Hey there, welcome to this very interesting read you will find on the internet about Personal Financial Planning.

After reading this article to the end, you will be fully equipped with relevant information on who a Personal Financial Planner is and if this career path is right for you.

In essence, we will be covering the following:

The job description of a personal financial planner
The requirements set by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
Professional Membership Association for personal financial planners
The incorporation of technology for a comprehensive financial plan

Without any further delay, let’s dive straight in!

Couple working out their financial plan in the sitting room

What is Personal Financial Planning? A Quick Intro

Financial planning may be described as a professional service aimed at assisting clients to achieve their financial goals or targets.

But why should you consider a personal financial planner career versus other financial planning professions?

This question arises a lot of times in a conversation about some of the best financial careers.

However, a financial planner has a lot of advantages over other financial careers, such as Investment advisors or Robo-advisors.

It is because financial planners enjoy a lot of work flexibility and can quickly strike a balance between work and personal space.

The life-work balance has become an essential element worth considering as mental health cases continue to increase over the years.

In addition to that, most financial planners have no limit over their earning potential since fee-based, commission-based, or a combination of both financial advisors are a possibility.

Whether in portfolio management, real estate, or in a registered investment advisors’ conglomerate, a personal financial planner has the possibility of living a comfortable financial life.

They also provide financial advice, which may be in the form of planning services, transactional services, or both.

A financial planner acts as a guide to their clients, helping them maneuver various financial situations such as achieving savings targets, finding a good investment, retirement planning, or personal wealth management.

The difference between a personal financial planner’s work and other forms of financial planning is how personalized the service is.

Whether self-employed or working for a firm, personal financial planners tailor-make their services to help individuals manage their money better and plan their financial future.

For them, it is all about customizing financial planning services to the client’s best interest.

The Job Description of a Personal Financial Planner

A typical financial planner takes their time with clients to discuss various aspects of their financial situation.

In addition, financial planners typically perform the following duties.

They conduct in-person meetings with their clients to try and understand what they hope to achieve financially. Financial goals vary depending on the person.

For example, some might want assistance with wealth management, whereas others might be seeking to get out of debt.

hand holding a compass

New clients may not understand the role of finance guides and why personal financial management is necessary.

A planner would explain the importance of their services and how the client stands to benefit.

A personal financial planner guides a client on creating an investment portfolio and risk management.

Planners provide investment advice to their clients on maximizing their returns, mitigating risks, and avoiding possible liabilities.

They may also recommend a specific investment or select them for their clients.

Such is common in mutual funds, where investors’ money is pooled together to purchase different financial products.

They may also do this for individual clients if they provide them with power of attorney.

They help clients reach specific long-term goals such as obtaining social security or setting up a college fund.

They may also assist in tax planning and debt management.

They monitor their clients’ accounts and keep them apprised of their financial situation.

In addition, they may discuss any developments to their clients’ finances and make suggestions to accommodate significant life changes.

Financial planners carry out the necessary research and update their clients on investment opportunities.

Requirement and Licenses of Personal Financial Planners

Educational requirements and training

A career in financial planning requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business, and mathematics.

 A postgraduate degree is not compulsory, but it may significantly improve your chances of career progression.

Personal financial planning

Other certification courses might be necessary, such as estate planning, investment, and risk management.

On the job training on for a financial planner is provided by shadowing the more experienced registered financial planners.

Licenses and certification

To become a certified financial planner, you require various licenses depending on your transact financial products.

In addition to this, financial planners in small firms need to be registered with regulators in their respective states.

In contrast, larger firms need to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Various licenses are also required to make transactions as a financial planner.

These include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 7, needed for transaction securities and other investment products such as government securities and municipal bonds.

In addition, one may also require a FINRA Series 66, granted by the North American Securities Administrators Association.

To acquire these licenses, you will need to sit for an exam with the various regulatory bodies and maintain good standing with them once they are granted.

Certifications may also improve your reputation as a financial consultant.

Clients require assurance that they are entrusting a professional to handle their financial needs.

A noteworthy mention is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

To earn this, you will require a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience, and sit for a six-hour examination.

