Achieving your short-term and long-term goals requires far more than just managing investments.
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Why Work with a
Certified Financial Planner ProfessionalTM?
Most people think that all financial planners are “certified”, but this isn’t true. Anyone can call himself or herself a “financial planner.” Only those, however, who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks.
Individuals certified by the CFP Board have taken the extra step to demonstrate their professionalism by voluntarily submitting to the rigorous CFP® certification process that includes demanding education, examination, experience and ethical requirements. These standards are called “the four E’s”, and they are four important reasons why the financial planning practitioner you select should display the CFP® certification marks.
When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the following requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks.
CFP® Certification Requirements: the Four E's
CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board. Other options for satisfying the education component include submitting a transcript review or previous financial planning-related course work to the CFP Board for review and credit, or showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees.
CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
CFP® professionals must have three years’ minimum experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks. As a result, CFP® practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial planning knowledge.
As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. The CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.
How the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics Benefits You
Through the Code of Ethics, CFP® practitioners agree to act fairly and diligently when providing you with financial planning advice and services, putting your interests first. The Code of Ethics states that CFP® practitioners are to act with integrity, offering you professional services that are objective and based on your needs. They are required to provide you with information about their sources of compensation and conflicts of interest in writing.
Ongoing Certification Requirements
Once certified, CFP® practitioners are required to maintain technical competence and fulfill ethical obligations. Every two years, they must complete a minimum 30 hours of continuing education to stay current with developments in the financial planning profession and better serve clients. Two of these hours are spent studying or discussing the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics or Practice Standards. In addition to the biennial continuing education requirement, all CFP® practitioners voluntarily disclose any public, civil, criminal or disciplinary actions that may have been taken against them during the previous two years as part of the renewal process.
Winner’s Circle, a Barron’s research organization, produced the rankings based on data provided by over 4,000 individual advisors and their firms. Advisor data is confirmed via regulatory databases, cross-checks with securities firms and conversations with individual advisors. Among the factors considered for the rankings are assets under management, revenue that the advisors generate for their firms and the quality of their practices. Data points that relate to quality of practice include length of service, designations held, services beyond investments offered including estates and trusts, and an evaluation of each advisor’s regulatory record etc. Investment performance is not an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment picking abilities. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Barron’s is not affiliated with Raymond James. The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM). The FT then invited a list of just under 1,000 advisors to complete a survey used to obtain more information on the advisors practices. 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, experience, industry certifications and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant’s score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that’s roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James. Forbes' Top 200 Wealth Advisors' ranking based on a minimum of seven years experience and a quantitative and qualitative algorithm designed by SHOOK Research weighing factors such as revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience and best practices. This award is bestowed by an independent third party organization not affiliated with Raymond James.
Consolidated Planning Corporation is independent of Raymond James. Raymond James financial advisors may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every state. Investors outside of the United States are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this site. Contact your local Raymond James office for information and availability.