Anyone can call themselves a financial advisor. It is often hard for an investor to understand how to choose a competent financial planner. With hundreds of certifications, they may also have an alphabet soup behind their name. However, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) is the most significant financial planning credential. A CFP® has passed a rigorous series of tests followed by a comprehensive final exam that nearly 50% of prospective CFPs fail. A CFP® must pass a background check, have a college degree from an accredited university, and at least 3 years of direct financial planning experience. Certified Financial Planners must also commit to continuing education including ethics classes. Although a CFP® is not a fail safe method to pick an advisor, it is a good start.
Please view our article titled “Choosing a Financial Planner” for additional tips to find a financial planner.