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CFE Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) syllabus |

CFE syllabus - Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: CFE Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) syllabus January 2024 by team

CFE Certified Financial Examiner (CFE)

1. CFE designation requirement

To qualify for the CFE designation, you must have obtained the AFE designation or be applying for the AFE designation concurrently with the application for the CFE designation. A CFE designation will not be granted until the AFE designation is obtained. This may occur on the same day, but the AFE designation requirements must be met before the CFE can be obtained.

2. Education requirements

To qualify for the CFE designation, you must have:

Successfully completed three semester hours of a Management course from an accredited college or university or its demonstrable equivalent, and you must provide evidence of the successful completion of this course by either a certificate of completion or a college transcript.

Note that the Management courses offered by CPCU, LOMA, and CLU will satisfy this requirement. For more information about their courses in Management, visit their websites at,, and

To qualify for the CFE designation, you must successfully complete the three CFE examinations administered by the Society of Financial Examiners. The three CFE exams are:

CFE1 - Examination Methods and Management

CFE2 - Enterprise Risk Management

CFE3 - Reinsurance

The information about registering for these examinations is provided at To assist in studying for these examinations, the Society provides study guides and textbook materials. A description of these study items is also provided at You are welcome to take CFE exams prior to receiving the AFE designation but must receive the AFE designation prior to receiving the CFE designation.

Conditional Credit Policy - Effective January 1, 2012, a candidate for the CFE designation will be subject to the conditional credit policy as stated below:

The passing grade for each of the tests of the CFE is 66 prior to July 1, 2014; thereafter it is 74. A candidate who passes any test of the CFE will earn conditional credit for that test. This conditional credit expires 36 months after the testing date. If a candidate does not successfully pass the remaining tests within the 36 months, the test associated with the conditional credit must be retaken.

An application reflecting fulfillment of all requirements for a designation must be submitted within thirty-eight months following the month in which the applicant passed his/her first test for that designation track.

4. Work-related experience requirements

To qualify for the CFE designation, you must be an insurance department employee, or self-employed with a contract for services directly with an insurance department, or be employed with a company that has a contract with a state insurance department and have three (3) years of continuous, responsible insurance department examination experience as a financial examiner. Note that the two years required for the AFE designation, qualify as the first two years of the requirement for the CFE, therefore, you only need to obtain one additional year.

5. Membership requirements

To qualify for the CFE designation, you must be an Accredited Member in good standing of the Society of Financial Examiners.

6. Application approval requirements

To receive the CFE designation, you must submit an application to SOFE headquarters and it must be approved first by the Membership Committee, who will then recommend it for approval by the Executive Committee of the Society. Upon approval by the Executive Committee, the designation will become effective.

