What is a Certified Financial Planner?
A Certified Financial Planner is a qualified investment professional who helps individuals and corporations meet their long-term financial objectives by analyzing the client’s status and setting a program to achieve that client’s goals. Financial planners specialize in tax planning, asset allocation, risk management, retirement and/or estate planning.
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).
To become a CFP® students must master a list of nearly 100 topics on integrated financial planning. The topics cover major planning areas such as:
- General Principles of Finance and Financial Planning
- Insurance Planning
- Employee Benefits Planning
- Investment and Securities Planning
- State and Federal Income Tax Planning
- Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Transfer Tax Planning
- Asset Protection Planning
- Retirement Planning
- Estate Planning
The CFP® Certification Examination is a 10-hour multiple choice exam, divided into one four-hour session (Friday afternoon) and two three-hour sessions (Saturday). The exam includes three major case problems and is designed to assess the student’s ability to apply his or her knowledge of the aforementioned areas to financial planning situations.
After passing the examination, the candidate must demonstrate to have extensive experience in the financial planning field. The CFP® Board defines work experience as “the supervision, direct support, teaching or personal delivery of all or part of the personal financial planning process to a client” and such experience must fall within one or more of the following six primary elements of financial planning:
- Establishing and Defining the Client Relationship
- Gathering Client Data and Goals
- Analyzing and Evaluating the Client’s Financial Status
- Developing and Presenting Financial Planning Recommendations and Alternatives
- Implementing the Financial Planning Recommendations
- Monitoring the Financial Planning Recommendations
Even after the student passes the exam and meets one or more of the six primary elements of financial planning, he or she must also have completed the following:
Three years full-time or equivalent (2,000 hours per year) part-time experience in the financial planning field
Be approved by the CFP® Board during initial certification, which also involves an extensive background check—including an ethics, character and criminal check.
Ethics and continuing education
The final components are the ethics and continuing education requirements. Students and certificants are required to adhere to the CFP® Board Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and to the Financial Planning Practice Standards. Registered investment advisors have a fiducial duty to care for investments. The CFP Board has the right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.
To maintain certification, license holders are also required to complete certain continuing education requirements on an on-going basis in addition to paying a licensing fee every two years.
Why should I pay you when I can manage my own money?
If you are happy with your investment results over the past 10 years and don’t believe anyone else could have done better, than you shouldn’t hire us. Also if you are happy with the results and the professionalism of your current financial advisor you should stay with them, but……
We have found that after paying our fee most clients believe they have received significant value for their money; not only from improved investment results, but in addition reduced stress and from our financial planning advice. Frankly, many people do a great job of working hard, saving and building wealth during their careers but once they accumulate significant wealth they don’t do a good job of managing it.
Most people take a piecemeal approach to managing their money; they really don’t have a cohesive investment strategy, just a bunch of investments they have purchased over time. We take a holistic approach to money management, building intelligent risk controlled portfolios that are tax efficient and will work smart for you.
How do you help physicans?
Physicians are pressed for time and therefore usually neglect their own finances. Over the years, we have witnessed the drop in payments to physicians from insurance companies, forcing you to work twice as hard to make the same amount of money. We help by first; trying to understand your practice and more importantly, your family situation and then we take a holistic approach to investing and managing your wealth.
Once we complete the upfront financial planning work, we can then take a large burden off of your shoulders by working directly with your accountant, lawyer, pension actuary and insurance agent to coordinate all of your finances. We provide you update reports and we manage your investments in an agreed upon investment strategy. Your time is freed up to spend with your patients or family.
More and more physicians are finding it hard to retire with enough savings to maintain their lifestyle in retirement. This is mainly because of neglect or mismangment of their own investments. We won’t try and sell you anything, you pay for our objective advice and our success is based solely on the sucess of your investments.
We have a proven track record of helping physicans and their spouses transition into a retirement in which they can enjoy without financial worries, I am confident we can help you too. Why not give us a try? contact us