Recently, we offered a high-level meaning for the credentials “CFP®”. I suggested that this post on the Certified Financial Planner could be more personal and, of course, then I got the job to do this follow-up.
At Alpha Advisors, we have always operated with a mindset of doing what is right for the customer. Our financial planning focuses on arriving at a suitable investment strategy by carefully examining the client’s perspective and circumstances. As professionals, we are always seeking ways to stay current on as many aspects of planning and markets as possible. The CFP® program fits a natural spot in our knowledge appetite.
First, it ensured that we understand the basic scope and depth of planning topics like education, economics, investments, employment or running a business, insurance, taxes, homeownership, retirement, and estate planning when we sat for the examinations. Second, it has a continuing education requirement that motivates all manner of providers to offer online and in-person information that we “need to know”. The challenge there is choosing the most beneficial new information given a finite time resource. Finally, but most importantly, the CFP® program establishes standards of practice regarding how the planner interacts with the client. This includes emphasizing our fiduciary duty to the client and upholding transparency about our professional limits to advocate for when additional professional counsel (typically in law, accounting, and insurance) is required. These CFP attributes complement and help place structure around the business model that Alpha Advisors has maintained from its inception.
Clients’ lives are each unique in the situations that they present. As we face the next consultation, it’s comforting to have a best practice process like the CFP® program to help solve the puzzle.