Obtaining CFP

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May 1, 2006 11:35 am

With the 3 years required work experience, can you still begin studying for the CFP and taking the tests, knowing that after three years you will meet the work reqirement?


You are fresh in the industry, first job, can you start your CFP, and do it at a 3 year pace?


What is the most common pace for the CFP? I have heard of the year crash course, but what do most do it in?

May 4, 2006 3:29 pm

I would probably be wrong but I think you have something like 18 months to pass the entire education period and then longer to take the test.  You can take a leave of absence or something like that if things come up and you need to stop for a while.

Personally, I took the classes, took the test and eventually just let the license lapse.  Contrary to what every CFP in the world will tell you, VERY VERY VERY few people care whether you have the CFP license.  If you are billing hourly I could see it as a requirement but if you are actually handling money and making financial decisions, nobody really gives a darn.

As for whether you can start the process now?  Heck yeah.  They don't care when you pay them money as long as you aren't behind.

And finally I would look closely at the rules and regulations of the CFP organization.  Your business model may not be allowed.  When I first took the classes the outgoing president and incoming president announced that commissions would eventually be banned.  They passed a rule requiring all clients to sign a form outlining the commission or fee being charged BEFORE you billed them.  Not sure if it is still in effect but it was obviously a way to make it impossible to charge commissions or a fee for assets under management.  When I complained they just said I should charge hourly.

May 4, 2006 6:50 pm

interesting post...that is the first time I have heard the CFP talked about in a negative sense...

May 4, 2006 7:28 pm

Just my opinion:


I would not recommend buying CFP study materials now, then waiting 3 years before getting certified. A lot can change in 3 years, possibly putting you at a disadvantage (info-wise) when taking the final. In my mind, it would be like buying Series 7 study materials now, then taking the 7 exam three years from now.


Ideally, the date of your purchase of study materials and taking the final should be as close together as feasibly possible.

May 4, 2006 11:20 pm

i am guessing that this is one year...the quickest you can get through all the material and then sit for the final?

May 4, 2006 11:35 pm

I just got through the academic portion it is 1 year. I take the exam in November.

May 4, 2006 11:45 pm

what would you estimate the total cost was? with books, tuition, etc...(breakdown if possible)

May 4, 2006 11:46 pm

that is a lot of material to go through in one year...18 months is probaby pushing it, to be honest, unless you're a very motivated student.

May 4, 2006 11:49 pm

Nog, you da man.  It sure as heck took me longer...but then, I'm a lazy student...

May 4, 2006 11:51 pm

My tuition was $3750, books are another 700-800 dollars. I am doing the Ken Zahn prep course which is highly recommended. That's another 900 dollars plus your hotel. You are really looking at about 6000 by the time you get adding it up. The worth of the designation lies in the coursework, not the designation in my mind. I am aware of so much more than I would without being exposed to the material. Good luck.

May 4, 2006 11:52 pm
Indyone:

Nog, you da man.  It sure as heck took me longer...but then, I'm a lazy student...


I haven't passed anything that counts yet.... Th only thing that counts is the 2 day exam.

May 21, 2006 4:36 pm

For the CFPs on the board, would you say that just doing the Review part for the examination is sufficient to pass?  I am a CPA who can waive the education requirement.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

May 21, 2006 5:26 pm

Yes, it is sufficient.  I started the coursework, did two of the five parts and then got bogged down and ultimately decided to just challenge (as a CPA) to get it done.  I used the review materials from the College of Financial Planning (arguably not the best, but adequate) and a Kier test bank and found the test relatively easy, and certainly easier than the test bank questions.

May 21, 2006 8:17 pm

I didn't challenge, but it doesn't surprise me to hear that a CPA could pass with just the review material.  Strangely enough, the "CFP don't matter" crowd seems to be composed mostly of people that don't have the designation.  Obviously it's not anywhere near the top of the list of the most important things to be viable or successful in this business.  However, when every newspaper and magazine says "find someone w/a CFP" in its article titled "how to find an advisor", it sure doesn't hurt.  I guess I like the fact that the avg broker doesn't care about getting it....it'll keep the #s down.  Beyond its obvious (to non-morons) educational benefit, it can be used as a marketing tool to show the commitment to the profession, etc...if you have $ and you meet with two people (and one has the CFP) who seem the same, which one you gonna pick?

May 21, 2006 8:31 pm

You can do th Ken Zahn 6 courses and the review class all in
6-8months...then take the 2 day final in the 9th.  The whole thing
done in 9 months.  As for the 3 years experience?  This is
just 1 of the requirements.  You can take the classes and pass the
test, then you will be certified as soon as you hit your 3 year mark
(we just had a POA that did this).  

May 23, 2006 5:42 pm
rightway:

You can do th Ken Zahn 6 courses and the review class all in 6-8months...then take the 2 day final in the 9th.  The whole thing done in 9 months.  As for the 3 years experience?  This is just 1 of the requirements.  You can take the classes and pass the test, then you will be certified as soon as you hit your 3 year mark (we just had a POA that did this).  


So, you can take the course and pass the exam in 9 months, and then wait the other 27 months to pass, and you will get the designation? (all assuming you start the course right when you enter the industry...)

May 24, 2006 9:41 am

Tentative,


The review course should be sufficient.  I challenged as a CFA and did 9 months of self study combined with a one week live review course and passed.  Both were from the College of Financial Planning.


I think that the CFP is a very valuable designation.  It is much more recognizable to clients than a CFA.  The FPA has done a great job promoting the designation compared to the CFA Institute.

May 24, 2006 4:42 pm
Boomer:
rightway:

You can do th Ken Zahn 6 courses and the review class all in 6-8months...then take the 2 day final in the 9th.  The whole thing done in 9 months.  As for the 3 years experience?  This is just 1 of the requirements.  You can take the classes and pass the test, then you will be certified as soon as you hit your 3 year mark (we just had a POA that did this).  


So, you can take the course and pass the exam in 9 months, and then wait the other 27 months to pass, and you will get the designation? (all assuming you start the course right when you enter the industry...)




So, what was the final thought on this? Can you take the course, pass the test, and just wait for the 3 years of experience to get checked off? Or do you have to wait to take the test after that?


May 24, 2006 7:25 pm
Boomer:
Boomer:

[quote=rightway]You can do th Ken Zahn 6 courses and the review
class all in 6-8months...then take the 2 day final in the 9th. 
The whole thing done in 9 months.  As for the 3 years
experience?  This is just 1 of the requirements.  You can
take the classes and pass the test, then you will be certified as soon
as you hit your 3 year mark (we just had a POA that did this).  
[/quote]


So, you can take the course and pass the exam in 9 months, and then
wait the other 27 months to pass, and you will get the designation?
(all assuming you start the course right when you enter the industry...)



So, what was the final thought on this? Can you take the course,
pass the test, and just wait for the 3 years of experience to get
checked off? Or do you have to wait to take the test after that?






Yes.  You do not have to wait the 3 years to take the test.  Check with the CFP board to get the details.

May 24, 2006 8:20 pm

If you can get the whole thing done in 9 months while building your business, then that is quite an accomplishment. I did the educational part and decided to wait until the November test to take it. I got a little burnt out....