Education: 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 CFP Board.
Examination: 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.
Experience: CFP® professionals must have three years minimum experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks (or, effective September 2012, two years of personal delivery experience that meets additional requirements).
Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers.
For 85 years the CLU®has been the respected risk management credential for advisors. Designees have completed eight or more college-level courses representing an average study time of 400 hours. Topics for required courses include insurance and financial planning, life insurance law, estate planning, and planning for business owners and professionals. Elective courses include such advanced topics as income taxes, group benefits, retirement planning, and health insurance. CLU®designees must meet experience and continuing education requirements and must adhere to a high ethical standard. The mark is awarded by The American College, a non-profit educator with the top level of academic accreditation.
The ChFC®designation has been a mark of excellence for almost thirty years and currently requires nine college-level courses, the most of any financial planning credential. Average study time to earn the ChFC®exceeds 450 hours. Required courses cover extensive education and application training in financial planning, income taxation, investments, and estate and retirement planning. Additional electives are chosen from such topics as macroeconomics, financial decisions for retirement, and executive compensation. ChFC®designees must meet experience requirements and adhere to continuing education and ethical standards. The credential is awarded by The American College, a non-profit educator with an 85-year heritage and the highest level of academic accreditation.