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Apr 4, 2008 1:43 am

Is CFP certification important to a FA career?

Apr 4, 2008 1:59 am

Apr 4, 2008 2:04 am

CFP Certification?  No.

  The knowledge required to obtain the CFP certification?  Absolutely.   You may also want to check out ChFC and RFC.   The CFP's advantage is that it is the most widely known among CPAs and Attorneys.  If a CPA and Attorney were to become a financial advisor, they would become a CFP.   For me, I find the CFP organization to be "all about them".  They want to be an SRO and they are - to those who volunteer themselves to be subject to them.   Insurance agents (in general) become a ChFC as the coursework counts towards completing the CLU requirements.   No one knows what a ChFC is.  The American College is an educational institution, not a marketing company.  They really dropped the ball in the marketing department.   RFC is not nearly as well known, but it stands out as an association that requires a significant amount of CE (40 hours every YEAR), in addition to meeting requirements of Education, Ethics, Experience, Examination, Licensing, Integrity.   I find the RFC a refreshing association to belong to.  They have top-notch marketing materials that really help to showcase the ADVISOR, not the certification.  They use the certification as a mark of what kind of advisor you are.   Check out this message about the history of the financial planning industry and evolution.  It's about an hour long, but you'll find it to be very enlightening.   Probably a longer answer than you were looking for, but I hope it helps!
Apr 4, 2008 2:05 am

Ditto, may make you feel better about yourself.  CFP will make a difference of no more than 2% of your AUM.  You will use enough time getting it to, take 5% of your AUM.  It is good to have only if you want it.  (I have it, but only because I was able to challenge the exam.)  I wouldn't have wasted time taking all of those classes. 

Now, if you are over 5 yrs in the business, and successful, you have more time and may desire to get it.  Otherwise don't bother.
Apr 4, 2008 3:57 am

Apr 4, 2008 11:49 am

Thank you all for your comments.

<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> The reason I asked was I read an article recently that said that attorneys preferred to work with CFP's when qualifying high value trusts etc.  Another network to exploit!

and thank you JOEDABRKR for saying you were being sarcastic in your previous post.

 (I dismissed your comment as being idiotic anyway! LOL)

Apr 4, 2008 12:05 pm

I find that the subject almost never comes up.  I get asked about it less than 6 times a year.   The knowledge is extremely important,  but I can’t see the extra letters after your name making much of a difference.   I work with a handful of guys who are earning $1,000,000 + and none of those guys have it.  What they do all have in common, though, is a great work ethic, strong personal ethics, and tons of knowledge. 

  My suggestion would be to get it, but don't let getting it interfere with building your business.
Apr 4, 2008 12:18 pm


I may have been harsh but I asked a simple question and I received a simple answer not one that was a considered answer. I would expect a FA to be well rounded in their response .. so JOEABRKR redeemed himself by saying he was being sarcastic in the first place!   Questions often reveal the inner soul of those who reply and those who ask!
Apr 4, 2008 12:42 pm


  I have to agree with iceco1d.  Joe's first response was accurate.    His sarcasm didn't show through because he wrote a true statement.   Joe is a new CFP and it would not surprise me if getting the CFP has really increased his business.   There is no way to prove this, but I bet his increased business has come from the confidence and knowledge of getting the CFP as opposed to the simple fact of possessing the CFP.
Apr 4, 2008 12:57 pm


  in answer to you post ..... Your answer is precisely what I was getting at " Knowledge is Power"  and Joe is powerful and sarcastic ..LOL loose the sarcasim and he will be more powerful   Experience is just as powerful! I agree!          
Apr 4, 2008 1:03 pm
If you want some real respect, here's the accreditation you should strive for.   Monroe accepted into Society of Certified Senior Advisors
Trae Monroe The Society of Certified Senior Advisors recently accepted Trae Monroe of Advanced Financial Services for membership, after he passed exams to be recognized as a certified senior advisor.

As a CSA, Monroe has been educated to understand the social, medical, legal and financial issues facing people over the age of 60. The Society was formed 10 years ago by doctors, lawyers and financial professionals who work exclusively with seniors.

