Certified Financial Planner™

A certification exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. that focuses on over 100 topics of concern to the financial planning field, such as retirement, estate, and investment planning. Upon successfully completing the education requirements, passing the exam, and have indicated that you will adhere to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Standards, you are eligible to use the CFP mark. The CFP certification mark represents your proven expertise within the financial planning profession.

CFP Online Study Guide

CFP Exam Guide- Pass the CFP Exam and become a certified financial planner™ with our Free Online Study Guide - Click Here

Exam Details

Time Limit: 10 hours total. 4 hours on the first day, and two 3-hour sessions on the second day.
Cost: $595 US. In the event that a special International test site is arranged, the CFP applicant must pay an additional site fee of $1475 for international test sites
Number of Questions: 285
Passing Score: Criterion-referenced, in that performance is measured according to a set level of required competency, rather than against the scores of other individuals who have written the same exam. This prevents any advantages or disadvantages that can occur when past exams were of lower or higher difficulty.
Passing Rates: As of March 2013, 62.6%
Format: Stand-alone multiple choice and scenario-based questions
Prerequisites: Must fulfill education requirements successfully in order to apply to write the exam. Bachelor’s degree required for certification (but not to take the exam). As of 2012 the education requirements include completion of a financial plan development course (capstone course) registered with the CFP board. Further details on educational requirements can be found here.
Corequisites: 3 years full time work experience (6000 hours) or 2 year apprenticeship experience (4000 hours). More information on the experience requirements can be found here
Exam Date(s): The third Friday and Saturday of March, July and November.
Exam Results: 5 weeks
Exam Topic Weights: http://www.cfp.net/become/

Additional Exam Details

The CFP Board provides a list of formulas for the exam. You can obtain these formulas here.
The complete topic list for the CFP examination can be found here.

Professionals FAQs
  1. Where can I look for a financial planner?

    References from trusted friends or family members can help you find a financial planner; however, keep in mind that your friends' financial situations and goals may differ from yours and, therefore, their planners won't necessarily be the best fit for you.The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards certifies financial planners and maintains an online list of certified financial planners on its CFP Board of Standards website.
  2. If I am looking to get an Investment Banking job. What education do employers prefer? MBA or CFA?

    If you are looking specifically for an investment banking position, an MBA may be marginally preferable over the CFA. The caveat here is that the MBA would most probably need to be from a Top-20 B-School.The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is well worth considering if you (a) are aiming for an entry-level position in investment banking, and/or (b) cannot afford to shell out six figures for an MBA or have to settle for a lesser-known B-school.That's because in the investment banking field, most entry-level positions are at the analyst level.
  3. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't count on it. The CFA Institute has long emphasized that ethics is a particular area of focus for it. The seriousness with which the CFA Institute views ethics is evident from the fact that for exam candidates with borderline total scores, performance on the ethics section can mean the difference between passing and failing the exam.
  4. Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT:

    Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT: A. Minimum net capitalB. Passing a qualification examC. Filing a consent to service of processD. Posting a surety bond The correct answer is "A", since only an IA would need to prove minimum net capital requirements.
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