The financial planning profession exists to help people reach their financial goals and dreams. Financial planners demonstrate and support a professional commitment to education and a client-centered financial planning process.

The Financial Planning Process

Financial planning is the process of establishing personal and financial goals and creating a way to reach them. The ongoing process involves taking stock of all your existing resources, developing a plan to utilize them and systematically implementing the plan in order to achieve your short- and long-term goals.

The plan must be monitored and reviewed periodically so adjustments can be made, if necessary, to assure that it continues to move you toward your financial goals.


Also known as CFP® certificants, these individuals must meet the following qualifications, as specified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., in order to use the CFP® marks:

An individual must successfully complete the CFP Board's comprehensive certification examination, which tests the individual's knowledge on a number of key financial planning topics.

Depending on the level of degree work completed in a collegiate setting, an individual must acquire three to five years of financial planning-related experience prior to receiving the right to use the CFP marks.

An individual must voluntarily ascribe to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. This voluntary decision empowers the CFP Board to take action if a CFP certificant should violate the code of ethics. Such violations could lead to disciplinary action, including the permanent revocation of the right to use the CFP marks.

A CFP certificant must obtain 30 hours of continuing education every two years in the body of knowledge pertaining to financial planning areas such as:
  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Tax Planning
  • Employee Benefits
  • Insurance

CFP Board

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., is a professional organization that regulates the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ marks and requires certificants to subscribe to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics.

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