Deadlines — The approval process of a properly completed designation application is typically between six to eight weeks, as follows: The completed application, with all required information and documentation must be submitted to SOFE by email, fax or mail, for arrival by the 3rd week of the month for inclusion in the next months Membership Committee review. Applicants recommended for approval by the Membership Committee are then submitted for vote by the Executive Committee, generally within 30 days of Membership Committee approval. Applications may be found on the Society's website at under the link for SOFE Forms or under the Resource tab.
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Certified Financial Examiner (CFE)
Question: 394
The costs that provide a benefit to a company over more than one accounting period are
A. Capital expenses
B. Revenue expenses
C. Asset expenses
D. Manufacturing equipments expenses
Answer: A
Question: 395
_________________ are potential obligations that will materialize only if certain events
occur in future.
A. Warranties returns
B. Liability omissions
C. Contingent liabilities
D. Concealed expenses
Answer: C
Question: 396
According to Accounting Changes and Errors Corrections, which of the following is
NOT the type accounting change that must be disclosed to avoid misleading the user of
financial statements?
A. accounting principles
B. estimates
C. reporting entities
D. liability omissions
Answer: D
Question: 397
Improper asset valuations usually fall into which of the following category?
A. Inventory valuation
B. Accounts receivable
C. Business combinations
D. All of the above
Answer: D
Question: 398
To debit accounts receivables and credit sales is the typical entry under:
A. Fictitious account payables
B. Fictitious account receivables
C. Failure to write off account receivables
D. Failure to write off account payables
Answer: B
Question: 399
Which of the following is NOT the scheme of fixed assets that are subject to
A. Related party transactions
B. Booking fictitious assets
C. Misrepresentation asset valuation
D. Improperly capitalizing inventory and start-up costs
Answer: A
Question: 400
Which type of misstatements are considered relevant fro audit purpose?
A. Misstatements arising from fraudulent financial reporting
B. Misstatements arising from misappropriation of assets
C. Both A and B
D. Neither A nor B
Answer: C
Question: 401
In identifying risks that may result in material misstatements sue to fraud, auditors should
A. type of risk
B. significance of risk
C. pervasiveness of risk
D. All of the above
Answer: D
Question: 402
Judgments about the risk of material misstatement due to fraud have an overall effect on
how the audit is concluded in what ways?
A. Assignment of personnel and supervision
B. Accounting principles
C. Predictability of auditing procedures
D. All of the above
Answer: D
Question: 403
Which of the following is NOT included in financial statement analysis?
A. Vertical analysis
B. Horizontal analysis
C. Fraction analysis
D. Ratio analysis
Answer: C
Question: 404
A technique for analyzing the relationships between the items on an income statement,
balance sheet, or statement of cash flows by expressing components as percentages is
A. Vertical analysis
B. Horizontal analysis
C. Fraction analysis
D. Ratio analysis
Answer: A
Question: 405
A technique for analyzing the percentage change in individual financial statement items
from one year to the next in known as:
A. Vertical analysis
B. Horizontal analysis
C. Fraction analysis
D. Ratio analysis
Answer: B
Question: 406
A fraction analysis is a means of measuring the relationship between two different
financial statement amounts.
A. True
B. False
Answer: B
Question: 407
The formula to calculate quick ratio is:
A. Quick ratio = (Credit + Securities + Receivables) / Current liabilities
B. Quick ratio = (Cash + Securities + Payables) / Final liabilities
C. Quick ratio = (Credit + Securities + Payables) / Final liabilities
D. Quick ratio = (Cash + Securities + Receivables) / Current liabilities
Answer: D
Question: 408
The receivable turnover can be calculated by which of the following formula:
A. Receivable turnover = Net Sales on Account / Average Net Receivables
B. Receivable turnover = Gross Sales on Account / Average Gross Receivables
C. Receivable turnover = Net Sales on Receivables / Average Net Account
D. Receivable turnover = Gross Sales on Receivables / Average Gross Account
Answer: A
Question: 409
Collection ratio can be calculated by the formula:
A. Collection Ratio = 365 / Payable Turnover
B. Collection Ratio = 365 + Net Income / Receivable Turnover
C. Collection Ratio = 365 / Receivable Turnover
D. Collection Ratio = 365 + Net Sales / Receivable Turnover
Answer: C
Question: 410
Which of the following is the formula for the inventory turnover?
A. Inventory turnover = Cost of Goods Purchased / Average Inventory
B. Inventory turnover = Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory
C. Inventory turnover = Cost of Goods Sold / Total Inventory
D. Inventory turnover = Cost of Goods Purchased / Total Inventory
Answer: B
Question: 411
The modification of behavior through the perception of negative sanctions is called:
A. Endorsement
B. Deterrence
C. Consent
D. Authorization
Answer: B
Question: 412
What is considered by most professionals to be the cornerstone of an employee reporting
A. Focus line
B. Report Foundation
C. Hotline
D. Imputed Reports
Answer: C
Question: 413
Which of the following is NOT the type of hotline?
A. Part-time hotline
B. Full-time hotline
C. Third-party hotline
D. Detective hotline
Answer: D
Question: 414
According to Wheelwright; branch of philosophy which is the systematic study of
reflective choice, of the standards of right and wrong by which a person is to be guided,
and of the goods toward which it may ultimately be directed id called:
A. Ethics
B. Morality
C. Legality
D. Saintliness
Answer: A
Question: 415
What advocates that there are concrete ethical principles that cannot be violated?
A. Utilitarian principle
B. Imperative principle
C. Functional activity
D. Serviceable principle
Answer: B
Question: 416
When each situation must be evaluated on its own, in essence, the end can justify the
means, this is referred to as:
A. Situational ethics
B. Situational behavior
C. Situational principle
D. Situational hotline
Answer: A
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Financial Certified syllabus - BingNews Search results Financial Certified syllabus - BingNews How to Pick the Best CFP Program to Study No result found, try new keyword!When pursuing a financial certification, you can't ignore the ... "You may not get as much out of the courses to really have the knowledge necessary to give genuine personal financial planning ... Wed, 27 Jan 2021 21:25:00 -0600 How to Become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can give you broad-based knowledge that may allow you to guide your clients to achieve their personal financial goals. As a financial planner, you can expect to develop long-term client relationships and follow a strict code of ethics.

