What is a CFP® and what difference does it make?

CFP® certification is the highest level of certification that a financial planner can achieve, and it is internationally recognised. CFP® professionals demonstrate their commitment to excellence in financial planning by meeting initial and ongoing competency, ethics and practice standards and agreeing to abide by the standards laid out in the Financial Planning Association’s Code of Professional Practice.

This allows consumers to approach a Certified Financial Planner with a degree of confidence knowing that the person they plan to engage is a professional who has already achieved a high level of education and ongoing competency standards.

When doing your due diligence to find a suitable planner one question you should ask is whether the prospective planner is a CFP® and if not what level of education they have completed. Unfortunately a number of bad apples have tarnished the name of our industry in recent years. Education is no guarantee of a person’s honesty and character however for those who maintain the standard of being a CFP® professional it certainly involves a lot more work and investment and shows the planner is dedicated to their craft.

The Financial Planning Association keeps a register of its CFP® professionals on their website which helps consumers who want to find planners that meet their rigourous standards. The register can be found here