Certified Financial Planner practitioners must master a list of nearly 1,000 topics on integrated financial planning in addition to passing a comprehensive two-day 10-hour CFP Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance. Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP board can display the CFP® certification marks. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification can help provide a sense of security by allowing only those who meet the education, examination, experience and ethics requirements the right to use the CFP mark.
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The Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation focuses on the comprehensive financial planning process as an organized way to collect and analyze information on a client's complete financial situation; to identify and establish specific financial goals; and to formulate, implement, and review a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. The ChFC program provides financial planners and others in the financial services industry with in-depth knowledge of the skills needed to perform comprehensive financial planning for their clients. Since its inception in 1982, more than 32,000 men and women have met the educational, experience, and ethics mandates needed to earn the ChFC designation.
Your Chartered Financial Consultant has completed the most extensive educational program required for any financial services credential. Each ChFC has taken eight or more college-level courses on all aspects of financial planning from The American College, a non-profit educator with the highest level of academic accreditation. The average study time for the program is over 400 hours, and advisors frequently spend years earning this distinction. Each ChFC must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years and must meet extensive experience requirements to ensure that you get the professional financial advice you need. Advisors with the ChFC designation are required to serve you with the highest level of professionalism. The authority to use the ChFC mark is granted by the Certification Committee of the Board of Trustees of The American College, and that privilege is contingent on adherence to strict ethical guidelines. All ChFC advisors are required to do the same for clients that they would do for themselves in similar circumstances, the standard of ethical behavior most beneficial for their clients.
The CRPC program is developed with a focus on client-centered problem solving. Applicants gain in-depth knowledge of individuals' needs both before and after retirement. The study program to become a CRPC covers the entire retirement planning process, including meeting multiple financial objectives, sources of retirement income, personal savings, employer-sponsored retirement plans, income taxes, retirement cash flow, wealth management, estate planning and more. The designation is awarded by the College for Financial Planning to individuals who complete the study program and pass a final multiple-choice examination.
The Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) is a professional designation awarded by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants to those financial advisors who can meet the high standards of education, experience and integrity that are required of all its members. Each applicant must have at least four years of professional experience in the field of financial planning or financial services, meet local licensing requirements, and adhere to the RFC Code of Ethics. The RFC designation requires 40 hours of Continuing Education every year, including two hours of business ethics every two years.