Anyone can call themselves a financial advisor. Only those who have met the CFP Board's high standards for certification can call themselves a CFP® professional. CFP® professionals went through CFP Board Registered Program courses that cover the 8 Principal Knowledge Domains with 70 topic areas in total, which are assessed on the exam that they must master to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. These topic categories comprise the major areas of personal financial planning including:
1. Professional Conduct and Regulation
2. General Principles of Financial Planning
3. Risk Management and Insurance Planning
4. Investment Planning
5. Tax Planning
6. Retirement Savings and Income Planning
7. Estate Planning
8. Psychology of Financial Planning
Before candidates can take the exam, they are required to pass the Capstone Course, during which the candidates develop and present a comprehensive financial plan in the same way as they would for their clients. This is to ensure that CFP® professionals are able to apply the knowledge and skills they learned, and have the presentation and communication skills to effectively work with their clients.
Finally, candidates for CFP® certification must pass a 6-hour CFP® exam. The exam tests candidates’ ability to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations. This comprehensive exam ensures CFP® professionals are highly qualified to develop a holistic comprehensive plan for their clients' finances.
Lastly, to verify if your advisor is a CFP® professional, use this link and search for your advisor’s name to look up their record. Of course, if you put in my name (Jiayi Xu), my information will pop up too!
To learn more about what financial planning services I could provide to you as a CFP® professional, take a look at the “Services” page of our website.