What Do I Need to Know Before I Hire a CFP?

by Jeff Rose on 15 November 2013 0 comments

Before you go out and hire what could be the most important person you ever hire in your entire life — your financial planner — here's a few things you need to know.

Hey, this is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner, and I'm here to answer the question: "What do you need to know before you hire a CFP?"

You're officially an adult. It's time to make some really important decisions, so you know you need to hire a financial advisor. You've heard of this thing called a CFP. What does it mean? What do you need to know before you hire a CFP? Well, if you missed the introduction, I am a CFP. I'm a Certified Financial Planner.

What does that really mean? So for me, to get my CFP designation, I had to take these courses. I had to study a lot of material. And this covered everything from retirement planning to investing, taxes, estate planning, insurance — a little bit of everything. Anything that encompasses the financial planning process. And after I studied my butt off, I then had to take a really hard exam. And I want to tell you, it's the hardest exam I've ever had to take.

After I passed the exam, I was able to call myself a CFP. Now, the only way I could call myself that is because I had three years of work experience already. If somebody took the exam and passed the test, they couldn't call themselves a CFP just yet. So before you hire a CFP, you should know that they went through a very tough course curriculum. They passed the exam and they've had three years of work experience.

So what's the difference between a CFP and a Financial Advisor? It can get pretty confusing. For a Financial Advisor, they don't have to take the CFP Exam. I chose to take the CFP Exam because I wanted more knowledge. I wanted more experience. I wanted that know-how of helping people through the entire financial planning process

In our industry, it's not required to become a CFP. Most people who work to get the designation do it because they want the knowledge. They wanted greater growth in their career. I often explain to people, choosing between a CFP and a regular Financial Advisor is kind of like hiring an accountant. You can hire an accountant to do your tax return, or you can hire a CPA who’s versed in all the different tax codes and can help you do some legitimate tax planning. The CFP is no different. They are versed in all aspects of financial planning and they can help you get from A to Z; they've got the know-how and the research to do so.

I might be a bit biased in saying you need to hire a CFP if you're going to hire a Financial Advisor. But you know what? It's true. They've put in the hard work. They've taken the test. They've got the credentials. And if you're trying to find a Financial Advisor, head on over to CFP.net. There's a database full of all the different Financial Advisors that have the CFP designation across the country. If you have any more questions regarding hiring a Financial Advisor, this is Jeff Rose, CFP. I'd be glad to help you out. Take care.

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