What are the key traits I should expect?

Certified Financial Planner®

What are the key traits I should expect?

It’s important to understand what you can expect from a Certified Financial Planner®.
Here are some key traits:


A good financial advisor should be well educated, and able to demonstrate a significant amount of experience. CFP®’s are educated, tested, and experienced.


Your needs should be at the heart of all your planner’s recommendations. Your financial advisor should consider your situation carefully, then give you advice that best meets your goals. This approach may require your planner to explain that your goals are unrealistic, given current resources and financial commitments.


Trust is central to a successful financial planning relationship. You rely on your planner’s honesty, professionalism and abilities to achieve your goals. When you know your Certified Financial Planners® takes their duties and responsibilities seriously and places principles over personal gain, you can form a good working partnership. The CFP Board’s strict Standards of Professional Conduct are designed to ensure CFP® professionals act in a professionally responsible manner.


Fair treatment means your CFP® will clearly state what financial planning services will be provided and cost. Your Certified Financial Planner® will also explain the risks associated with their financial recommendations, along with any potential conflicts of interest. For example, does the financial planner gain personally or financially from your purchase of a particular product or from the outcome of a suggested strategy? CFP® professional are required to disclose any money they make from the sale of a product or incentive they receive from a vendor.


Before engaging you as a client, your CFP® will discuss your goals and objectives and explain what you can expect from the relationship and financial planning services. Once your planner has determined that he or she (or their staff and/or network of related professionals) can assist you, the planner will make recommendations suitable for you. A diligent Certified Financial Planner® will reasonably investigate the products or services they recommend and closely supervise any staff working with you.


Your CFP® will not provide investment and/or insurance advice/services unless they are properly qualified and/or licensed to do so, as required by state or federal law.


To get the best results from your financial planning relationship, you need to divulge relevant personal and financial information to your financial planner on a regular basis. Your CFP® will keep this information in confidence, only sharing it to conduct business on your behalf, at your consent or when ordered to do so by the courts.