For those who are in the middle of a career crisis of if you are about to choose your career path, I have one thing to say: Being a CFP is the best job in the world!
I made this career decision about 5 years ago when I started to study in order to get my CFP title. It took me about 2 years to get all the classes done and write my CFP final exam. I have been a financial planner for the past 2 years and a half and I just love my job. This is why I wanted to share my experience as a CFP.
What Does A CFP do Anyways?
I would compare a Certified Financial Planner to a family doctor of finance. As your family doctor, you go see him once a year to make sure that you are healthy (wealthy) or more often if you are hurt (have financial needs). He will give you medicine (financial advice / recommend products) in order to help you heal and if you have a very specific problem, he will refer you to a specialist (like a CFP would refer you to a lawyer or an accountant if you seek for legal or tax advice).
As you can see, it is more than a regular financial advisor. The Financial Planner will create a retirement plan, help manage your investments and optimize your debt structure and offer you tax tips. Therefore, he is a kind of a one-stop-shop for most of your financial needs.
What Makes A CFP So Cool As A Job?
I personally think that there is a ton of advantages of being a Certified Financial Planner:
#1 The Pay check is good
Overall, I think that CFP’s are pretty well paid. Some of them are paid solely on commission (i.e. they need to sell investment products or debt instruments to earn money), some others are fee based or salary based (paid by the client or by the employer) and there are also hybrid (part salary based with a bonus that can reach 50% of their income). In any kind of these structures, a good CFP can make about $100,000 a year. I would guess that the average pay check for a Financial Planner is around $70,000.
#2 Financial Institutions Are Looking for CFPs
There is an important demand for this certification. In fact, Financial Planners are part of the top career choice for the next decade. You will certainly not lose your job for the next 10 years if you go this route!
#3 The CFP schedule is flexible
As I work with my clients, my schedule looks like my clients’ schedule. Therefore, I am able to move my work time from early in the morning or late at night. If I have a good week, there is no problem that I can take my Friday off to go golfing ;-). As long I as meet my objectives and my clients are happy, I am free to come and go as I please (note; you still have to work hard if you want to reach this level of “freedom”).
#4 You Help People
What I really like about this job is that I really help people while I’m getting paid. It is very interesting to meet different people with different stories and different visions. In the end, I really feel good when I am able to help someone going through a divorce, plan his retirement or help him save thousands of dollars in fees or via tax tips.
What Do You Need To Become A CFP
Depending on where you live, there are different requirements. I personally think that you would be a better CFP with a bachelor degree in finance or accounting. Then, you have to complete your Certified Financial Planning certification.
In addition to the academic requirement, I think that a good CFP is someone who:
– Loves to talk with people
– Is not afraid to share his point of view
– Has strong social abilities
– Loves finance (duh!)
– Is meticulous and rational
Do You Have Any Questions Regarding the CFP Job?
If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to comment or contact me at thefinancialblogger (at) gmail (dot) com.
Disclaimer: I am a CFP in Canada, therefore, my job may differ from the CFP position in the United States. Overall I think it is pretty similar, but still, never take any of my financial articles as financial advice. You are better off meeting a CFP in your area to look at your personal financial situation.