Monroe has been employed at Advanced Financial services for eight years.

Apr 4, 2008 3:43 pm

Apr 4, 2008 3:55 pm


in answer to you post ..... Your answer is precisely what I was getting at " Knowledge is Power"  and Joe is powerful and sarcastic ..LOL loose the sarcasim and he will be more powerful   Experience is just as powerful! I agree!  [/quote]

Do you really think it wise to ask a question and then criticize someone who is willing to help you by sharing experience and knowledge you lack?
Apr 4, 2008 3:55 pm

I’m not saying it isn’t important, however, lots of guys like to blame their lack of sales skills and ability to get clients on their “non-CFP” status.  Their is no guarantee that its going to bring you more business if you don’t know how to close. 

Apr 4, 2008 4:09 pm

The CFP, reading several good books on asset allocation, creating retirement income, or estate planning, learning a new way to cast an old thing - they’re all relationship deepeners.

In my mind we have three jobs we do. 1 - We get new clients. 2 - We retain previous clients. 3 - We stay compliant.

The CFP will not help you with the first as this is just a numbers game. It may lower the number of calls you make by a little bit, but it’s really not much help.

Neither will it help you with the third as compliance is all about documentation. You just gotta do it.

It’s a huge help in retaining clients, though, because the knowledge helps you deepen and bulletproof your relationships. It also helps in closing. If you have the letters after your name people are more prone to think you know what you’re doing.

In short, for the CFP(or any knowledge, really) to be useful, you have to have clients first!

(This is what Joe would have originally written had he not been late for his daily siesta with his Russian mistress, Olga.)

Apr 4, 2008 4:41 pm

Not leaning either way, but I read an interesting article aboutinancial planning/advising as a “profession”, versus simply being perceived as “salesmen”.  I think it was in Investment Advisor Mag.  The jist of the article was that our profession grew out of a sales background, where doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, etc. grew out of true “professions”.  In addition, we do not have a sovereign, sanctioning body that dictates financial planning rules like the Bar, the CPA, or medical profession.  We have the CFP, which is about the closest you come, but beyond the licensing exams and the NASD/NYSE/State insurance oversight, there is no real governing “industry” body that regulates how we operate.

  Two schools of thought: we need to be more consistent in the approach to "pricing" in our business - lawyers, accountants, etc. generally charge by the hour or fixed-fee for service.  They have no incentive to recommend certain products or services over others (well, this is debatable).  Also, clients and the public at-large have no idea who we are.  Are you a salesman?  Are you a planner?  Do you have incentives?  They have no idea what level of responsibility we have (ficuciary vs. standard of care).  They don't know all the financial incentives involved, nor do they know that there may be options (they may WANT to pay commissions instead of annual asset fees).   The other challenge we face is that we are not considered "necessary".  Most lawyers and CPA's have services that are mandatory (audits, legal docs, etc.) or too prohibitively difficult to do yourself (taxes, wills, trusts, etc.).  So they don't need to "sell" as much as us.  Because of the nature of our business, we have to spend years and years, perhaps forever, "selling".  Most CPA's I know can barely keep up with their workload.   It was an interesting article.  At the end of the day, I'm not sure that we will ever completely be free of the salesman perception and be considered a "profession".  Not until there is a sanctioning body and consistency in terms of "pricing".
Apr 4, 2008 4:50 pm

Apr 4, 2008 6:18 pm

The real reason Joe is much more successful now is NOT the fact that he recently got his CFP.  It's the fact that he got a fancy new office.  Now people take him seriously and figure that since he can write a rent check he can do financial planning!

Hey Joe, I thought that Russian place was closed?  All this time I've been driving by it and didn't realize it was THAT kind of place!  Now I understand the choice of office location. 
Apr 4, 2008 7:05 pm

Did you see Spitzer there?

Apr 8, 2008 1:30 am

I would think if your young (there for inexperienced) the CFP would help a little in terms of older clients/prospects trusting your judgments and recommendations.

The catch 22 would be if your young and building up your book, you don’t really have the time to study.