What is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP)®?

What is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP)®?

Date: August 27, 2019,
In: About Us

Money can be a touchy subject, and you may feel cautious about letting someone poke around your personal finances. They are, after all, personal. However, our reservations over cash run deeper than that; most Americans don’t even feel comfortable talking money in the office, [1] despite the workplace being a professional environment. The financial professionals at Harvest Financial Planning, LLC, understand these reservations, and we work hard to make each client feel as comfortable as possible throughout the financial planning process.

As someone who is hired to help you plan your finances and get you on track toward your long-term economic goals, a financial planner needs access to many areas of your life, including your expenses and your income. If the idea of letting a stranger analyze this intimate area of your life makes you nervous, you’re not alone!

Understanding what a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) is, and what they can offer you, often helps dispell the anxiety that new clients may feel. Luckily, there are many benefits to hiring a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®).

CFP®s Are Highly Professional and Qualified

A Certified Financial Planner™ must earn certification by undergoing a rigorous series of qualifying exams, field and classroom experience. From start to final registration, a CFP® must follow many steps, including:

  • Complete the CFP® Board education program
  • Complete the CFP® Exam
  • Already hold, or be in the process of obtaining, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Demonstrate personal financial planning ability for three years, or apprentice to a CFP® for two years
  • Sign and adhere to the standards of the CFP® Board

All of these qualifications to become a registered CFP® are designed to ensure that you receive the highest levels of professionalism from all professionals who carry this title. Violations of the Board’s Standards could result in them losing their license, the same way a doctor or lawyer can be stripped of their license.

Most importantly, though, this process ensures that your money is being handled by someone who has demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in the field, both theoretically and in practice. Because many Americans have little to no formal experience with money management, drafting a long-term financial plan can be quite an undertaking. A CFP® can help guide you through this process.

CFP®s Help You Accomplish Your Goals

Not only do financial planners help you define your long-term goals, but they also help you identify the actions that will help you stay on track to accomplish these goals within your desired timeframe. By taking an in-depth look at your financial information, including your assets, debts, and income (among many other factors) an experienced Certified Financial Planner™ can help draft a comprehensive and realistic plan for accomplishing the goals you’ve been dreaming of for years. Whether you want to grow your start-up, eliminate your student loans or find the best way to leave your business to someone else, a detailed plan can move you in the right direction with small, realistic steps.

Of course, life changes and unexpected circumstances and expenses often cause ripples in your financial future which may require reorganization or significant changes in your goals over the years. A CFP® can assist with these, too. Taking stock and reassessing your situation becomes increasingly difficult when you are emotionally tied to your assets. The steady, experienced hand of a CFP® often helps guide you and adjust your plans for whatever situations you may face.

Get in Touch with Experienced CFP®s Today!

Whatever your eventual financial goals may be, planning is always the first step to accomplishment. Drafting your own plan has its issues, though, especially if you do not have experience with financial planning. A Certified Financial Planner™ must undertake years of studying, testing and hands-on financial experience to become certified, letting them help clients like you work towards your long-term goals.

To get in touch with a CFP® today, contact Harvest Financial Planning, LLC by filling out our contact form or giving us a call. All of our financial planners are board-certified and have years of experience under their belts. We’re excited to help you pursue your long-term goals.

*This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

[1] Guzior, Betsy. “Most Americans Avoid Talking About Money” September 27, 2018.

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