Certified Financial Planner: Definition, How to Become a CFP

Are you feeling overwhelmed by financial decisions? Unsure about how to navigate investments, plan for retirement, or manage debt? A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) might be the solution you’re looking for. In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about CFPs in simple terms, from what they do to how you can find one that fits your needs.

What is a CFP?

A CFP is a financial advisor who has undergone rigorous training and certification to provide comprehensive financial planning services. Unlike some other advisors, CFPs are held to a fiduciary standard, meaning they are legally obligated to act in their clients’ best interests.

What Does a CFP Do?

CFPs are experts in various aspects of financial planning, including risk management, investment strategies, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. They work with clients to assess their financial goals, risk tolerance, and current financial situation, and then develop personalized plans to help them achieve their objectives.

How to Become a CFP

Becoming a CFP requires dedication and commitment. Candidates must complete specific coursework, pass a comprehensive exam, gain professional experience in financial planning, and adhere to a strict ethical standard set by the CFP Board.

How Much Does Working with a CFP Cost?

The cost of working with a CFP can vary depending on the services provided. On average, CFPs charge between $2,125 to $3,657 for a comprehensive financial plan and $250 for hourly services. Some CFPs may also charge a percentage of assets under management.

How to Find a CFP

The CFP Board offers a directory of certified CFPs, making it easy to find an advisor in your area. You can also check a CFP’s certification status and any instances of disciplinary action. Alternatively, some online financial planning services offer virtual access to CFPs at a lower cost.


Navigating the world of finance can be daunting, but with the help of a Certified Financial Planner, you can feel confident in your financial decisions. Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for the future, or managing debt, a CFP can provide the expertise and guidance you need to achieve your goals.


  1. What is the difference between a CFP and other financial advisors?

    • CFPs hold a certification that ensures they have extensive experience and are held to a fiduciary standard, meaning they must act in their clients’ best interests. Other financial advisors may not have the same level of expertise or legal obligations.
  2. How long does it take to become a CFP?

    • On average, it takes between 18 to 24 months to become a CFP, including completing coursework, passing the exam, and gaining professional experience.
  3. How do I know if I need a CFP?

    • If you’re unsure about how to manage your finances, plan for the future, or achieve your financial goals, working with a CFP can provide valuable guidance and expertise tailored to your specific needs

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