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Anyone Can Say They Are A Financial Planner… But Are They?

My Financial Coach > Know-More Blog > Anyone Can Say They Are A Financial Planner… But Are They?

Anyone Can Say They Are A Financial Planner… But Are They?

Consumers today are bombarded with advertisements to work with a financial planner or advisor, so what sets apart a Certified Financial Planner™ from the rest? Anyone can say they are a financial planner; However, not every planner is held to the same rigorous standards.

All candidates for the CFP® certification are held to the “4-E’s” to deliver comprehensive financial advice, which are detailed below:


  • Education: Every candidate will need to complete a two-part education requirement that includes coursework on financial planning (through a CFP Board Registered Program) and holding a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
  • Exam: Every candidate will need to pass the CFP® exam – a 170-question, multiple-choice test split into two 3-hour sessions over the course of one day. 
  • Experience: Every candidate will need to complete the experience requirement before or after the exam. This consists of either 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets the board’s requirements.
  • Ethics: The final step in the certification process is the signing of the Ethics Declaration and the CFP Board conducting a background check. This declaration has the candidate agree to not only high professional and ethical standards, but to also always act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice to their clients.


Even after a candidate has successfully obtained the marks, they are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to ensure they are up to date on the newest trends in  comprehensive financial planning.

Many CFP®’s look to focus on comprehensive planning, which includes retirement planning, investing, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and budgeting. In comparison, financial advisors tend to focus on one area, such as investments and product sales.

Here at My Financial Coach, all of our financial coaches are CFP®’s to ensure you are getting unbiased and comprehensive financial advice. Along with our team of Subject Matter Experts (SME’s), your entire financial picture is taken into account and our plans will grow with you. To learn more about us, schedule a consultation today.

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