Why is CFP certification so expensive?

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  • #91862 Reply

      I am deeply confused. I have been considering hiring a fee-only CFP, and understand that a comprehensive consult runs between $1k and $3k. I also looked at a local certification program to ACTUALLY BECOME A CFP and it costs about $6k including books and fees, and takes about 10 months.

      I know this isn’t 100% apples to apples as it doesn’t account for the apprenticeship time, etc., but this generally seems pretty wild.

      #91863 Reply

        I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you trying to suggest that $1000-$3000 for a comprehensive consultation is a lot for a CFP to charge?

        Just because the education is not that expensive, the time and experience spent on your plan is valuable.

        #91865 Reply

          You don’t need a degree to be a carpenter but we often charge thousands of dollars even for smaller projects.

          It’s not the cost of the education, it’s the value of the service you are paying for.

          #91866 Reply

            I think people often underestimate the amount of value an advisor can provide them. Considering also the time value of money, saving a year and $5,000 seems like a very reasonable fee.

            #91867 Reply

              So it doesn’t take 10 months to become a CFP, it takes maybe 10 months depending on the person for EDUCATION only. Then you’d still need the bachelors degree plus the 4,000-6,000 hours of experience. That experience is super important, not just the education part!

              Anyways, I still don’t really see why that should devalue a CFPs time. Clearly not everyone wants to become a CFP. (And I do want to become one.)

              #91868 Reply

                Try to apply your logic to someone with a social work degree and see how the math comparison works out. Or my friend who has an MFA (PhD equivalent) in music performance and could advise you on appropriate musical choices for a particular religious service. Doesn’t compute!

                #91869 Reply

                  I’m more than a little perplexed by your reasoning.

                  I’m going to start by assuming that in the context of your desire to find a fee-only CFP, you’re referring to actually becoming a “CFP” yourself… as opposed to a “CFE”, which is an entirely different discipline and certification process. Can we assume this was a typo, in spite of the fact that the “e” and “p” are across the keyboard from one another?

                  I’m also perplexed as to why you find their fee structure so confusing. I suspect it’s because you seem to believe that any random person can go spend $6k on the course, take the test and hang a shingle. A simple google search should reveal that CFP’s are required to hold a BS in an area such as finance, with prescribed coursework that is required prior to their becoming certified and which often exceeds the general requirements of a BS degree in one of the approved areas of study.

                  Further research should reveal that this test has an extremely high fail rate. It is often suggested that this test is comparable in the level of difficulty to the MCAT, the CPA, or the bar exam.

                  Many CFP’s also hold a MS degree in an appropriate field. They go through practical experience and participate in continuing education to maintain their certification and remain current on pertinent topics, such as tax laws, etc.

                  Many of us spend $3k/year on things like landscaping, housekeeping, lawn or pool maintenance, car detailing and maintenance… without batting an eye. These are all jobs we *could* do ourselves, but choose to pay for as a matter of convenience and/or to ensure those things are done in a manner that exceeds our ability to do them ourselves. This service would definitely fall under this category, only on a much, much higher level.

                  I’m not sure if you’re trying to insult these people who have likely spent almost as much time as you have to earn their degrees and credentials, or if you even realize how your comments come across… but the mere suggestion that you feel you could just go out and get these credentials with minimal effort or disruption to your career as an attorney is really arrogant.

                  If you can’t or don’t want to fork over $3k for a comprehensive financial plan, there’s no harm in learning all you can and doing it yourself. Just be prepared, because there are lots of things you’ll need to know! One misstep in planning for tax-efficiency, a poorly planned asset allocation, choosing the wrong Medicare or other insurance plan, or a mistake on choosing a pension or SS claiming strategy…just to name a few… can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars.

                  To suggest that putting your career as an attorney on hold to go through the rigorous education and certification process in order to save $3k, doesn’t sound like a great plan for saving money. If it’s something you genuinely want to pursue because you think it would make a lucrative career, then go for it.

                  Sorry for the rant. Darned insomnia!

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