The CFP designation is granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Once you attain this designation, you will need to adhere to a code of conduct set by the CFP board and maintain good standing with them.

Components of Personal Financial Planning Services

Be it financial planning for retirement, money planning, or a personal finance strategy, the key components of financial planning touch on the following:


Spending refers to any costs incurred by a person to purchase goods and services.

All expenditure is classified into two categories: cash, or payments made with cash on hand, and credit, or payments made with borrowed funds.


A source of monetary inflow that a person gets and then uses to sustain their needs and family.

It’s where we begin when it comes to financial planning.


Investing is the process of acquiring assets that are intended to generate a profit, to receive more money back over time.


Personal protection, in this context, is used to refer to a shield against an unexpected and harmful incident.


Savings refers to money that is set aside for future investment or expenditure.

Whenever a person’s income exceeds their total spending, the difference can be used toward savings or investments.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Requirements

Woman writing on a notebook

First, you will need to complete a CFP Board-approved education program.

You have several options for your education and several coursework suppliers who can help you.

You must inform the CFP Board after you have completed it.

Next, the CFP Board will need you to demonstrate your understanding of financial planning.

It is accomplished by either 6,000 hours of professional work in relevant personal financial planning experience or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that fulfills additional qualifications.

The CFP Board’s Candidate Fitness Standards must be satisfied.

You must agree to follow their ethical principles.

You must also pass a background check and disclose any criminal history or work termination.

All your training will be assessed using the CFP test.

When the CFP Board has been notified that your education has been completed, you can do this.

The CFP test is administered three times every year, in March, July, and November.

You must take the exam within the 5-day interval at one of the CFP Board’s designated testing centers.

You may enroll for the test before completing your course.

Still, you must get proof of your degree completion before the education verification deadline or risk penalizing a $100 transaction fee.

Within five years of taking the CFP test, you must hold or acquire a bachelor’s degree from an authorized higher education institution.

You can take the test earlier, but you must graduate within the 5-year time frame.

Professional Membership Association for Personal Financial Planners

The Financial Planning Association (FPA)

Financial Planning Association is a crucial membership organization for certified financial planner (CFP) professionals, educators, financial service providers, and students.

For CFP professionals, FPA membership costs about $395 annually but less for students, but the total cost varies by area and depends on chapter dues.

The value of FPA membership varies for every member because everyone who joins is looking for something different.

Four separate categories exist within the association.


Members can learn from top business executives and coaches in the industry through live and on-demand virtual courses, as well as a Coaches Corner.


The Financial Planning Association works with state and federal policymakers, legislators, and regulators to influence the financial services industry.


Eighty-five local chapters, state councils, and national conferences and events are held regularly.

Business support

PlannerSearch connects consumers with planners, while the FPA MediaSource connects journalists.

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

NAPFA is the trade association for fee-only comprehensive financial planners who work for various businesses.

These companies range from one-person operations to multinational corporations with billions of dollars in assets under management.

Three values unify NAPFA practitioners:

  • First, to provide independent, impartial financial advice.
  • Second, to serve the public interest.
  • Third, to be a standard-bearer for the financial planning profession.

The practitioners are typically united in their primary aim to serve customers most autonomously and objectively possible.

Each member must sign a fiduciary oath every year, adhere to the association’s code of conduct, and go through the four- to the six-week application procedure.

While full-time students pay $35 per year for NAPFA membership, the NAPFA-registered financial advisors pay $695.

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)

NAIFA presents herself as the only organization dedicated to serving and representing insurance and financial advisors, regardless of the products they offer or the scope of their profession.

Insurance agents, financial advisers, independent advisors, multiline agents, and employee benefits specialists are among its members.

NAIFA assists personal financial advisors by protecting and growing their business while also promoting ethical business practices within the industry.

The cost of NAIFA membership ranges from $10 per month for new members who desire limited member privileges to those who have worked in the industry for five years or more are required to pay a monthly fee of $56.

The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP)

Since AFP intends to serve treasury and corporate finance professionals, corporate financial planners could join.

