What Is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner and Why You Should Work With One

9:57 AM, Feb 24, 2020

Most people have heard of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner or CFP® practitioner but may not know what that means. Even though the title sounds straightforward, there is more to the position than one might assume. For example, a CFP® practitioner must have an extensive education that goes far beyond basic accounting and financial issues. The rigorous certification program and level of training that these professionals go through helps ensure that they are giving the appropriate advice to their clients. The financial world is always evolving, and with such a high number of moving parts within it, every aspect of a client's financial life must be addressed.

For a person who wants to work as a CFP® practitioner, a "bar exam" style of testing is the standard. There can be up to 30 units of study in this comprehensive program to prepare for the CFP® Certification Exam, with a certain number of hours required for each. The certification test is complex, and the candidate must also have three years of work experience in the financial planning field before the designation can be earned. Then, the CFP® certificant has some control over the types of services they offer. Depending on the business or the individual, CFP® practitioners may offer a comprehensive mix of financial services or decide to focus on only a few specific aspects of their clients' financial picture.

Some of the services they provide may include:

• Helping to maximize retired clients’ after-tax monthly income

• Assisting you in organizing your financial affairs

• Evaluating your insurance policies and recommending efficient changes

• Assisting you in addressing your goals for wealth transfer to your heirs

There are a lot of things at stake when it comes to the level of responsibility a CFP® practitioner has. A stringent ethical code is part of the knowledge base possessed by a CFP® certificant, which ensures that he or she has knowledge of the fiduciary standard. In short, due to a strict code of ethics, CFP® practitioners are committed to, and held accountable for, upholding certain principles such as honesty, integrity and fairness. All CFP® certificants are also required to pass a background check, which again ensures not only the competency of the individual but also his or her moral standard. These criteria mean that recommendations and decisions will be based on the best interests of the client, as opposed to the CFP® practitioner’s personal interests or desires. The bottom line for anyone considering partnering with a CFP® certificant is that there is confidence knowing that specific education, competency and integrity requirements have been met.

One of the biggest areas of value when working with a CFP® practitioner is the way in which they help reduce stress and make complex financial decisions feel easier. If expenses have suddenly increased or an unexpected windfall has been received, knowing what to do next can be challenging. With the right professional help, however, those challenges are mitigated. Having a CFP® certificant means working with someone trained in multiple areas of finance. If needs change over time, it is possible to continue working with the same person or company. That can reduce the need to move money or change companies, lowering stress and hassle.

With over 300,000 financial planners in the U.S., only a quarter of those, roughly 86,000, have the dignified distinction of being a CFP®. At Central Coast Wealth Management, located at 1104 Palm Street in San Luis Obispo, California, the professionals are well-versed in the financial planning field. They provide professional, reliable, and experienced assistance in every wealth management stage – for all clients. Whether someone wants to accumulate, preserve, or transfer wealth, the right strategies for asset allocation can make a significant difference in their long-term financial success. When meeting financial goals is important, having a CFP® practitioner is the right choice for companies as well as high-net-worth individuals and families. Central Coast Wealth Management can provide that service. They can be contacted through an online questionnaire or by calling 805-439-0370.

The Financial Professionals of Central Coast Wealth Management are Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives with/and offer securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network® Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

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