How to Become a CFP®

There are several components to obtaining the CFP® mark:

1. Education

Kristin Regis with the text Kristin RegisThe educational component includes completing a CFP Board-Registered Education Program and then 30 hours of continuing education in each reporting period. These ongoing requirements give the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional the extra knowledge to enhance their reputation in the field.

“These requirements help to reassure potential clients that the financial planner has the knowledge to help them reach their financial goals and understands how to advise (them) ethically,” said Kristin Regis, an associate dean of finance at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

Along with a finance degree or a CPA credential, other courses that can help CFP® professionals include psychology or other social science, public speaking or business presentation, and communication classes.

2. The CFP® Exam

Craig Allen with the text Craig AllenHow hard is it to become a CFP® professional? First, you need to have specific coursework under your belt to qualify for the CFP® exam. Some degree programs will include this, but you typically need to take additional courses if you have a degree in a related field.

Craig Allen, CFP® professional and finance adjunct faculty at SNHU, recommends looking for a program that offers a financial planning concentration that qualifies you to sit for the test as you obtain your bachelor's degree.

Obtaining this defining industry credential can set you apart and accelerate your career, even when you have just a few years of experience. “(The CFP® mark) gives you a leg up, and shows you did the work and have the knowledge,” said Jennifer Facini, a CFP® professional and adjunct instructor at SNHU. "It builds trust.”

Facini also recommended getting a mentor, not only to help prepare for the test but for career development. She suggested exploring the mentor program offered on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. website, which can include test prep, free resources and networking opportunities.

3. Personal Characteristics and Interests

There are also certain personal characteristics and traits that a successful CFP® professional should possess that can predict your level of enjoyment in the industry.

Dan Serra with the text Dan Serra“Students ask me, 'What skills do I need?' I often highlight two keywords: curiosity and empathy — about people and how things work,” said Dan Serra, CFP® and adjunct at SNHU.

Serra said that sometimes a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional needs to explain complex concepts to their clients. "(The CFP® professional needs) to be willing to go through many pages of documents to understand what their clients might not. As for empathy, you need to be comfortable with their feelings and in difficult times,” he said.

A thirst for ongoing knowledge, a desire to help people reach their financial goals and an affinity for developing long-term relationships with your clients are all beneficial in this career track.

4. Experience

Experience in the field is required to attain the certification. According to the CFP Board’s experience requirement, you must achieve 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship.

The CFP Board notes that “qualifying experience includes activities involving the delivery of financial planning services to individual clients,” including direct interaction with clients or a supervisory role.

Teaching financial planning-related courses, internships or the Financial Planning Association’s Residency Program are also suggested as ways to gain the necessary experience requirements.

5. Ethics

Ethics is one of the most important characteristics and requirements of the CFP® professional. When you seek to attain this credential, you are vowing to adhere to high ethical and professional standards laid out by the CFP Board.

You promise to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice to your client, and that you will always place their best interests and needs above your own personal gain.

How is it Different From a Financial Advisor?

Your financial status will always be a part of planning your future. Many of us need help with this and can find it from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, or CFP® professional. While a financial advisor may help clients reach their personal financial goals by primarily focusing on investments, CFP® professionals take a more holistic view and approach to their clients' financial health.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can advise their clients on risk management, retirement, estate planning, taxes, insurance, budgeting and more — and how all these factors affect their client’s ability to save and grow their money.

Jennifer Facini with the text Jennifer FaciniCredibility, according to Facini, is valuable in the financial industry. “The term advisor is so loose; anyone can say it," she said. "But to be a CFP® professional, you’ve taken courses, did a capstone and then sat for the exam. Knowledge and experience and ongoing education are required annually, along with strong ethics."

These good ethics are reflected in the fiduciary standards to which the CFP® professional is required to adhere. The fiduciary standard means that as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, you are obligated to put your clients’ needs ahead of your own. 

“Some advisors only get paid through (the) commission of selling certain products they’re incentivized to sell, that aren’t necessarily in the client’s best interest,” Facini said. “The fiduciary standard has eliminated that concern. (A CFP® professional is) working with your best interests in mind.”

The CFP® Professional and Client Relationship

One important consideration when becoming a CFP® professional is realizing a key element of the profession is developing and tending to long-term client relationships. Financial planning is a lifelong endeavor, and many things change and evolve in the best-laid plans due to life’s twists and turns. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional should be comfortable being an intimate part of their client’s discussions of all those facets.

