Become a Certified Financial Planner

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Who Might Want To?[edit]

"This credential is generally the designation of choice for those who wish to offer fee-based financial planning, and traditionally has been more heavily pursued by those in the tax, legal or investment professions. There are approximately 106 conceptual topics related to financial planning that are covered in this material. Once all coursework has been successfully completed, students must pass a rigorous, comprehensive 10-hour board exam. Once the candidates have passed the exam, they must pass a background check and pay an entrance fee before receiving their certifications. "

What is Required?[edit]

"As a first step to CFP® certification, you must complete CFP Board education requirements in the major personal financial planning areas, including:

- General principles of financial planning
- Insurance planning
- Investment planning
- Income tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Interpersonal communication
- Professional conduct and fiduciary responsibility
- Financial plan development (capstone) course

In addition to completing courses that cover the financial planning topics required for CFP® certification, a bachelor's degree (or higher), or its equivalent,1 in any discipline, from a regionally accredited college or university2 is required to attain CFP® certification.

You can complete a course of study in financial planning offered by an educational institution with a curriculum registered with CFP Board."

Low-Cost Financial Planning Certificates[edit]

If you already have a Bachelors degree in a non-finance field, a low-cost online financial planning certificate program may be the most efficient way for a self-starter to fulfill the CFP education requirement.

Texas A&M: "The cost of the Online Executive Certificate is $3,095. This is the Self-Paced online study program."

NCSU offers a program for about $3,550.

Northeastern State University: "Cost of program (six courses including capstone course) is $4,750 (plus books and materials at approximately $1,000). Courses are delivered online."

Ohio State University also offers a self-paced online program for $3,095.