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What is a CFP® and Why Your Financial Advisor Should Be One

When it comes to managing your finances, choosing the right financial planner is crucial. With so many businesses and individuals offering financial advice, it can be challenging to know who to trust. One way to ensure you're working with a qualified and ethical advisor is to choose a financial planner who is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®). 

A Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) is a professional who has completed extensive training and education in financial planning. They are experts in helping you manage your money, plan for your future, and achieve your financial goals. CFP® professionals adhere to a strict code of ethics and fiduciary responsibilities. 


Here are some compelling reasons why a CFP® professional is the best choice for your financial planning needs:

 

Ethical and Fiduciary Responsibility

CFP professionals are fiduciaries, meaning they have a legal requirement to act in your best interest, all the time. Although this may seem obvious, much of the financial industry does not hold this same fiduciary responsibility, allowing them to recommend strategies that provide more benefit to the advisor than the client. According to the CFP Board, “92% of those working with a CFP® professional are very or extremely satisfied with their advisor’s Integrity, compared to 81% of those working with a non-certified advisor.” In addition to this standard, Straight Path as a firm has raised our hand with our regulators adhering to a fiduciary responsibility for our clients, because we believe it is the right way to do business and serve our clients. 


Comprehensive Financial Knowledge

CFP® professionals are well versed in a vast array of financial topics, covering all aspects of financial planning, including investments, taxes, retirement, estate planning, and insurance. This comprehensive knowledge ensures that clients of a CFP® receive well-rounded advice tailored to their specific financial needs and goals. In fact, according to the CFP Board, “84% of those working with a CFP® professional are very or extremely satisfied with their advisor’s Financial Advice competency, compared to 72% of those working with a non-certified advisor.” 


Extensive Testing &  Requirements 

To meet the requirements for the CFP® designation, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and complete coursework covering around 75 different topics included in the CFP exam. The exam itself is six hours long and consists of 170 questions (Source). Before using the CFP® designation, professionals must have at least two years of relevant work experience in financial planning. This ensures that the CFP Professional has both an educational background and real-world experience to serve clients better. 



Continual Education

CFP’s must complete continuing education courses to stay current with the latest financial planning strategies and regulations. The minimum required is 30 hours of continuing education every 24 months. This ongoing education means that clients of a CFP®  benefit from working with a planner who is both experienced and knowledgeable about current financial trends and laws.

 

Matthew Boersen, CFP®, CFA Managing Partner of Straight Path Wealth Management and 2024 Board Chair of the CFP Board

Matthew Boersen, CFP®, CFA the Managing Partner of Straight Path Wealth Management, is currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the CFP Board, the oversight body of over 100,000 Certified Financial Planners. The CFP Board is responsible for setting and enforcing the rigorous requirements that CFP® professionals must meet, including education, examination, experience, and ethics. Under Matt's leadership, the board continues to highlight the importance of ethical and skilled financial planning, benefiting both professionals and clients. This means that when you choose a CFP® professional at Straight Path, you're working with advisors who adhere to the highest standards in the industry.


Choosing a CFP® professional offers numerous benefits, including ethical and fiduciary responsibility, comprehensive financial knowledge, extensive testing, requirements, and education. At Straight Path, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional financial planning services that help our clients achieve their financial goals. We would love to help you achieve your financial goals, get started today!





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