This cradle-to-grave relationship can last through marriages and divorces, job loss, retirement and all kinds of financial setbacks and gains. The client needs to feel comfortable sharing these personal details with their financial planner, and there needs to be trust. “(As a client,) you’re kind of baring your soul, and you don’t want to feel judged. You need to feel safe to be honest,” Facini said. “You want to relate to the person. (As their CFP® professional,) be genuine. If they see the real you, they’ll feel comfortable.”

Sometimes, clients need someone to tamp down any short-term panic behavior to protect their long-term financial goals. “A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is a coach prepared to give advice on things beyond investments, up to and including managing (client) behavior,” Serra said. “The keyword is planning — for the future, not just ‘what’s going on in the market now.’ Risk management means helping clients protect themselves by focusing on the long-term implications, not just on the market today. That’s where psychology and coaching comes in. It’s planning for the long-term future, not the next couple of years.”

Dr Kimberly Blanchette with the text Dr Kimberly BlanchetteAs advancements in technology change how many fields work, financial planners will continue to be needed for quality control and the human touch. "A financial planner connects personally with clients through human skills such as emotional intelligence," said Dr. Kimberly Blanchette, the executive director of online business programs. "Financial planning as a profession is one that clients are looking to engage with a human and not a machine.”

A CFP® professional takes the emotional aspect out of their decisions, Facini said, preventing any rash decisions that might affect the client’s future. “A CFP® is sort of a therapist to express your fears to; they use their rational voice to talk you out of (bad decisions),” she said.

The Benefits of Becoming a CFP® Professional

There are many benefits to working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to achieve your long-term goals, but there are also benefits to being one.

You’re the Go-To ‘Quarterback’

As a CFP® professional, the value of your in-depth knowledge of financial syllabus is in high demand. But what’s also valued by clients is the one-stop-shopping aspect. “The CFP® is the quarterback who can answer or knows who to go to for the answer,” Serra said.

Facini used the quarterback analogy as well, adding that in addition to finding any other needed certified beyond the realm of the CFP® professional — estate attorneys, insurance agents and others who help with financial issues — the planner also follows-up to ensure everything has been done. Some clients are overwhelmed and don’t have time to research who they need to go to, she said, and then find them all.

A CFP® professional helps their client find these other professionals and then closes the communications loop by making sure they received the right help for their specific goals. A CFP® professional isn't an attorney, Serra said, but does know enough about estate planning to know when you need one. They can do follow-up work with beneficiaries, for example, tell you what they know, refer you to other professionals for information they don't know and coordinate all of that work into a cohesive whole.

You’re Not a Salesperson

Your clients know the fiduciary standard holds you accountable for putting their best interests ahead of your own.

“You don’t sell products, so it’s nice to not be a salesman,” Serra said.

Finance scares some people if they connote it with sales, Facini said, but you don't need those traits here. “You can be kind, easy-going, genuine. You’re coming from a place of helping people. You’re problem-solving; you put the puzzle together and present it. I love talking to people. You don’t have to be sales-driven or assertive.”

Career Advancement and Earning Potential

Serra said the earning potential as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional could depend on whether you work for an organization or for yourself.

“You can be a staff (financial planner) and work your way up into management as a principal or owner with profit sharing. Or you could also keep all the money you earn by being an independent planner, and increase as you gain experience. There is a high demand, and the more you know, the more valuable you are,” Serra said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), personal financial advisors had a median annual salary of $95,390 in May 2022.* The financial planning job outlook is positive, too. The BLS projects it to grow by 13% from 2022 to 2032.*

As a CFP® professional, you can specialize in financial syllabus or on specific professions or demographics. Serra said Social Security and Medicare advice is an especially attractive specialty to Baby Boomers, and professions like doctors or other businesses can have particular planning needs that you can develop knowledge about, creating a strong niche client base.

Career Satisfaction

One of the things the profession gets high grades for is personal satisfaction, Serra said.

According to a 2021 report by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, 93% of CFP® professionals surveyed were satisfied with their career choice. As per the findings of the Survey of CFP® Professionals, 93% of respondents would also recommend the CFP® certification to other financial professionals.

“It’s a career that gets a very high ‘I love my job’ rating because of the work/life balance. Some Certified Financial Planners I know only work three days a week or flex the hours for dealing with personal life needs. You can work anywhere with a phone and a computer. It’s a level of flexibility that many careers don’t offer,” he said.


