Why Choose a Certified Financial Planner®

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) is a financial advisor with extensive education and training in personal financial planning.

The certification is awarded only to Financial Advisors who meet specified experience, education, and examination requirements and are held to the ethical standards established by the CFP® Board.

What Does a CFP® Do?

Financial Advisors certified by the CFP® Board are able to address their clients' comprehensive financial planning needs through their extensive training in investment planning, income planning, tax planning and minimization, risk management, and estate planning.

Every area of financial planning has potential tax implications. With a CFP® you can be assured that these tax issues will be integrated in your financial plan for maximum results.

Some Areas in Which Your CFP® May Offer Services:

Taxes: As financial advisors CFP®s have the education and training needed to evaluate financial decisions and can help their client reduce and minimize their current and future tax liability.

Investments: A CFP® can provide information on the investments you have, and advise changes that will be in your best interest, based on your financial goals.

Estate Planning: A CFP® can assist in enhancing your estate value, conserving existing assets, minimizing estate and other transfer taxes, and facilitating the transfer of your assets to your heirs or charitable organizations.

Retirement Planning: A CFP® can help you identify your retirement goals and establish a plan to maximize your income for a comfortable retirement.

Risk Management: A CFP® can offer expertise in risk management, including strategies involving life and long-term care insurance, and liability coverage.

While addressing these needs, it is important to understand the standard of care to which an Investment Advisor Representative, CFP® is held.

As Investment Advisor Representatives they must provide a fiduciary standard of care as defined by the securities regulations. Penalties for noncompliance can include the loss of Investment Advisor Representative license, registration and/or other significant penalties and sanctions.

What Are The Requirements For Becoming a CFP®?

In order to obtain the CFP® certification, an applicant must:

  • Be a practicing financial advisor
  • Complete the approved educational requirements, either in the form of approved college or university curriculums, or other by obtaining the equivalent education through professional designations.
  • Pass a comprehensive financial planning exam administrated by the CFP® Board.
  • Have at least two years of financial planning business experience.
  • Agree to be bound by the CPF Standards of Professional Conduct.

How Is a CFP® Compensated?

Many Financial Advisor with the CFP® certification, when acting as Investment Advisor Representative through a Registered Investment Advisor use a fee-based approach.

The CFP® Code of Professional Conduct requires a CFP® to act with integrity, objectivity, due care, and competence to disclose any conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict exists) to maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the client any commission or referral fees; and serve the public interest when providing financial services. You can review the code at www.CFP®.net.

How Can a CFP® Help You?

A Financial Advisor with the CFP® designation, often a registered as Investment Advisor Representatives will help you by taking a holistic approach to your financial planning process. No recommendation is made without considering the impact on all of your financial goals. He or she can help you control expenses and develop and implement a plan for retirement, and wealth protection. He or she can also offer advice in tax planning and asset management. Specifically, a CFP® can help you:

  • Establish financial and personal goals through objective analysis of your situation
  • Evaluate your financial well-being through a thorough analysis of your assets, income, liabilities, taxes, investments, and insurance
  • Identify areas of concern and help you address them with a suitable plan that emphasizes your financial strengths while reducing your financial weaknesses
  • Establish plans to effectively transfer accumulated wealth to either successive generations or charitable organizations.
  • Review your plan periodically to accommodate your changing personal circumstances and financial goals.

The relationship you establish with your financial professional is a very personal one. For it to be effective, you must to be comfortable sharing many details of your financial and family life.

An Investment Advisor Representative is one of the trusted advisors for individuals and their closely held businesses. Combine this, with the expertise evidenced by the CFP® designation, and you should feel comfortable that your CFP® professional will be able to work hard for you and your family's best interests for years to come.

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