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I Have the CFP®, Now What?

220px-Cliff_Clavin_in_CheersThis week, several anxious individuals will sit in front of a computer screen at a testing center and will answer 170 questions over a six hour span. These folks are sitting for the national CFP® exam that’s given every March, July, and November. Question topics range from life insurance and annuities to taxation, investment planning, estate planning and ethics. Successful exams takers will be allowed to use the prestigious marks (assuming all other requirements are met).

If you’re one of these folks – first of all congratulations! You put in a lot of hard work, studying, and relinquished personal time in order to be successful. You should be proud. But I would also encourage you to not fall to the temptation of thinking, “you’ve made it.” In other words, I hope the exam has taught you that there’s so much we don’t know as planners and the CFP®  is merely a stepping stone (albeit a big one) in our career as financial planners.

What I mean is that you should continue to put in the effort and strive to be successful in acquiring more knowledge that complements or goes above what your CFP® studies taught you. Don’t be afraid to earn other designations such as the ChFC® and CLU® or to become more specialized in a field such as taxation by becoming an Enrolled Agent or CPA. There’s nothing holding you back from earning a Master’s degree or law degree.

The point is that once you’ve gotten this far, don’t settle. We owe it to our clients, or colleagues and the industry to hold ourselves out as professionals that are continually striving to make our profession and clients better off – and that can only come with more knowledge.

Again, congratulations! Now the real work begins.

4 Comments

  1. Anne says:

    Thanks for the information: I did some research on “My Father’s CFN””Interesting”; I found I can “verify the credentials with various websites”; thank-you.! @

  2. Steve says:

    Unfortunately the average investor thinks a CFP is an investing guru, and learns the hard way that they are not. Lots of brokers become CFP’s for the title. It’s too bad there’s not a description of what the CFP is not, as opposed to the generalization of what it is.

    1. sraskie says:

      Thanks, Steve. Certainly a starting point to build off of.

    2. Frank says:

      Unfortunately the average investor can’t differentiate between most “advisors”.

      Congratulations are in order for anyone who has taken the time and effort to improve themselves professionally.

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