Financial Planners are Not Created Equal

You’re fast approaching the time when you thought the most stressful decision you would make would be whether to book a tee-off time or go for a walk.

Then you took a long hard look at your financial portfolio—and discovered that retirement might be farther off than you’d hoped.


The good news: it’s never too late to design a financial plan to help you get to where you want to be.

Your first decision: choosing your financial planner.

Financial planners are not created equal—in fact, in most Canadian provinces, there is no legislated standard for people offering financial planning services. Surprised? Don’t be: almost half of Canadians think financial planners must have some sort of training or license. Truth is, except in Quebec, people can sell their service as financial planners without any qualifications or credentials.

That’s why you should consider choosing a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, a designation recognized worldwide for setting and monitoring the highest professional standards in financial planning.

The title of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional indicates that the planner has met and continues to meet clearly defined and enforced standards of competence, ethics and performance.

Certification is no snap. Candidates have to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, abilities and ethics you deserve in your financial planner. Earning the CFP designation takes a minimum of two years, even for someone already working in the financial services industry. Certification includes:

  • Education: CFP professionals complete two education programs consisting of curriculum approved by FPSC.
  • Examination: CFP certification candidates pass two exams that apply knowledge to real-life situations, including financial management, investment planning, insurance and risk management, tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. The exams are tough—about one-third of candidates don’t make it.
  • Experience: Before qualifying for CFP certification, candidates must complete a minimum of three years of hands-on work experience, ensuring that they have practical as well as theoretical expertise.
  • Ethics: A CFP professional has a written obligation to put his/her clients’ interests first and is accountable to FPSC to abide by a code of ethics, practice standards and the rules and regulations of a professional body.

We don’t think you should to settle for less than a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER  professional, the standard in the financial services industry. If you’re looking for a qualified professional to help you take charge of your financial future, FPSC’s Find a Planner or Certificant tool can put you in touch with someone in your area. If you’ve already engaged a planner and aren’t sure if they are certified, use the tool to find out and make an informed decision on who you can trust with your financial future.

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