Finding the right financial planner is one of the most important financial decisions you can make. If your investment advisor isn’t a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), you may want to reconsider your choice.
A financial advisor with CFP® certification has one of the the highest level of experience, expertise and ethics available in the industry. Only 17% of financial advisors have attained the CFP® certification. This eliminates 83% of the field at the onset. The CFP® certification isn’t the only important factor, but it should serve as a valuable starting point.
Savvy investors understand that choosing the best wealth manager is an investment in its own right. Your advisor will be guiding you through some of the most important decisions of your life and helping you reach your financial goals.
And that’s why you need to ensure that your investment advisor is a Certified Financial Planner™.
What Is a Certified Financial Planner™?
The CFP® designation is granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, based on a rigorous set of standards and qualifications.
To earn this certification, financial professionals must meet exacting requirements in experience, education and ethics. They must pass a series of rigorous exams and pursue continuing education.
The CFP® exams are administered over the course of three arduous days. By comparison, the bar exam (to become an attorney) only lasts for two days.
Before certification is awarded, the board conducts an extensive background check on each candidate. Even if a candidate meets all the requirements for certification and passes the exam, the board can refuse to award certification for any reason.
If a CFP® violates any of the tenets of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the board can sanction them or revoke their certification.
Why Does a CFP® Make the Best Investment Advisor?
When you choose a CFP® for your investment advisor, you are choosing a financial professional with expertise in a variety of topics, including investments, insurance, taxation, retirement, estate planning and wealth transfer.
The experience requirement to qualify for certification means that your financial advisor has an extensive background in the topics that matter to you and your financial future.
Choosing a CFP® Investment Advisor
The financial-planning process is complex and unique to each investor. Consequently, choosing the right CFP® can make a big difference in the strength and growth potential of your portfolio.
Interview at least three different CFP® advisors. Every advisor and firm has a different approach, different values, and different strategies. At Divergent Wealth Advisors, we encourage clients to interview at least two other people before working with us. We never want you to wonder if you made the wrong decision. Interviewing multiple CFP® advisors can prove extremely beneficial in calming those fears.
To this end, we have assembled some of the most important questions to ask a potential financial advisor before you make a decision.
In addition to verifying their certification as a CFP® and ensuring they provide the services you need, be sure to clarify the wealth management firm’s compensation and fee structure.
If you would like to learn more about how to find your next wealth management advisor, Divergent Wealth Advisors can help. We are based in Utah, but provide professional wealth management services for individuals and businesses throughout the Intermountain West. Contact us today to learn more about why you should choose a CFP® to be your next investment advisor.
Approved by Rick Collins, Divergent Wealth Advisors LLC, Chief Compliance Officer 10/1/2017