What is a Certified Financial Planner? You Should be Working with a CFP Professional

What is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

A Certified Financial Planner is someone who has been granted the right to use the CFP professional designation by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) of Canada. The FPSC grants individuals the right to use the CFP designation after they have completed a rigorous educational program and successfully passed several in depth exams. The CFP program is designed to be taken over the course of two years while working full-time.

Why is this relevant to you?

When you work with a CFP professional, you can take comfort in knowing that they have met a standard of excellence in their profession that sets them apart from their peers in the industry. You can trust that they are knowledgable and will put your interests first and foremost. There are lots of people who operate in the financial services industry with no qualifications at all. When you work with a CFP you know you’re getting someone who knows their stuff.

What is involved in getting the CFP designation?

There are four courses that you must take that cover a wide range of topics including law, finance, tax, economics, insurance, estate planning, investment options, and more.

After successfully completing the four courses, you are then eligible to write the first exam. This is a multiple choice and short answer exam that covers the full curriculum covered during the four courses.

After the first exam, you must then complete a capstone course that involves writing a full financial plan for a hypothetical family. In my case, the final assignment came in at 56 pages long.

The last step is a case exam that involves reading a series of cases and answering multiple choice and short answer questions that require not just the knowledge gained over the previous two years, but the ability to apply the knowledge to real life scenarios.

The CFP program is a great program, but not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of work. At Red Seal Financial Ltd., we are proud of the fact that both Dawn Vader and David Lord have successfully completed this program and have the expertise to assist you with your personal and business financial planning needs.

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