Certified Financial Planning Association – What assurance does it mean to be a CFP certified agent in Singapore? Are CFP-certified financial advisors necessarily better than non-certified ones?
This video by the Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS) titled “Introduction to CFP” recently came to my attention. What caught my eye was the statement that consumers should look for a financial advisor with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.
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Friend: “Hey. You need a proper retirement plan. Not all of these suggestions. Wait. Are any of your advisors CFPs?”
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CFP holders are individuals who have achieved a high level of experience, education, professional competence and ethical standards. A Certified Financial Planner will be able to help you plan for your retirement.
They can create a comprehensive and detailed financial plan to help you achieve your retirement goals.
So what does it mean to be a CFP-certified agent, and is a CFP agent always better than someone who doesn’t have a CFP?
Firstly, all financial advisers are licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA). MAS has a set of requirements to become a designated representative of a financial adviser, which mainly involves going through a set of prescribed papers.
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While the name “Certified Financial Planner” means that all financial advisors must practice their profession, the CFP is only one of the internationally recognized certifications that demonstrate the knowledge and competence of agents in the subjects of finance, insurance and investment.
CFP certification is not required by MAS to provide financial advisory services. In addition to CFP, other certifications include Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Associate Financial Consultant (AFC), and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
To obtain CFP certification, candidates must meet all four requirements of the certification process: Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics.
Education: Before sitting for the CFP exam, candidates must undergo mandatory modules conducted by an FPAS approved education provider. Before enrolling on the course, candidates must have at least GCE ‘A’ Level or three years’ work experience.
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Exam: After completing the educational component, candidates can then apply to take the CFP certification exam, which is a series of written tests aimed at assessing the candidate’s ability to apply knowledge in a financial planning situation to fit, to assess.
Each examination for Modules 1 to 5 is a three-hour multiple-choice paper. Module 6 is a three-hour paper in essay format.
The CFP certification exam is held three times a year in April, July, and October or November. Applicants must also be an existing FPAS individual member.
Experience: This requirement is to ensure that CFP holders have the actual experience needed to perform financial planning for clients.
Contributing Back To The Financial Planning Industry.
To meet this requirement, the candidate must have three years of relevant financial planning experience, which can be before or after successfully completing the CFP exam, although experience gained 5 years before or after the exam will not be recognized not.
Relevant experience is determined by FPAS and can be in the field of financial advice, accounting, banking, portfolio management or taxation.
Ethical: After completing the first three requirements of the CFP certification, the candidate can apply for the initial certification. This application requires the applicant to disclose past and present legal or agency proceedings and acknowledges the right of FPAS to monitor and enforce professional standards and codes of conduct, as well as to investigate consumer complaints.
In addition to performing the above duties, CFP candidates are also required to attend Code of Conduct workshops in the same calendar year from the date of CFP certification approval. Current CFP holders who wish to renew their certification must also attend a workshop every two years.
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Obviously, any kind of professional development and self-improvement to better serve clients is good and positive. Be voluntarily subject to a strict set of ethical guidelines.
However, the CFP system has its limitations. For one, it depends on the mood. As an industry association, FPAS may not have the resources to monitor and investigate inappropriateness of CFP holders in Singapore.
Additionally, whether a financial advisor is acting in the client’s best interest is highly dependent on the internal moral compass of each individual advisor, regardless of whether or not they signed up to the ethics law a year ago.
This Ad Was Placed In A Publication Read By Certified Financial Planners To Highlight The Benefits Of Membership In The Financial Planning Association.
There are many reasons why good agents don’t bother to get CFP certification. They may already have a hand in serving happy customers and attending referrals. Or they may find that their time and money are better spent elsewhere, since many consumers don’t even know what the letters “CFP” on the back of someone’s name card mean, let alone use CFP certification as a factor when they choose a financial advisor.
As the governing body for CFP certification in Singapore, FPAS has an interest in reinforcing the importance and value of CFP certification, which the video we created explains.
Whether this certification is important to you is up to you to decide, along with other factors, such as the agent’s sincerity, product knowledge, and track record in serving real customers.
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