Las Vegas CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®)
Questions and Answers
At Cassady Law Offices, all of our estate plans come with a complimentary financial review by a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM. Our Las Vegas law firm serves families throughout Clark County seeking effective legal guidance and financial services advice. Firm founder Jasen Cassady is an accomplished estate planning attorney who also assists clients in his role as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM.
To learn more about our services, contact our estate planning and financial services lawyers at our offices in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, for a free initial consultation. To learn more about the qualifications of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, please read the information below and call our office.
Q: Why should you choose a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner?
A: Choosing a financial planner may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones. Financial planners can provide you and your family with guidance over your lifetime, or work with you to address specific concerns as needed. A planner can play a central role in helping you meet your life goals and achieve financial well-being. Consequently, take the time to select a financial planner who is competent and trustworthy, one on whom you can depend for professional advice and services. Your future depends on the choices you make. The information here is intended to help you choose wisely. It's your future. Plan it!®
CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM are certification marks owned by CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), which can help you identify financial planners who are committed to competent and ethical behavior when providing financial services. Individuals certified by the CFP Board have taken the extra step to demonstrate their professionalism by voluntarily submitting to the rigorous CFP® certification process that includes demanding education, examination, experience and ethical requirements. These standards are called the four Es, and they are four important reasons why the financial services practitioner you select should display the CFP® certification marks.
Q: Why are the CFP® certification requirements important?
A: Most people think that all financial planners are "certified," but this isn't true. Anyone can call himself or herself a "financial planner." Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the following requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks.
CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial services knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial services curriculum approved by CFP Board. Other options for satisfying the education component include submitting a transcript review or previous financial services-related coursework to CFP Board for review and credit, or showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees.
CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP® certification examination that tests their ability to apply financial services knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial services process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, state planning, investment management and insurance.
CFP® professionals must have three years minimum experience in the financial services process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks. As a result, CFP® practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial services knowledge.
As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. The CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.
Q: How does the CFP Board's code of ethics benefit me?
A: Through the code of ethics, CFP® practitioners agree to act fairly and diligently when providing you with financial services advice and services, putting your interests first. The code of ethics states that CFP® practitioners are to act with integrity, offering you professional services that are objective and based on your needs. They are required to provide you with information about their sources of compensation and conflicts of interest in writing.
Ongoing Certification Requirements
Once certified, CFP® practitioners are required to maintain technical competence and fulfill ethical obligations. Every two years, they must complete a minimum 30 hours of continuing education to stay current with developments in the financial services profession and better serve clients. Two of these hours are spent studying or discussing the CFP Board's Code of Ethics or Practice Standards. In addition to the biennial continuing education requirement, all CFP® practitioners voluntarily disclose any public, civil, criminal or disciplinary actions that may have been taken against them during the previous two years as part of the renewal process.
What to Expect When Working With a CFP® Practitioner
When you work with a CFP® practitioner, you are the focus of the financial services relationship and your needs drive the financial planner's recommendations. CFP® practitioners follow certain standards called financial services Practice Standards B when providing financial services. These standards are based on the six-step financial services process described below. This broad-based approach to financial advice distinguishes financial services practitioners from other professional advisers who typically focus on only one area of a person's financial life.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: CFP® practitioners can work in several settings including small financial services practices, large financial services firms, credit unions, banks and other financial institutions. Planners are compensated for the services they provide in different ways, as well. Some are paid through commissions, and others through fees or a combination of both. While all CFP® practitioners are trained to provide you with comprehensive financial services, some specialize in one or more areas, or work with specific types of clients. Be sure to ask the planner how he or she is paid and interview several candidates to choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable and who best meets your needs.
Q: What else should I remember when selecting a planner?
A: As more people call themselves "financial planners," finding the right professional to address your financial services needs isn't always easy. It's important to take your time when choosing a financial planner, and before making a decision, become familiar with the planner's business style and understand the level of services he or she provides. Look for a measure of the planner's commitment to ethical behavior and adherence to high professional standards. Look for a financial planner who will put you and your needs at the center of every financial services engagement. Most importantly, look for the CFP® or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM marks.
This information is provided as a public service by CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). A nonprofit, professional regulatory organization, the CFP Board fosters professional standards in personal financial services so that the public values, has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial services. It's your future. Plan it!®
To discuss your family's financial plan, contact Las Vegas CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Jasen Cassady. At Cassady Law Offices, we serve Las Vegas and Henderson families with a wide range of estate planning and financial services.
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