The work/life balance ratio can be attractive to many people juggling family responsibilities and other interests. And there’s also the satisfaction of helping others achieve their financial goals and future security while developing lifelong relationships.

Facini sums it up with a simple concept: A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is not selling their client something; you’re part of their team. “You’re on the same side of the table with the client,” she said.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Certified Financial Planner Program

The Leavey School of Business, in partnership with Dalton Education, offers both self-paced and virtual classroom courses that fulfill the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification education requirement necessary to attain your CFP® certification. Both of these programs are designed to fulfill the education requirement to sit for the CFP Certification Examination. Whatever your learning style, we have the perfect program for you:

For more information, click here OR call 877-426-2373 OR send an email to

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:23:00 -0500 en text/html
Your Guide to Free CFP Ethics CE Courses No result found, try new keyword!Keeping up with continuing education requirements is an important responsibility for certified financial planners. Knowing where to find approved courses or programs can keep you from scrambling to ... Tue, 19 Dec 2023 22:50:00 -0600 en-us text/html Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certificate

Our 18 credit hour graduate certificate program is now available for Fall, Spring, and Summer admission and is offered 100% online. Required courses include: 

  • FIN 5070: Tax Planning for Financial Planners (3)

  • FIN 5310: Investment Management (3)

  • FIN 5720: Retirement/Insurance Planning (3)

  • FIN 5750: Fundamentals of Financial Planning (3)

  • FIN 5780: Estate Planning (3)

  • FIN 5800: CFP Capstone (3)

*For more information about the MS in Finance degree or the CFP Graduate Certificate , including tuition and fee information, please email Ashley Bock, our Recruiting Coordinator. 

Online Energy Business Certificate

The Online Energy Business Certificate is designed for professionals working in the energy industry. The identified courses provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge related to real-world application within the highly competitive industry. Tailored towards the working professional with a busy schedule, this certificate can be completed in two semesters.

Individuals electing to pursue this non-degree seeking graduate certificate will take the following three (3) energy focused courses: 

Energy Industry Value Chain
Examines the overall energy industry with detailed exploration of the major energy subsectors and supply chains. Students will develop knowledge of the energy industry value chain including coverage of market dynamics, prevalent strategies, finance, operations, externalities and network effects, environmental and ethical considerations, and associated policy issues.

Energy Finance: Project Evaluation

This course introduces students to the key methods used to evaluate investments in energy industry projects from the perspective of the developer as well as the lender and other stakeholders. syllabus include project finance modeling, techno-economic considerations, business structures, regulatory and legal issues, risk analysis, and deal terms.

Fundamentals of Accounting in the Energy Industry
Introduces students to basic financial accounting and reporting issues related to energy producing activities. Specifically, the course will investigate current accounting practices of energy producing companies related to exploration, acquisition, development, and delivery of energy products.  The course will also cover the financial requirements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

*Fall admission only.  

*For Tuition and Fee information, please email

Sun, 12 Nov 2023 08:27:00 -0600 en text/html
Online MBA in Financial Planning

Our Reputation

  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Ranked by US News and World Report among the top 20 schools in the Western United States.
  • USDLA-award-winning online classes
  • Listed as one of the Top Schools in Financial Planning Magazine

More program highlights

Online Courses

Online courses are offered year-round in five, 8-week terms. The accelerated format of the program allows a student to complete the program in less than two years, if desired.

Students and faculty meet in live virtual learning environments designed for collaboration with audio, video, application sharing, and group break-out rooms.

Classes are capped at 20 students.

About online courses

Transfer Your Credit

Students may petition to transfer up to six semester credits of graduate coursework taken at other regionally accredited colleges or universities to the financial planning program at California Lutheran University.

Students may also be eligible to transfer up to nine credits for previously earned master's degrees.

View transfer agreements

The CFP® Board is a nonprofit professional regulatory organization that requires education, ethics requirements, examination, and experience for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certificants. Along with completing the financial planning coursework and passing the CFP® Certification Examination, the CFP® Board also requires successful CFP® certificants to have financial planning-related work experience and adhere to their Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

The MBA and Certificate program in Financial Planning is registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) in Washington DC. Candidates who plan to sit for the CFP Certification Examination must successfully complete a CFP Board-Registered Program.

The MBA and Certificate program in Financial Planning is registered by the AFCPE® Registered Education Program in Westerville, OH. Candidates who plan to sit for the AFC® Certification Examination must successfully complete a AFCPE® Registered Education Program.

