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What Standards do You Expect? Thumbnail

What Standards do You Expect?


It can be difficult to decide what type of financial professional is best for you. One of the best regarded options is a CFP, or Certified Financial Planner. At Professional Planning & Wealth, we are a firm of CFP® Professionals, and we think it’s important to know what sets these planners apart from a standard financial professional.    

  1. Experience: In order for a person to have the title of CFP®, they have to undergo effectively two years of extra study . Aside from CFP board-registered education and an examination, potential CFPs have to additionally complete 6,000 hours of professional experience or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship/internship experience that meets requirements set by the board. This ensures that your CFP has plenty of experience before they  come in contact with your hard-earned wealth.        Trips around the block matter
  2. Close understanding of you personally: CFPs work closely with most every aspect of their clients financial situation, including taxes. Here at Professional Planning & Wealth, we meet with our clients to discuss and establish your goals in advance. We also discuss your current financial situation so that we can understand the best way to help you and your family, as well as future generations if need be. We work with you to ensure nothing is overlooked. 
  3. Help prepare for major life milestones and changes. Sometimes life throws curveballs, which is why CFP® Professionals are prepared to help navigate the changes that life can bring. We work with you to create a plan that can adapt and adjust as life circumstances change 
  4. Non-judgmental second set of eyes. We know it’s easy to turn to a close friend or family member and ask for advice about your finances, but if that person does not have experience in finances they may not be the best person to turn to. CFPs can provide a non-biased second opinion. Whether you need someone to evaluate whether or not you’re ready to buy a house or are just overwhelmed by financial matters, CFPs are there to provide advice.  
  5. Ethics matter: Part of the requirement to gain and keep a CFP title is an ethical code stating that, no matter the circumstance, you will put your client’s best interest first when giving financial advice. This means that your CFP will always put you first when assisting you with financial decisions, so you never need to worry about getting advice that they are not sure will benefit you. 

You would be correct to guess our bias to the belief that the designation is an important indication of the accumulation of education, experience and ethical code.  And, as much as we’d love for you to consider us in serving you and your family in wealth management and planning for your financial future - the bigger point is this, check the expertise of who is providing you ‘advice’.   Are they providing advice or selling product?  Are they serving you as a fiduciary, or is there undisclosed conflicts of interest?   CFPs are held to a higher standard, and you shouldn’t expect anything less.