Get my CFP First?

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Feb 4, 2012 9:22 am

Hello All,

26-Year-old recent college grad with no finance experience. I want to be a FA. 

I am considering taking all CFP courses and passing the CFP exam before getting my first FA job.


Feb 4, 2012 1:50 pm

Should I get an MBA and PhD before getting a job and experience? is a similar question many young people ask.   If you familiar with the CFP requirements, then you recognize that achievement of the credential requires experience.  My advice is if you want to get the credential - get some experience - then attempt the CFP.  This is for several reasons. First and foremost - the criteria for experience. Second  - the evolution of the certification.  The criteria have just changed; and people not grandfathered in will need to meet that criteria.  If you study now and then don't have the experience and try to take the exam when you do - the criteria may have changed.  Finally and related to the second point; the regulatory enviroment is in significant flux. 

Kicking and Taking...

Feb 6, 2012 3:30 pm

I'd actually see if I could do the job first.  A CFP won't help you sell and this is a 100% sales job for at least the first three years. Get a gig, build a book, get your CFP.  That is the only way to go, IMO.

Good luck!

Feb 6, 2012 4:04 pm

Element is correct.  With a 60%+ wash-out rate, why waste the time and money when odds are... you won't last.

Feb 11, 2012 3:47 pm

Takinggames is right.  There is an experience requirement for the CFP designation.  Here is the language from the CFP Board:

Work Experience Standards
Your work experience must comply with the following standards:

Three years full-time, or the equivalent part-time (2,000 hours equals one year full-time). Six months of experience must have been gained within 12 months of reporting your work experience. Experience may be gained up to 10 years before or up to five years after the exam date. The bachelor's degree and experience requirements must be fulfilled within five years of passing the CFP® Certification Examination. If these requirements are not completed within this time frame, your candidacy for CFP® Certification may be terminated. A one-time, three-year extension may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Requests for an extension should be sent to CFP Board by e-mail [email protected] or by fax to 202-379-2299.