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Most people think all financial planners are “certified," but this is not always the case.  

Many use the title “financial planner." However, only about 1 in 4* of those have fulfilled the education, experience and training requirements of the Certified Financial Planner Board and can display the CFP® trademark. Choosing a CFP® professional ensures that you are working with someone who has a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism, and because they are held to a fiduciary standard of care when providing financial planning services, a CFP® professional is required to act in your best interest. 

Under the Certified Financial Planner Code of Ethics, a CFP® professional must: 

  • Act with honesty, integrity, competence, and diligence 

  • Act in the client’s best interests 

  • Exercise due care 

  • Avoid or disclose and manage conflicts of interest 

  • Maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of client information 

  • Act in a manner that reflects positively on the financial planning profession and CFP® certification 

Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may evolve over the years due to shifts in your lifestyle or circumstances such as an inheritance, career change, marriage, house purchase or a growing family. As you begin to consider how best to manage your financial future, you should feel confident knowing that with a CFP® professional, you’re working with someone committed to providing you the highest standard of financial planning. 

A qualified CFP® professional will walk you through the 7 steps of the financial planning process which include: 

  1. Understanding your personal and financial circumstances 

  1. Identify and select your goals 

  1. Analyze your current course of action and potential alternatives 

  1. Develop the financial planning recommendations 

  1. Present the recommendations 

  1. Implement the recommendations 

  1. Monitor your progress and update the financial plan as needed 

For more information on the benefits of working with a CFP® professional, call Tod Shoffler, CFP®, wealth advisor with Crest Wealth Management, at 609-522-609, or email tod.shoffler@lpl.com. With over 20 years of financial planning experience, Tod can help you out on the path to financial freedom. 

(*Cerulli Associates May 21, 2019) 

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