Author Topic: Financial planning masters / certificate?  (Read 3957 times)

vespito

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Financial planning masters / certificate?
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:49:27 AM »
Has anyone completed coursework for financial planning?  If so, did you get a degree or certificate?  Are you currently working as a financial planner? 

I'm what your experiences were like - were you happy with the program, glad you went, etc.  I'm keeping the question a little general as I am just starting to consider doing this (well, I've toyed with the idea for a while, but I am just now getting serious about it). 

I work full time but am looking to switch gears.  I haven't been in school for a long time (I'm in my early 40's), so this would definitely be something new.  Of course, I will try to get my current employer to pay for coursework, but I am not counting on it at all.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

grantmeaname

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 12:19:43 PM »
The cfp is the gold standard. Get it and you're golden. Have you looked up its educational requirements?

mxt0133

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 01:00:48 PM »
Regarding the CFP.  I'm planning on attending a in person course for Certified Financial Planner (CFP), it's 9 months that meets Friday night and all day Saturday every other weekend.  Cost is about $5K plus books.  There are online courses that you could take for about $3-4K.

Once you take the course you are eligible to sit for the CFP exam, they have test prep course for about $500-$800, the test it self cost $595.

Once you pass the CFP exam you need two years of experience performing financial planning duties for clients to get the CFP designation.  You can work for a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm or pass the Series 65 Examination and become an independent RIA.

Ref:

http://www.cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/cfp-certification-requirements

http://www.ria-compliance-consultants.com/investment_advisor_investment_adviser_rep_series_65_exam_faq.html

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 02:26:53 PM »
My brother is a CFP, among numerous other financial certifications. He seems to like it quite a bit, but in his case it involves a decent amount of travel, since his company does asset management for other companies.

vespito

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 02:50:31 PM »
Thanks everyone for the comments.

@mxt0133 - Is that through SFSU? I was looking into that exact course.  I also see that Golden Gate has a course, and a masters track, which is much more expensive.  If you don't mind me asking, why did you choose SFSU?  I do like that classes are Friday night / Sat every other weekend.

mxt0133

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 04:00:47 PM »
It is through SFSU.  I choose SFSU because it's close to my office and prefer a in person course.  I sat in on once class and while the particular topic was elementary for me I'm hoping the later classes are more interesting.  I feel that the instructor and students would enrich the experience to make it worth the cost and effort of taking it in person and instructor led.

Most of the people in the class are already financial planners, investment advisers, and brokers with their companies sponsoring them.   I am interested in being a fee only adviser and only talked to one other person there that was working for a not for profit. 

Even if I never make any money as a financial planner, I figure the knowledge alone with regard to tax and estate planning will more than pay for itself.

ManyMountains

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2014, 10:46:02 PM »
What a timely post. I have decided to become a financial planner as well. I'm 33 and currently a stay-at-home dad, so my plan was to study on my own and take the Series 65 test. I thought that was a prerequisite to getting the CFP certification, but you seem to be suggesting otherwise.

My wife and I traveled abroad for two years, and when we came back I interviewed at several financial firms. I was disgusted by what I found: I'd be selling a product to make me (and the firm) more money, rather than doing what is best for the customer. Fast forward to today, where I am more confident, have the MMM inspiration, and am in a place where I can study for the exams, then move into the career as my toddler son moves into preschool.

I am very interested to learn how you plan on being an independent advisor.

nawhite

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 11:14:49 AM »
I'm not sure about California but in Colorado, you can be a financial adviser (a financial planner is the same thing from regulation standpoints) simply by passing the Series 65 exam and registering with the state (registration is about $160/year for an independent). The CFP is just a checkbox that some of your clients may or may not ask for.

You also will want to look into Errors and Omission insurance which will cost you around $1200-$2500/year for fee only services, i.e. you just get paid a fee for your services and help the clients do their own things with their own accounts. If you start taking assets under management the E&O insurance goes up.

So if you just want to help a couple friends and thus aren't worried about E&O, and aren't planning on taking a lot of clients for a part time or full time job, just pass the Series 65 and register with the state and you're good to give advice for money.

mxt0133

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Re: Financial planning masters / certificate?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 05:11:36 PM »
I am very interested to learn how you plan on being an independent advisor.

To be clear you do not need to be a CFP to be a financial advisor, it's just a designation that means you took a course, passed an exam, and have worked for two years preparing financial plans to clients.

Here is a good write up on how to be a CFP:  http://cashcowcouple.com/financial-planning/how-to-become-a-certified-financial-planner-cfp/


It's just a pipe dream at the moment but I have a general idea on how to get there.  Basically once you pass the Series 65 exam you can take fees for financial advice.  The CFP is for knowledge and how to actually prepare a financial plan for clients. 

I currently work full-time and quitting to be a financial advisor is not realistic for me as I would not earn enough initially to meet our financial goals.  So I plan to set up a LLC once I pass the CFP exam and do it part-time.  I have a flexible work schedule so I should be able to do it part-time and see if I can ramp it up if I really enjoy it.

PM me if you want.  I think there is enough people on here for another SF meet-up.