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FP CAREER RESOURCES — CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ PROFESSIONAL

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Updated June 15, 2024

I. CFP® PROFESSIONAL OVERVIEW

  1. "Financial Planning as a Career" — "Too many young people think that being a CFP® professional means poring over complicated spreadsheets, working inflexible hours or that the career is meant for only a specific type of person and lifestyle. Help us show what being a CFP® pro really looks like."

  2. "How to Become a CFP® Professional" — "With financial advising projected to be one of the top 10 fastest growing occupations, getting your CFP® mark can help set you apart in the industry."

  3. "FAQ: How Long Does It Take To Become a CFP® Professional?" — How to prepare for the CFP® exam, the benefits of becoming certified, and how long it takes to become a CFP® professional

  4. CFP Board — "CFP® professionals meet rigorous education, training and ethical standards, and are committed to serving their clients' best interests today to prepare them for a more secure tomorrow."

  5. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards YouTube channel — Informative videos from the CFP Board

  6. CFP Board Candidate Forum — A community for current (and aspiring) financial planners studying to become CFP® professionals — Ask your questions about CFP® education and review programs, tips for passing the exam, and career advice

II. PREPARING FOR THE CFP® EXAM

  1. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards YouTube channel — Informative videos from the CFP Board

  2. "How To Choose The Best CFP® Exam Review Program (For You)" — "And while there is no guarantee that an individual will pass the CFP® exam after taking a review program, these programs can greatly improve the quality and efficiency of the strategy the exam taker chooses when preparing for the exam."

  3. Dalton Education CFP® Education and Review — Full disclosure: I used Dalton to pass the exam, first attempt, in November 2021

    • Pros: Watch virtual classroom recordings by multiple instructors (my favorites were Rey Belyeu and Tom Langdon); Follow their recommendation of running through the 2,300+ question bank twice, scoring in the 70's, and you have a good chance of passing

    • Cons: Guaranteed to Pass upgrade may be a bad value because you need a score of 70 on their exam readiness quiz and if you're scoring that high, you'll probably pass the exam; The question bank is on average fairly difficult so scoring low may be very discouraging (but my low scores made me over study and pass the exam)

  4. CFP Board Exam Statistics — Pass rates for the most recent exam cycle and all previous exams dating back to 1991

  5. "How To Study For (And Pass) The CFP® Exam" — "The exam is a rigorous, 6-hour test, and is offered only three times a year. Because of the rigorous nature of the exam and the scope of material covered (not to mention the relatively low pass rate generally ranging from 60–65%), candidates aspiring for CFP® certification invest an inordinate amount of time to ensure that they pass the exam."

  6. OME! How to pass the CFP exam! Facebook GroupOME! Podcast — "Chris Lattimore and Sheila Marand will discuss their journey and experience with the CFP exam and help you plan as you study for your CFP Exam. They will specifically focus on retakers and how they can navigate where to go from their failed attempt!"

  7. An essay by Bryan Ruiz, CFP® on retaking the CFP® Exam — "There are three overarching principles: processing negative emotions, increase true confidence through incremental improvement with deliberate practice, and take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally."

  8. "My Favorite Podcasts & YouTube Channels to Complement my CFP® Exam Study"by Jackie Cummings Koski — "I'm an auditory and visual learner, so listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos keep me more active and engaged (plus I'm a chronic multi-tasker!)... The hosts and guests are primarily CFPs, CPAs, CFAs, Attorneys and other credentialed experts."

  9. CFP Board Mentor Program — "The CFP Board Mentor Program provides an opportunity for candidates preparing for an upcoming CFP® exam to connect with a CFP® professional for a short-term relationship. The Mentor Program aligns with the three CFP® exam cycles per year (March, July, and November) so that mentoring relationships are focused on exam preparation. "

    • Send me a mentor request — If you're interested in requesting me as a mentor for the next CFP® exam cycle (you'll need to create a CFP Board Candidate Forum account and log in)

III. CFP® CERTIFICATION EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

  1. "The Paths to Experience" from the CFP Board — "There are 2 pathways for candidates to fulfill the experience requirement for CFP® certification: the 6,000-Hour Standard Pathway or the 4,000-Hour Apprenticeship Pathway."

  2. "Choosing The ‘Best’ Path To Meet The Experience Requirement For CFP Certification" — "In addition to Education, Exam, and Ethics requirements, aspiring CFP professionals must also complete an Experience requirement, which helps prepare them to provide personal financial planning services to clients. This requirement can be fulfilled using 1 of 2 pathways: the 6,000-hour Standard Pathway or the 4,000-hour Apprenticeship Pathway."

  3. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards YouTube channel — Informative videos from the CFP Board

  4. Non-traditional ways to gain CFP experience hours

    • Amplified Planning Externship (formerly FPA Externship) — "Instead of working with just one firm, you get to peek behind the curtain and see over 25 firms and experts at work — and do the work yourself. You’ll also get access to over 20 deliverables and processes from these experts, so you can learn a new way to work that works for you... Join us this summer in The Externship for invaluable financial planning training and earn 500 CFP Board Standard Pathway Experience hours… in just 8 weeks!"

    • FPA Residency — "...immerse newly or soon-to-be certified CFP® professionals in practicing the 'art of financial planning'... Earn 28 CFP® continuing education credits or three months of experience toward CFP Board's three-year requirement.​"

    • Measure Twice Planners — Financial planning course by Cody Garrett, CFP®: "Develop a comprehensive financial plan and provide value to the families you serve through personalized education." — Receive 50 hours of CFP® Standard Pathway experience or 2 hours of CE credit PER MONTH!

IV. ADDITIONAL CFP® CERTIFICATION RESOURCES

  1. XY Planning Network VIP Facebook Group — A super active and supportive community for RIAs, financial planners, and even career-changers — Free to  join for anyone (just request access)

    1. "How to use the CFP® Marks" — Rules on when you can use the marks  when you become a CFP® professional — If you're not a CFP® professional yet, but you've completed the education requirements in the last five years, you can use "Candidate for CFP® certification"

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