Notepad with What is a Certified Financial Planner Question

Imagine you are seeing a doctor for the first time. You certainly expect him or her to have a medical license. If they have a particular specialty, then you also expect them to have received board certification. These two items demonstrate a competency to diagnose and treat your health issues, and give you the confidence you deserve.

Now take that same perspective and apply it to your financial planning and investing decisions. You probably do not want just anyone involved in decisions about your money. This is precisely why we encourage you to work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™. But what is a certified financial planner, and why does it matter?


The CFP® certification is a prestigious designation that signals a commitment to using the financial planning process. In order earn the certification and remain certified, individuals have to meet very specific requirements, including:

  •      Education – The CFP Board approves various personal financial planning curriculums at a number of colleges and universities. The individual must complete the program at one of these institutions and earn a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  •      Examination – The CFP Board offers a comprehensive exam, which must be successfully completed by the individual.
  •      Experience – Before individuals can use the CFP® mark, the CFP Board requires individuals to acquire three years of financial planning related experience or a limited two-year structured option.
  •      Ethics – The CFP Board maintains a code of ethics, which the individual must ascribe to voluntarily. What this means is the CFP provides financial planning services as a fiduciary and acts in the client’s best interest.

When you work with a CFP® professional rather than someone who does not have the certification, you will likely feel more confident about the decisions being made about your money. You can benefit from an objective, third-party perspective to actively plan and manage the financial aspects of your life.

Now that you know what a CFP® is, you will be glad to know we have two CFP® professionals on board here at Guidant, including our President and Senior Wealth Strategist:

You can reach out to these individuals with any questions you may have by calling (847) 330-9911.
– The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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