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    Hello and welcome to another exciting piece.

    This article promises to expand your knowledge about what it requires to prepare and pass the CFP exam, CFP prep program costs, and how to choose the best CFP courses.

    In this article, we shall discuss:

    Comparative Analysis of the Best Prep Courses
    Best Prep Courses curriculum
    CFP Prep Courses Costs
    Choosing the best CFP Prep Courses

    Comparative Analysis of the Best Prep Courses

    There are many different Certified Financial Planner (CFP) prep courses to choose from, but not all are made equal.

    It’s essential to do your research and ask questions before signing up for any particular course.

    What exactly will you be learning during each class?

    Are all classes strictly lectures, or will there be some hands-on activities?

    Is there a strong emphasis on ethics and a test on those ethics at some point in your class?

    Is there an application process?

    Does the program offer a self-study option?

    The table below compares five of the top CFP prep courses:

    CFP EXAM PREP COURSES

    Dalton Education

    Kaplan Financial/College For Financial Planning

    Brett Danko CFP

    Wiley Efficient Learning

    Zahn Associates

    Practice Question/ Quizzes

    2,000

    2,500

    3,000

    850+

    1,800

    Course Materials

    Print/Electronic

    Print/E-book

    Print/E-book

    E-Book

    Instructor Support

    Live, Onsite

    Live, On-demand, Onsite

    Live, On-demand

    Live, On-demand

    On-demand

    Price

    $2,195

    $449 or $1,348

    $1,995

    $545

    $1,045

    Discount

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    10%

    Repeat Course

    Pass Guarantee

    High

    High

    Moderate

    High

    Median

    Flashcards

    490+

    No

    Yes

    1,400+

    No

    Case Studies

    Robust

    Robust

    Good

    Good

    Moderate

    Online Access

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    Virtual/Live Sessions

    Excellent

    Good

    Excellent

    Good

    Excellent

    Best Prep Courses Curriculum

    Some CFP prep courses cover most of your exam preparation needs in one enrollment package.

    Others take a more customized approach, offering a range of resources and tools to help you prepare for specific parts of your exam.

    Some are available as in-person or online courses, while others are downloadable study guides.

    Some courses offer both.

    And some courses focus exclusively on helping you pass one part of your exam: ethics or planning.

    The right CFP prep Syllabus comprises:

    • Professional Conduct and Regulation
    • General Principles of Financial Planning
    • Risk Management and Insurance Planning
    • Investment Planning
    • Tax Planning
    • Retirement Savings and Income Planning
    • Estate Planning
    • Psychology of Financial Planning
    • Financial Plan Development (Capstone Course)

    Professional Conduct and Regulation: This module includes the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, consumer protection laws, fiduciary standards, and application to financial planning.

    It explains ADR, Form ADV & FEEA filing, Fiduciary Duties, prohibited transactions, etc.

    General Principles of Financial Planning: The module contains financial planning topics in Cash flow management, economic concepts, financial planning process, identification of financial goals, and quantification.

    The elements that make up a household’s wealth are identified and categorized, including types and nature of commonwealth entities; equity & fixed-income investments, selected tangible assets, private annuities, and life insurance.

    Risk Management and Insurance Planning: The module includes Principles of risk and insurance, analysis of risks exposures, life insurance policy forms, plan management techniques, sources of income protection from disability, Retirement & death, and impact of catastrophes.

    Financial market players, including insurance carriers, are analyzed.

    The withdrawal sequence from annuity contracts is explained in detail.

    Investment Planning: The coursework requirements include investment risks, investment strategies, portfolio development, analysis, investment performance measurement, and management of client assets.

    The Stock Market is a significant asset class that gets explained in detail.

    Choices available to various investors viz; individuals, non-profit institutions & business entities are discussed.

    Taxation aspects regarding investments like securities transactions tax(STT), long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax, interest rate are explained, and tax-saving investments like ELSS/PPF, etc.

    Tax Planning: Topics include Income taxation of trusts and estates, Income tax fundamentals and calculations, Tax consequences of property transactions, Capital gains taxes on sales, Stock options exercises, and vesting.

    New sections for direct taxes introduced by Finance Act 2013 are also explained.

    Retirement Savings and Income Planning: This module cover topics like Retirement needs analysis, retirement plan types, Distribution rules, and taxation-related issues of employee pension plans ( defined benefit(DB) & defined contribution(DC) plans ).

    Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Roth IRA, 401k Plans, SEP-IRA, QDROs are discussed.

    Other options like life insurance policies are covered as well.

    The roles of insurer agents/bondsmen, administrators, trustees / third parties in performing various tasks concerning such arrangements are explained.

    Specifics about survivor benefits and marital status concerns for individual retirement accounts are dealt with comprehensively.

    Estate Planning: This module covers property titling and beneficiary designations, Sources for estate liquidity, Strategies to transfer property at death through appropriate planning vehicles, and what steps to take by individuals with a net worth less than $5 million.

    Necessary IRS forms and documents are elaborated.

    Psychology of Financial Planning: This module includes Behavioral finance, Principles of counseling, Sources of money conflict & personality differences.

    It contains practical information on making you more aware of what makes you behave and helps understand clients’ behavioral tendencies and preferences.

    It also allows counselors to develop client relationships/professional rapport.

    Finally, it gives a detailed account of various aspects related to Human Resource Management & how professionals can apply them for successful practice.

    Financial Plan Development: This capstone course is designed to enable candidates to integrate all their skills and skillset in personal financial planning.

    Comprehensive development of a financial plan is carried out to prepare candidates for an intensive exam-like environment with an understanding of workflows & decision making.

    The candidate can go through such situations by presenting a risk assessment, creating a financial plan, & covering contingency plans.

    Furthermore, it aims to improve students’ skills, like applying problem-solving methods to build robust financial plans for unique cases.

    Using appropriate tools and modern technology, students demonstrate competence at drawing up client-specific plans considering various factors like income, savings, assets, etc.

    CFP Prep Courses Costs

    The cost of your prep course will depend on many factors:

    • The number of hours you want to study
    • If you wish to take classes in-person or online
    • Whether or not you get a discount for paying in advance

    The average student spends between $900 and $2,200 for their first CFP exam prep course—but it can be much more if you’re planning on studying full-time or are taking intensive classes with instructors.

    You should know how much time and funds you’re willing to spend before diving into your search.

    For example, Kaplan’s CFP Classroom is a self-paced class that gives you unlimited access to its library of over 1,500 practice questions for six months; however, it costs approximately $2,500 at most schools (if purchased from an instructor).

    Of course, some choose less expensive programs but find themselves straining their bank accounts to afford them because they didn’t plan when considering these costs (or expenses incurred while studying) as part of preparing financially.

    It is important to budget accordingly so that financial strain doesn’t lead to burnout, negatively impacting future exam performance.

    Choosing the best CFP Prep Courses

    There are many different Certified Financial Planner (CFP) prep courses to choose from, but not all are made equal.

    It’s essential to do your research and ask questions before signing up for any particular program.

    For example, if you want to focus more on building relationships with potential clients than actually becoming a business owner yourself, consider staying away from programs focused solely on preparing students for licensure.

    However, if your goal is to open up your practice immediately after finishing school, choosing between purely online programs and hybrid ones may be another essential consideration.

    What should I look for in a CFP Prep Course: Before making any final decisions about which certification exam review courses are suitable for you, consider looking into additional details such as where they teach (online vs. traditional classrooms), their teaching methodologies, who teach within their program(s), and what kinds of student success stories they have both locally and nationally across their network of branches.

    Although some schools may be more expensive than others, remember that you get value for your money.

    Additionally, ask around.

    See if other local planners or colleagues have had good experiences with specific programs or if they recommend certain ones based on their personal experiences.

    The more you research will better inform your decision later.

    Finally, once enrolled, don’t waste your time feeling like things aren’t moving quickly enough; instead, make sure to use every minute wisely by taking notes during each class session while also completing homework assignments beforehand.

    Conclusion

    Many courses out there claim to teach you everything you need to know about becoming a financial planner.

    Some are good; others aren’t worth your time or money.

    Many take an unnecessarily long time, which can be frustrating.

    Others cover too much ground in a short amount of time, which can also be frustrating if you miss details or end up rushing through assignments.

    If you’re planning on going for your CFP certification, it helps to have a clear idea of what will get you ready—and what won’t.

    Take some time to look around and explore different resources before committing to one course or another.

    Remember: If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right for you.

    FAQs

    References

    Kaplan CFP Review Courses

    CFP Prep Course Topics

    CFP Prep Fees

    Dalton Prep Courses

    Kaplan Prep Course

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