This summer Andreas completed all his requirements to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. This is quite an accomplishment for someone who just a few short years ago was working as an engineer and had no prior formal education in business or finance. It shows not only his ability to study and learn, but more importantly, his dedication to the profession he has chosen. We are enormously proud of him and beyond grateful to have him on our team.
To give you an idea what it takes to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, here are the requirements according to the CFP® Board of Standards:
• Four-year degree from an accredited university
• Completion of the CFP® coursework – approximately 250 hours of study.
• Pass the CFP® exam – the six-hour exam has a 67% pass rate.
• Accumulate 6,000 hours of experience in relevant financial planning activities.
• Meet the ethics requirements - sign an Ethics Declaration and pass a background check.
The background check looks at any criminal matters, client complaints, regulatory actions, personal bankruptcies, civil judgments, or tax liens.
According to the CFP® Board, as of August 1, 2023, there are 96,242 CFP® professionals in the United States. That means less than 30% of the 330,000 financial advisors in the US have earned this designation.
There are many, many different designations that can be displayed behind a financial advisor’s name, but most are meaningless. There are only a few that show a minimal level of competence and dedication to the field. The “big three” are:
• CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
• Chartered Financial Analyst
• Certified Public Accountant
In my (and many others’) opinion, if an advisor has not earned at least one of these, they are probably in the business for the wrong reasons – and the reasons do not benefit the end consumer.
“We owe it to our clients.” This was the line I regularly used when I worked at banks to encourage staff to continue their education. Yes, it can be challenging work and it takes time to continue your education, but don’t we owe it to those who pay us fees to make sure we know all we should about the profession?
I know that Andreas won’t stop at the CFP®. He has become very interested in both tax planning and investment management so I am sure he will eagerly pursue something else soon enough. He also completely understands the connection between our level of knowledge and the value we can deliver to those we serve. That is what it is all about!
Today we celebrate Andreas and his dedication to and love of helping others with their financial journey.