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 06:43:00 -0600 en text/html
Virginia wins ‘A’ grade for financial literacy courses; high school teachers recognized

Live within your means. Contribute to your 401k immediately. Create an emergency savings fund, because there will be a rainy day.

Those are among the tips that high school students in Hampton Roads hear from financial literacy teachers.

Those tips appear to be paying off, at least on course exams that show high pass rates for students at several area schools, including in Newport News and Chesapeake.

Teachers and schools across the area recently received awards for their high student pass rates on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test.

For about a decade, Virginia has required that all high school students take a financial literacy class. This year, the state was one of seven given the top “A” grade on a “report card” from the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College, in Burlington, Vermont, for requiring a personal finance course before graduation.

Tina Shorter, from Woodside High School in Newport News, was among those from the area receiving a Gold Star Teacher Award because at least 93% of her students passed the certification test.

Shorter said she’s glad that the financial literacy class is state mandated, adding that it can be life-changing.

“Everybody that’s in my generation or a little bit younger made so many mistakes,” Shorter tells her students, because they did not learn financial literacy while in school. This class is about trying to help students avoid some of those mistakes.

Many of the lessons are eye opening, Shorter said. “Some students don’t know how much groceries are.”

Shorter said the class covers various topics, including credit, money management, insurance and investments. Some of her students also are able to help their parents and families with personal finances after taking the class.

David Thaw, a teacher at Chesapeake’s Grassfield High School, said the class makes students more “financially savvy” as they leave high school.

“They’re prepared to live on a budget, to live within their means and hopefully to get off to a really good start in their financial journey,” he said.

Grassfield won the Platinum Star Award from W!se for achieving a 90% student pass rate in the certification course for the second consecutive year.

Thaw said that the class includes games that feature scenarios and simulations to help students understand some of the more complex subjects, such as the stock market.

Nour Habib,

Thu, 28 Dec 2023 23:20:00 -0600 Nour Habib en-US text/html
Is a Career in Financial Planning in Your Future?

People often confuse the role of a financial planner with other, similar jobs like financial advisors. While there are similarities between these jobs, there are key differences. A financial advisor generally helps people manage their money, while a financial planner develops personalized financial plans for their clients, including estate planning, saving for children's college expenses, and retirement planning.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial planners help people manage their money while sorting through their financial matters.
  • Finding clients and building a customer base is crucial to experiencing success as a financial planner.
  • Becoming a financial planner requires a bachelor's degree, along with courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management.
  • If you're comfortable with sales, are great with people, have excellent analytical and communication skills, and can work independently, financial planning may be right for you.
  • There is often a difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor. Financial planners focus on long-term goals while financial advisors take a more narrow view, helping individuals manage their money.

Both professionals may also differ regarding their educational backgrounds and designations. Financial planners may also have a special area of expertise. If you're thinking of becoming a financial planner, there are some key points you need to think about.

Do you have the right education and the skills necessary to be a success? Is this even the right career path for you? Read on to learn more about financial planning, and take our quiz to help you make a more informed decision.

Financial Planners: The Basics

Financial planners help people manage their money while sorting through their financial matters. Like financial advisors, they help their clients develop financial goals for the long term. These professionals assess their clients' stage of life, risk tolerance, and potential investments.

Financial planners also earn a living by helping people sort through and choose investments, insurance, and other financial products. Because many financial planners also specialize in specific areas, they may provide tailored services for their clients. Some of these services include—but aren't limited to—retirement planning, general investment analysis, estate planning, tax planning, and education planning.

Obtaining New Business

Finding clients who need those services and building a customer base is crucial to experiencing success as a financial planner because referrals from satisfied clients are an important source of new business. Whether you find new clients by giving seminars or lectures, through social or business contacts, or simply by cold calling, you must find them.

Having a broad social network is one reason many successful financial planners enter the field after working in a related occupation such as accountant, auditor, insurance sales agent, lawyer or securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent.

Education Requirements

Financial planning employers look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, business, mathematics, or law. Courses in investments, taxes, estate planning, and risk management are also helpful.

Financial analysts may also seek special designations like certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst, and chartered financial consultant.

Generally, a license is not required to work as a personal financial advisor, but advisors who sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or insurance may need licenses such as Series 6, 7, or 63. These exams are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. To take most of these exams, you need sponsorship from a member firm or self-regulatory organization.

Where Do Advisors Work?

More than half of all financial advisors work for finance and insurance companies, including securities and commodity brokers, banks, insurance carriers, and financial investment firms. However, many personal financial advisors are self-employed, operating small investment advisory firms, usually in urban areas.

