Certified Financial PlannerTM

Advisors meeting rigorous professional standards

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Working with the right investment advisor representative can be critical to accomplishing your overall financial goals. Finding a financial planner with training and competency is essential; so, too, is identifying someone with the demonstrated ability to apply that knowledge to real-life financial planning situations.

Administered by the CFP Board, the CFP® certification process helps the public discern financial planners who have met rigorous professional standards. No wonder the requirements to use the Certified Financial PlannerTM and CFP® designations require so much hard work.

Certification involves a two-part education requirement. First, advisors must complete college-level financial planning coursework approved by the CFP Board. Second, certified planners must also possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

After meeting the education requirements, advisors are eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination. The comprehensive six-hour exam assesses a financial planner’s ability to apply coursework to on-the-job situations.

Because CFP® credentials indicate an advisor’s ability to provide financial planning services, certification requires up to 6,000 hours of professional financial-planning-related experience. Advisors may acquire the necessary experience through various roles, activities, and professional settings.

Finally, CFP® professionals must agree to adhere to high ethical and professional standards—and to provide personal financial planning in each client’s best interest.

Finding the right financial planner can be difficult. CFP® credentials can be a good indication of a planner’s commitment to high professional standards and ethical behavior.

Savage and Associates congratulates our advisors who have earned this important designation.

What does it take to earn CFP® certification?


The education requirement includes two parts: completing coursework on financial planning through a CFP Board Registered Program and holding a bachelor’s degree or higher (in any discipline) from an accredited college or university. Advisors must complete the coursework before taking the certifying exam.


Passing the certifying exam demonstrates that an advisor has attained the knowledge and competency necessary to provide comprehensive personal financial planning advice. The 170-question, multiple-choice exam consists of two 3-hour sessions over one day.


Experience prepares advisors to provide personal financial planning to the public without supervision. Advisors must complete either 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process, or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements.


The ethics requirement is the final step on the path to certification. The advisor agrees to adhere to high ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning, and to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice and always putting a client’s best interests first.