It is responsible for the certifications of certified treasury professionals and certified corporate financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals.

An online and in-person network, live and on-demand training, access to industry information, and tools and resources to support your work are all some of the membership privileges members get to enjoy.

According to reports, there’s also an annual global networking convention with over 7,000 corporate finance specialists.

Usually, AFP charges an annual fee of $495, which is deducted as a business expense.

The CFP Board

Unlike the others mentioned earlier, the CFP Board is not strictly a professional financial organization.

However, it does provide support and tools to current and aspiring CFPs.

The CFP Board Mentor Program, for example, matches CFP aspirants with current certification holders, which means various candidates can also connect with CFP professionals through the community forum.

The CFP Board also runs the online Center for Financial Planning, where businesses, educators, and financial planners may collaborate to solve industry and practice difficulties through research.

The most excellent part about the CFP resources is that they’re completely free – as long as you pay the $825 exam price and pass the CFP exam.

The Incorporation of Technology for a Comprehensive Financial Plan

If you are a financial adviser serious about growing your firm, you must take advantage of every conceivable technology in the industry.

Today, technology provides a significant edge.

The planner who become familiar with technology will survive and prosper in the new digital economy.

While you should not go all-digital, having some tech instruments in your tool belt is beneficial.

Again, the aim is to take advantage of every possible useful technology out there.

However, if you haven’t spent hundreds of hours experimenting with numerous tools, determine what you need to employ.

Comprehensive financial planning entails a thorough examination and analysis of all aspects of your financial status.

It involves cash flow analysis, retirement planning, risk management, investment management, tax management, and estate planning, among other things.

Only via a thorough study can your actual financial situation be established and the best solution offered.

So why should you incorporate technology when formulating a comprehensive financial plan?

You obtain high-quality data from various sources

You need high-quality data that is complete, accessible, and accurate to get top-notch business insights.

Through automation and centralization, technology improves data quality and availability.

Production of robust and comprehensive procurement analytics enables financial planners to define and track key performance indicators (KPIs).

These KPIs help track progress, growth opportunities for strategic spending and investment, and integrate continual improvement to add value by reducing risk.

Data management does more than eradicate paper trail

Machine learning technologies like natural language processing and providing direct access to reporting tools for stakeholders.

It allows users to interact with Chatbots connected to your data stream, automatically creating custom reports to provide self-service answers to their questions on demand.

As a result, finance becomes a source of value both now and in the future and cost reductions.

By allowing your employees to operate remotely without disrupting operations, you can ensure business continuity.

Additional Tips to Guide Personal Financial Planners

According to a 2014 Cerulli Associates survey, about one-third of financial advisers are between 55 and 64, implying that broker-dealers and custodians risk losing assets as advisors leave the profession.

At the same time, the data suggests that these elderly advisors have been dragging their feet regarding succession planning.

As a result, young financial advisers may soon face a job market in dire need of their expertise and services.

New financial advisors need to grasp the following pointers while making the most of their opportunities.

Because the global financial markets are continually changing, financial advisors must continue adding on their knowledge by taking continuing professional development courses.

Financial advisors distinguish themselves in numerous ways by interacting with clients on a human level to provide superior long-term value.

In an increasingly computerized society, young financial advisors should remember the importance of relationships.

As a young planner, you should always read literature, complete online courses, volunteer with professional organizations, and obtain new educational certifications.

These activities will help maintain or improve your worth to customers and employers.


Corporate Indian female finance analyst

Personal financial planners assist people in achieving their financial goals, such as saving, investing, and retirement planning, and it may be a fulfilling profession.

To become a financial planner, a person must understand the industry, personal finance, and social skills.

A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for becoming a financial planner, but higher degrees and certifications assist in establishing a more substantial career.

Getting a master’s degree, on the other hand, boosts your chances of landing a management position.

The income of a financial planner varies greatly depending on the region in which they work and the type of firm they work for; nonetheless, in most circumstances, becoming a financial planner may be a successful career.

We believe you’ve more than sufficient info to spear-head a career in personal financial planning.


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