Financial planners and advisors make money by either charging commissions on the investment products they sell or an annual, hourly, or flat fee for their services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of financial advisors is expected to increase by 13% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

This is a result of the increased investment by businesses and individuals, the rising number of self-directed retirement plans, and the growing number of older adults.

Personal financial advisors will benefit even more than financial analysts as baby boomers enter retirement and as a better-educated and wealthier population requires investment advice. In addition, people are living longer and must plan to finance more years of retirement.

Is Financial Planning the Right Career for You?

Take this quiz to help you find out:

Quiz: Is Financial Planning Right For You?

1. How comfortable are you with making sales?
A. I could sell anyone a ticket to a music concert with no certain that they'll enjoy the performance.
B. I could sell anyone a music ticket, but I would feel guilty if they didn't like the show.
C. Only a bad person would sell music tickets to someone knowing they would not like the show.

2. At what stage of life are you?
A. I just graduated from college.
B. I've been out of school for a few years.
C. I've been in my line of work for several years, but I'm ready for a change.

3. How much of an extrovert are you?
A. I have been the president of almost every club I have ever joined.
B. I have enough friends to make me happy.
C. A good book, a room to myself, and no interruptions is my idea of heaven.

4. You could be described as:
A. Both analytical and a good communicator.
B. Analytical but not a good communicator, or a good communicator but not analytical.
C. Neither analytical nor a good communicator.

5. At work, I prefer to do my job:
A. Completely independently
B. Somewhat independently.
C. As part of a team.

6. What appeals most to me about becoming a planner is:
A. The challenge of building a client base.
B. The creation of my own business.
C. The analysis of investments.

7. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income for financial advisors was $95,390 in 2022. How do you feel about that?
A. I've never been average, and I'll earn more than the median.
B. That would work for me.
C. Working for commissions only makes me nervous.


If you answered most questions with “A,” then financial planning could be the right career for you. You're energized, not terrified, by the idea of earning a substantial amount of your compensation through commissions. If you have the right connections and energy to work your networks, you could succeed in this tough career.

If you answered most questions with “B,” you need a backup plan. Financial planning might work, but you're likely to end up among the 80% of planners who, according to William F. Cole's The Complete Financial Advisor, are in the business for less than five years. When sales don't work out, what will you do next and how will you sell yourself to your next employer?

If you answered most with “C,” it's best not to consider financial planning. If you love portfolio analysis, consider working as a financial analyst. If math is your strong suit, you could go into financial engineering or quantitative analysis. You'll make more money without having to sell all day long.

Demographics of the Financial Advisor Profession

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 283,000 financial advisors in 2022. The lowest 10% earned less than $46,700, and the highest 10% earned more than $239,200. Broken down by gender, male and female financial advisors take home an average of $177,000 and $105,000, respectively.

The locations with the highest paying wages are Washington D.C., Hempstead Town, New York, and North Hempstead Town, New York.

The industries with the highest employment of financial advisors are securities, commodities, funds, trusts, and other financial investments (60.6%), banking and related activities (11.1%), and insurance carriers (6.09%).

How Do You Become a Certified Financial Planner?

To become a certified financial planner, you need to complete the certified financial planner (CFP) certification process and ultimately obtain the CFP certification. You need to complete coursework on financial planning through a CFP board-registered program, have a bachelor's degree, and pass the CFP exam.

What's the Difference Between a Certified Financial Advisor and a Certified Financial Planner?

There are differences between a financial advisor and a financial planner. First, there is no financial advisor certification, but there is one for a financial planner. This is because every financial planner is a financial advisor, but not every financial advisor is a financial planner. Financial planners help individuals and companies achieve their long-term goals. This involves managing money, creating savings plans, helping to buy a home, and helping with planning for retirement. A financial advisor, meanwhile, has a narrower view, which is simply helping you manage your money.

What Should I Major in to Become a Financial Advisor?

Anyone can become a financial advisor, no matter their major. That said, specific majors are more useful for becoming a financial advisor. These include economics, business management, finance, accounting, and statistics.

The Bottom Line

A financial planner can be a rewarding job that helps others financially plan for their life goals. It can also be a demanding job with such responsibilities and the necessary knowledge and skills required to do it well. Before pursuing that career path, it's important to understand if it is the right choice for you by determining if the responsibilities, the nature of the work, the hours, and the education required are worth it.

