June 10 2021 - Interested in becoming a CFP? Working as a certified financial planner is a fulfilling and rewarding career that can see you earning a high salary.
Not only will you enjoy the work you are doing, but you will feel good knowing that you are helping people enter retirement comfortably and confidently. Most seniors are constantly stressed about their finances, but you get to put people onto a plan that gives them security.
If you feel like you should become a financial planner, you're going to need to start with financial planning certification. But before you do that, there are a few other things you need to have.
Wondering what it takes to be a successful financial planner, and how to get your license and certification? Keep reading to find out now.
What to do Before Getting Certified
Taking your certification exam has certain requirements in place. Here's what you'll need before you can sign up.
Get a Bachelor's Degree
Your first step towards your career in financial planning is to get a bachelor's degree if you don't already have one. This is the basic education requirement for working in the financial space.
A degree in accounting, finance, or business is the best bet. And be sure to take as many courses as you can on accounting, investing, the stock market, financial history, and anything else that's relevant.
Work as an Intern
Make sure you choose a degree program that offers an internship so that you can get hands-on experience in the financial space. These can be as little as a semester or last an entire year.
These look great on your resume and may even lead to a job out of school with the same company you intern for.
Get Financial License
In order to help your clients invest in and purchase the best financial products to maximize their retirement, you're going to need a license to do so. This will allow you to recommend or sell insurance, stocks, bonds, and other securities that will aid your clients.
Typically, you'll have to take a preparatory course and study for a few months before passing the exam.
Get an Entry-Level Job
Once you've finished school and got your financial license, it's time to start working in the industry. Ideally, the company you interned for has a position open for you. If not, maybe some of the connections you made while interning or finishing school will lead to an entry-level position for a financial services firm.
Plan to work in this role for a few years before you can finally finish the journey and become a certified financial planner.
Getting Your Financial Planning Certification
Once you have three years of working experience in the industry, you can look to get certified as a CFP. But getting this certification isn't easy.
The exam itself takes around six hours to complete, so you have to study for months before you can take it. Luckily, since you have three years of experience working in the industry, you'll be pretty confident.
To get started, your going to want to take CFP exam prep courses to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the exam. While not required, these prep courses will radically boost your chances of success, since a large portion of first-time test-takers fails.
There are multiple types of test courses. If you are looking for an inexpensive option, you can choose a self-paced course to complete on your own schedule. These are popular as they easily fit into your busy schedule.
You can also sign up for a live, online course. This allows you to have interactions with the instructor, asking questions as you go. But you'll have to plan around these since they take place in real-time.
In-person classes are also available for those that prefer this type of learning environment and student-instructor interaction.
Once you've finished your prep course and feel confident in your knowledge, you can sign up to take the certification exam.
Is Certification Even Required?
Financial planning certification isn't required, but it's highly recommended. You can still be a successful financial planner without, but many clients these days are looking specifically for certified planners.
After all, people are coming to you for advice that affects the final year of their lives. They are scared and worried, and the advice you give them affects their entire life savings.
So you can't blame them for looking for the most certified, qualified professional to help them.
Working as a Financial Planner
Wondering what it takes to enjoy your career as a financial planner? For starters, you need to be passionate about personal finance.
If you find yourself obsessing over your budget, finding ways to cut costs, and automating your savings and investments, you might be a good candidate for the job.
If you love reading investing advice and finding ways to maximize retirement contributions and build your portfolio, you are in the right place.
You get to spend your days taking your love, passion, and knowledge of personal finance and financial freedom to those who have money but don't know where to put it to use. You get to guide people into responsible financial management, sharing the wisdom you've picked up over the years.
And every day, you'll be learning more and more about what successful retirement planning looks like, which you get to directly apply to your own life as well. It's a win-win situation.
Take the Next Step
Now that you know what it takes to get your financial planning certification, it's time to take the next step on your career path. Still young and in school? Finish your bachelor's with a relevant degree.
Finished with school and working in an unrelated industry? Get your financial services license and find an entry-level position so you can get the work experience you need.
Wherever you are today, there's a clear next step ready and waiting for you to take. Looking for more helpful content like this? Be sure to visit our websites today to keep reading.
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