It’s a brand new day for another interesting topic about certified financial planner exams: the certified financial planner examination study materials.
The aim of this article is to help you pass the CFP exams by providing you with approved study materials that you can read.
When you are done reading this article, you will be able to come up with a plan to have the right CFP Study Materials for your upcoming exams.
To be more specific, here are some of the points we will consider in this article:
Without wasting any more time, let’s start immediately!
The certified financial planner exam syllabus
Since the career is all about tackling finance-related issues for business owners and organizations, the CFP syllabus focuses on the basic skills needed to handle various finance problems.
The CFP exams have 6 different modules. They are:
- Advanced financial planning
- Retirement planning and employee benefits
- Investment planning
- Introduction to financial planning
- Tax planning and estate planning
- Risk analysis and insurance planning
You are expected to qualify for 5 of these 6 modules if you will ever become a certified financial planner.
Available CFP study materials & tools
When preparing for certification exams like CFP, you should avail yourself of any help you can get.
For instance, you can do a simple online search for study materials.
This search will get you some free books and other internet-based resources that will cover all that you need to read.
You can also take advantage of several materials published by independent professionals as well as institutions, not just in the United States but also from other parts of the world.
Although we will dive a little deeper into prep courses, later on, there is an important question we should answer.
If you put your heart into studying available materials and the approved syllabus, what will you stand to benefit?
You will have become well-acquainted with the code of conduct, rules & regulations, and other financial practices of the CFP board.
You will have understood the role CFP plays in every financial process like investments planning, risk analysis, or retirement planning.
You will also come to understand how important ethics are in the investment world.
You will also get to know how important taxes are in every financial process.
Full knowledge of the following is essential if you will be successful in any financial planning or management role in your chosen career.
And of course, you need them to pass your certification exam.
So, at this point, we will dive a little deeper into one important study tool that you can’t do without the CFP prep courses.
Best CFP exam prep courses and their costs
These renowned prep courses are irreplaceable in your quest for success in your forthcoming CFP exams.
Here are the best CFP prep courses that we can recommend.
Dalton education is the first prep course we are going to talk about because it offers a very high pass guarantee.
The course is taught by CFP’s board examiners and you can take the course review as many times as possible without paying any dime.
The prep course has two exam options namely:
- A course with a pass guarantee at $2,195
- The course without a course guarantee $1,395
There are provisions for live online tutoring, study booklets requiring more than 100 hours of study time, an after-exam review, and free access to online instructors.
There are also provisions that also include private coaching, supplementary lectures, financial calculators’ essential booklet, and digital flashcards.
The first course, which offers a pass guarantee costs more but it has its own special weaver.
Here it is: if you’re enrolled for the course and score at least 70% in its mock exam, they believe you should come out with flying colors in the CFP exam.
If for some reason you did not pass the exam on your first, you will get a 100% full refund.
The entire prep course will take 200 hours to complete and you will spend at least 50 hours on solving the mock exams.
CFP Exam Prep with Brett Danko
Brett Danko is a CFP exam professional, and this prep course is like an inside informant of what you should expect in your exams.
It is a highly engaging and entertaining live review by someone who has more than 20 years of experience helping people pass the exam.
Most importantly, applicants get a small pep talk very close to the exam day, all in a bid to push you beyond that ‘finish line’ on your first try.
Past students who took the course praised the way humor is infused into the prep course because the financial course can be dry and boring.
This way, students can better enjoy their study sessions and improve their memory.
But does that mean Brett Danko prep courses are only online? No!
They also offer on-site tutoring for those who rightly wish to experience the physical learning process prior to the exam.
You’ll get lots of pre-study materials as well as 4 days of live tutoring sessions.
A few weeks before your exam date, you will be drilled through several preparatory questions and answers that are based on actual past questions.
There are two modules, namely:
- Comprehensive live review
- Signature live review
The comprehensive live review costs $1295 while the signature live review costs $2095.
If you fail the comprehensive live review, you will pay an additional $300 to retake the course.
Applicants can retake the signature live review just once.
There are several reasons why you can trust this CFP exam prep course.
For one thing, they offer personalized pre-study and post-study packages that guarantee a 10% pass rate.
They also have on-site classes located all over the U.S. in addition to theory rather flexible online classes.
However, applicants will have to pay for a retake if they fail to pass the exam on their first attempt.
