Financial Planning – the job description

Financial Planners advise private clients in their financial affairs. The primary objective is a mid- to long-term planning strategy for the clients entire fortune. The consulting service follows a strict professional and strict discipline code the so called code of ethics. This Code of Ethics is an expression of the financial planning profession’s recognition of its responsibilities to the public, to clients, to colleagues, and to employers. These principles apply to all Financial Planning Association (FPA) members and provide guidance to them in the performance of their professional services. These rules are: 1. integrity, 2. objectivity, 3. competence, 4. fairness, 5. confidentiality, 6. professionalism, 7. diligence.

Where do you find financial Planners?

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner, you can energise or revitalise your career, whether as an entrepreneur or in a large firm, by leveraging the knowledge and prestige associated with the world`s most recognised financial planning certification. You will be equipped to provide truly personalised services to clients and maintain high levels of financial planning professionalism and expertise. In Germany, approximately 2/3th of the Financial Planners are integrated in Banks, insurance companies and real estate firms. The remainder of them either work as freelance or are integrated in other financial institutions.

How a financial advisor can become a Financial Planner: the professional development

Most of the candidates enrol into a special in-service training of one year. The institutions listed have registered a financial planning curriculum that satisfies CFP Board`s education requirement. Because the educational offerings are so varied, all institutions are accredited by their region`s accrediting body. All programs cover the same core curriculum, yet vary in style, length and delivery method. They may be certificate programs, under-graduate programs, or graduate programs. Programs can also differ in their delivery methods with some having traditional classroom-based instruction and others offering self-study or on-line courses.

CFP certificants must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination, agree to abide by CFP Board`s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility which puts clients` interests first and abide by the Financial Planning Practice Standards which spell out what clients should be able to reasonably expect from the financial planning engagement. These are just some of the reasons why the CFP certification is becoming increasingly recognised.

To become certified, you are required to meet the following four initial certification requirements (known as the four "Es"):

To take the CFP® Certification Examination, you will need to be knowledgeable in CFP Board`s financial planning topics.

After you have successfully met the education requirement, you will be eligible to apply for the CFP® Certification Examination. The CFP® Certification Examination assesses your ability to apply your financial planning knowledge, in an integrated format, to financial planning situations.

Because CFP certification indicates to the public your ability to provide financial planning without supervision, CFP Board requires you to have experience in the financial planning process. Three years of relevant experience with a bachelor`s degree or higher is required.

When you have completed the education, examination and experience components of the CFP certification process, you have to disclose whether you have ever been a party (or involved) in any criminal, civil, governmental, or self-regulatory agency proceeding or inquiry. CFP certification also requires you to agree to adhere to CFP Board`s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards, and acknowledge CFP Board`s right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

The cost of the education and the certification

The one year in-service training approximately costs 12.000 €. The subsequent examination costs appr. 500 €. All these expenses are exclusive VAT or other taxes.