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
3 Strategies For Finding A Certified Crypto-Friendly Advisor

The world of cryptocurrency has emerged as a lucrative investment opportunity, attracting both seasoned investors and newcomers alike. Having a certified advisor with crypto expertise is crucial because of the high returns and ever-evolving nature of the market. This article will explore three strategies to help you find the perfect advisor to guide you through the intricate crypto landscape.

The Benefits of Working With A Certified Advisor

Finding a competent, licensed financial advisor who is also crypto-friendly is like finding a needle in the digital haystack. Bitwise's latest study shows that while 90% of advisors receive questions about cryptocurrency from clients, only 15% invest in it.

Many Americans are new to crypto and may need help understanding the value a financial advisor can provide. Joe Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Unchained has launched Sound Advisory to address this gap in the market. “As bitcoin and legacy finance continue to intertwine, it’s critical for the industry to offer a bitcoin-native solution for professional financial guidance.”

As digital assets become more popular, it's important to have financial advice that covers both traditional and cryptocurrency investments. The competency of crypto-friendly advisors in tackling issues unique to the crypto domain, such as security best practices, wallet selection, and account funding, enables an investor to navigate the rapidly evolving crypto ecosystem confidently.

"Investors clearly want to invest in crypto, but volatility and security of their funds are a worry,” Adam Blumberg told me in an interview, based on his experience providing crypto education for advisors through his company Interaxis. “A crypto-certified advisor can help them understand how crypto can fit their portfolio based on their life and risk profile, and how to do so safely."

Strategy 1: Researching Certifications And Qualifications

When searching for a certified advisor, it is essential to delve into their certifications and qualifications. Look for professionals who hold certifications, such as Certified Digital Asset Advisor or Certified Blockchain Expert. These certifications demonstrate a deep understanding of crypto and adherence to industry best practices. Additionally, explore their educational background and any relevant degrees or courses they have completed.

It is also crucial to consider the ongoing professional development of a potential advisor. Look for individuals who participate in continuous education and stay updated on the latest developments in the cryptocurrency world. A competent advisor will actively seek opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills, ensuring they can provide accurate and up-to-date guidance.

Strategy 2: Seeking Recommendations And Referrals

One of the most effective ways to find a certified advisor with crypto expertise is by seeking recommendations and referrals from trusted sources. Start by reaching out to fellow investors or professionals in the financial industry with cryptocurrency experience. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions based on their interactions with advisors.

Online forums and communities dedicated to cryptocurrencies are also excellent resources for gathering recommendations. Engage with these communities, ask for advice, and seek out individuals who have had positive experiences with advisors. However, always exercise caution and verify the credibility of the sources before making any decisions.

Strategy 3: Evaluating Experience And Track Record

When evaluating potential advisors, assessing their experience and track record in the crypto market is crucial. Finding data on investment performance is unlikely, but you can look for advisors who have been actively involved in the industry for a significant period. Experience brings valuable insights and the ability to navigate the volatile market successfully.

One obvious strategy that is often overlooked is the advisor’s website. Publicly advertising cryptocurrency services indicates the advisor has a business model to deliver advice and the confidence to market their knowledge. A reputable advisor will be transparent about their achievements and be willing to provide references or case studies.

Questions to Ask When Interviewing A Potential Advisor

During the interview process, it is essential to ask relevant questions to gauge the expertise and suitability of a potential advisor. Consider asking the following:

  1. What certifications and qualifications do you hold?
  2. How do you stay updated on the latest developments in the crypto market?
  3. Can you provide references or case studies of your past successes?
  4. How do you approach risk management in cryptocurrency investments?
  5. How do you customize your advice to align with individual investment goals and risk tolerance?

Asking these questions will allow you to assess the advisor's knowledge, communication skills, and ability to tailor their advice to your needs.

Working with a certified advisor offers numerous benefits, including knowledge, compliance assurance, and mentorship. Using the strategies above, you can conduct thorough research, seek recommendations from trusted sources, and evaluate potential advisors based on their experience and track record. Remember to ask relevant questions during the interview process and remain vigilant for any red flags that may indicate potential issues.

Disclosure: I am the Co-Founder of PlannerDAO, a non-profit that manages the Certified Digital Asset Advisor designation. The views and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PlannerDAO. This article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

Thu, 02 Nov 2023 00:00:00 -0500 Steve Larsen en text/html
What Is a Certified Financial Planner? No result found, try new keyword!The certified financial planner, or CFP ... by listening to audio recordings while driving and taking online prep courses," he says. "It's important to really immerse yourself in the content ... Tue, 23 Nov 2021 21:29:00 -0600

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