You will pay just $1045 for the prep course, and with this fee, you get two study books, video case studies, a study schedule, and 32 hours of live review classes with experts.
There is also a provision for students who prefer one-on-one tutoring.
Instructors are always on hand to help you with any personalized study plan. You will have to pay an additional fee for this.
Their pre-study materials will take approximately 120 hours of study time while their post-study or live review class is about 800 hours.
Kaplan Financial Education
This CFP prep course is a subsidiary of Kaplan University, and they are known to offer one of the most comprehensive CFP prep courses in the U.S.
One reason why many applicants chose this course is that it is 100% self-paced.
With lots of pre-study materials and 25 pre-recorded live sessions, you can study anywhere and anytime.
The recorded classes are handled by CFP professionals from Kaplan, and their approach systematically covers all the topics in your CFP syllabus.
They offer three study plans namely:
- Essential plus
The essential course is $599 per educational course, the essential plus course is $799 per course, while the premium package costs $899 per educational course.
They also offer a pass protection incentive.
This means if you don’t pass the exam on your first try, you are eligible for a free premium package within 12 months from the time you fail the exam.
Studying the exam questions
The CFP exam is 170 in total, and they are all multiple-choice questions.
The questions will mostly be scenario-based, but some other questions will be stand-alone.
The scenario-based questions will present a hypothetical financial scenario based on any financial topic in the syllabus.
However, all the questions will be related to one or more of the following topics:
- Tax Planning – 12% of the entire questions
- Professional Conduct and Regulation – 7% of the entire questions
- Retirement Savings and Income Planning – 17% of the entire questions
- General Principles of Financial Planning – 17% of the entire questions
- Investment Planning – 17% of the entire questions
- Education Planning – 6% of the entire questions
- Estate Planning – 12% of the entire questions
- Risk Management and Insurance Planning – 12% of the entire questions
Also, keep in mind that the questions will be based on the real-life tasks that certified financial planners are expected to execute.
- Developing, defining, and maintaining a relationship with clients
- Using very discreet means of obtaining valuable information needed to fulfill their responsibilities
- Carefully analyzing the current financial ability of clients
- Come up with viable recommendations and monitor how the recommendations are implemented
- Practicing within the code of ethics and regulations of the CFP board
So, you see that the CFP exams go beyond testing your memory retention.
It focuses more on realistic financial problems and how to solve them, thus preparing you for a career through critical thinking rather than giving head knowledge prominence.
How to study for CFP
Preparation is key; so, start as early as possible.
Keep in mind that it is not all about how much you can memorize, but how many principles you can remember.
Develop a study plan if you have not already done so. Make sure you cover much of the topics, or as much as possible if you cannot.
If you are enrolled in a prep course, you will get a more comprehensive study guide.
Make sure you avail yourself of this wonderful opportunity.
Do not leave your practice questions unattended; they hold the key to your passing the exam.
There are no new questions, only revised scenarios. So, attempt every practice question available to you.
When is the best time to register for the CFP exam?
In principle, there are three windows during which students can sit for the CFP exam. They are in March. July, and November.
During each of these months, registration is open three months before the exam month.
That means if you are planning to write the exam in July, you can apply between April and June.
Students can no longer apply when it is two weeks before the exam.
Here is a trick, the closer we get to the exam date, the higher your exam fee.
- If you register in the first month of the registration window, you will pay a $595 registration fee
- If you register in the second month of the registration window, you will pay $100 more
- If you wait a little closer to the exam date, you will pay an additional $100
So, it is better you register as early as possible.
This will not just guarantee a cheaper price but a more suitable exam date as well as more time to study the CFP exam materials.
According to the CFP board “candidates are eligible to sit for the CFP exam after completing the education coursework requirement”.
To complete the education coursework requirement for the certified financial planner exam, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university.
You must also have completed some hours of work experience.
However, you don’t have to worry about completing these years of experience before applying to write the certification exam.
Although very necessary, candidates can sit for the exam without years of experience, although they must complete this requirement after writing the exam.
Have you ever felt that the CFP study materials are too difficult to study? Or do you think you can successfully work your way around the prep courses?
Well, after considering this article, we are sure that you now believe the CFP study materials, as well as the exams, are attainable.
Getting certified will increase your understanding of the financial planning world and also boost your credibility.
How do you know where and how to get credible CFP study materials, what are you waiting for?
And more importantly, do not forget the CFP mock exams.