WHY CHOOSE A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Not all financial planners are certified. The CFP certification is often recognized as the highest standard in personal financial planning. According to the CFP website, "only about 25% of practicing financial advisors in the industry can claim this distinction." Certified Financial Planners (CFP) go through a comprehensive study of theoretical and practical knowledge within the financial planning curriculum. In order to earn this credential, the professional has to have at least 4,000 hours of financial planning experience and meet additional certification requirements. CFP professionals must complete several courses covering topics such as tax planning, estate planning, risk management, and financial plan development. Furthermore, they must pass a comprehensive CFP certification exam which tests their abilities to apply financial planning knowledge to real life situations. Perhaps the most important is that every CFP professional is a fiduciary, meaning they're sworn to act in their clients' best interests. CFPs are held to the highest of standards and are obliged to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, and professionalism as outlined in the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics.