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Passed the CFP!

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Jan 10, 2008 2:53 am

[quote=Spaceman Spiff]

  I'm not trying to be funny or downplay your CFP accomplishment, but what are you doing as a CFP that's different than most other FA's?   I've tossed around the idea of starting the CFP, but the time it would take is stopping me.  I'd like to hear from those of you who have CFP on your biz card what you are doing that is different than the avg FA.  [/quote]

Honestly I've been so busy that not much has changed so far.  But it has changed the way some clients treat me, and some of them have come to me with issues(and assets) that they had not discussed with me in the past.

I have one client in particular who is an executive at a publicly traded firm in Silicon Valley.  He recently mentioned to me that as part of his benefit package he is allowed an annual reimbursement for financial planning and legal services...that perhaps now that I was "official" he would like to spend some of that allowance to explore some of the issues we'd touched upon in a more in-depth manner.

Also-I have recently applied for a program with my firm that will allow me to charge clients an hourly fee for consulting/advisory work that does not involve the sale or management of investments.  Having a professional certification(such as CFP) was one of the requirements to apply for that program.

And honestly I feel like I've only scratched the surface.  The certification is not magic, but it does open new doors.
Jan 10, 2008 3:40 am

I earned my CFP in 06’ through the AG Edwards 6 month spoon feeding process.  I simply added it to my card and corespondence.  Can’t say it changed anything much. However, I will point out how wide open you are to litigation if you have one.  You are now expected to analyze A-Z instead of uncovering the clients need and selling a solution.  I like pulling the CFP card in a competative situation. Other than that I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite me.

Jan 10, 2008 7:43 pm

I think like anything else you get out of it what you put into it.  If you get the designation just to put it on your card, I would argue that you aren’t going to see much out of it.  If you get the designation because you want to expand your knowledge and be able to further assist different clients in different situations, then the knowledge itself opens more doors.

  It certainly doesn't mean I'm going full-on estate planning, but I do feel comfortable asking the questions I need to point them in the right direction.  That is certainly something I can't say I felt comfortable with prior to going through the test and education requirement.
Jan 10, 2008 8:00 pm

Sounds like CFP certificants can advise prospects to never deal with an advisor who is without the designation.

Is this accruate?
Jan 13, 2008 12:43 am

Not sure about that, maybe someone else can comment.  I know plenty of good advisors that I would recommend if I had a conflict of interest that aren’t CFPs.

  Personally, I'm not one to ever speak badly or bash someone else in the business whether its deserved or not.  If anything, I think you run the risk of making the prospect / client feel belittled for their choice in previous advisor and thats not in anyone's best interest.
Jan 13, 2008 5:58 pm

I agree with Noggin and wickedriley, in that I find I am having different conversations with clients. I also am doing a better job of planning for clients retirement. I am finding that clients, at least the ones I work with and want to work with, appreciate that I can sit down with them with a yellow legal pad and an HP=12C, and in a short time tell them exactly what they need to do (in broad terms) to get the money they need to retire, in todays dollars, based on when they want to retire, what lifespan they want to use and other assumptions.

  Now before everyone starts getting their balls in an uproar, let me acknowledge that you dont have to be a CFP to know how to do that. But the reality is that most of the FA's I know, dont know how to do this, accounting for inflation, etc, without using their firms planning tools and using a boilerplate presentation with pie charts, lots of numbers, etc., which everyone uses. So I find the CFP is helping me differntiate myself when sitting with a prospect.  I can also talk about estate planning issues, and as someone else said, point them in the right direction,.   Another issue; My wirehouse is floating the idea of setting up a new platform, where we can charge a fee for financial plans. But it cant be a plan that any FA can run like the crap I referred to above. It would have to be more extensive, etc, the fee would be credited toward gross, and you would need to be a CFP to participate in the program. My guess is that this is in response to the CFP boards new code of ethics, that goes into effect in July. It would require all CFP's who do any type of planning to have a written agreement that defines the scope of services provided, among other things.  If this gets done, it wont be long before all wirehouses offer it, and it will change the face of our business. So there is a way the designation may help me.
Jan 18, 2008 8:31 pm

Congrats to everyone who Passed. I passed the Nov. exam as well. I am very very relieved.

Good luck to those who are taking it again.

May 29, 2008 2:35 pm

For those of you who have passed or failed the most recent CFP exam, how did you prepare for the exam?

  Did you take a review course or take the classes necessary to sit for the exam?  What is the best way to review?
May 29, 2008 2:42 pm

I advise all to take the web based Kaplan Live Review Course. You can listen to the courses over and over and over which helps for the exam.

May 29, 2008 8:42 pm

I would say being Indy has landed more accounts then my CFP designation.

Going through the CFP courses helped me learn in a unbiased way other then learning the hard way at the clients expense.