have fulfilled the educational requirement last year and will take the test in November. There is a big requirement for prep time which will impact your business if you aren't very careful.

May 17, 2007 4:55 pm

your priority for the next 3yrs is building a large book of business. studying for the cfp now will distract you from that. and you'll get more out of the cfp having been in the biz for awhile.


Jun 12, 2007 1:19 am

One of the frustrating things about this business, which is also one of the things that keeps it interesting is the enormous range of problems your clients need you to solve.  The training involved with the CFP or ChFC is extremely helpful as you build credibility with your clients.  For that reason it makes sense to get the training and the credential.  That said, the opportunity cost for this education at this stage of your career is much higher than $5k.  First build your business then, when you have a hope of being self sustaining, get all the training you can absorb.

Jun 12, 2007 12:47 pm

In my opinion the best thing to do is do an internship, take the CFP courses then, and then sit for the test a year or two later. The internship will give you experience to help with the courses while not being in official production and it will also offset the 36 month work requirement.

Jun 12, 2007 3:44 pm

I would like to get my CFP but the only think holding me back is that I don't have the time.  When I get home from work, I only have 1-2 hours to spend with my wife and kids then I pass out.


I'm curious how the other working professionals here find the time to study and take the course?




Jun 12, 2007 4:03 pm
Mike Damone:

I would like to get my CFP but the only think holding me back is that I don't have the time.  When I get home from work, I only have 1-2 hours to spend with my wife and kids then I pass out.


I'm curious how the other working professionals here find the time to study and take the course?






I study 3-4 nights a week after the kids go to bed.  Usually I study for about 2 hours, and on some nights when I'm feeling extra energetic or productive 3-4 hours.

I also try to put in a few hours every other Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

I also take either my books or my laptop with me on the occasional business trip, and instead of going out for drinks with the boys I stay in my hotel room and take advantage of being away from the kids and household chores.

Finally, I spend most lunches(if I don't have a meeting) reviewing material from the courses.  Now and then I steal a little time from work if I feel like I'm caught up on my 'to do' list.

It's not easy.  You have to decide that you really want to do it, and then work it hard.

Jun 12, 2007 4:10 pm
joedabrkr:
Mike Damone:

I would like to get my CFP but the only think holding me back is that I don't have the time.  When I get home from work, I only have 1-2 hours to spend with my wife and kids then I pass out.


I'm curious how the other working professionals here find the time to study and take the course?






I study 3-4 nights a week after the kids go to bed.  Usually I study for about 2 hours, and on some nights when I'm feeling extra energetic or productive 3-4 hours.

I also try to put in a few hours every other Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

I also take either my books or my laptop with me on the occasional business trip, and instead of going out for drinks with the boys I stay in my hotel room and take advantage of being away from the kids and household chores.

Finally, I spend most lunches(if I don't have a meeting) reviewing material from the courses.  Now and then I steal a little time from work if I feel like I'm caught up on my 'to do' list.

It's not easy.  You have to decide that you really want to do it, and then work it hard.



I've also pretty much sworn off wholesaler meetings.  That frees up a lot of time and usually they're a complete waste of time anyway.  I am telling them to call me back in August.