Why Choose a Certified Financial Planner®?

DuPage County Certified Financial Planner®

Certified Financial Planner® Serving Naperville and the Surrounding Areas

When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, it can be difficult to know where to start. Advisors have many titles—"financial planner," "registered representative," and "financial advisor," to name a few. Unfortunately, these titles don't disclose much in the way of education or background. Short, focused courses are available to assist with passing certain tests, and in a few short weeks it's possible to have a business card reading "Financial Advisor!" Many people tend to believe that anyone who calls themselves a financial advisor or financial planner must be "certified," but this is somewhat misleading.

The Certified Financial Planner® designation was created to serve the average investor by providing independent certification of financial planners. While the CFP® Board does not guarantee the work of Certified Financial Planner®s, they do ensure that CFP® professionals have met rigorous standards and qualifications for financial planning. Only those individuals who meet the CFP® Board's requirements are allowed to call themselves Certified Financial Planner®s (CFP®s).

Putting Your Needs First

Working with a financial planner who does not carry a CFP® designation may lead to variable results, and this is the case for multiple reasons. First and foremost, in spite of evolving legislation in this area, it is not true that all financial advisors are held to a fiduciary standard. If you are investigating new advisors, always make sure to ask. All CFP® professionals must agree to act as fiduciaries when managing assets for investors, so you can rest assured that a Certified Financial Planner® has expressed a commitment to making your best interests his or her top priority.

The CFP® Board also requires Certified Financial Planner®s to demonstrate knowledge of a full range of financial planning topics; including competency in investments, insurance (risk management), taxes, retirement plans, and estate planning. . Among non-certified financial planners, the level of knowledge of financial planning can vary dramatically, and somewhat depends on various state and national licenses the professional may hold, such as a series 7, series 65, or various insurance licenses. CFP® professionals must have a minimum of two years of financial planning experience.

There are more than 100 certifications available to financial professionals; we believe the designation of CFP® stands out among them. The CFP® Board and certification process play a unique and important role in protecting consumer interests.

Becoming a CFP® Professional

The CFP® Board is not considered a formal regulatory body, nor can the Board impose legal penalties. Instead, it is a highly respected accreditation entity within the financial planning sector. Interested advisors must meet all of the requirements set forth by the CFP® Board and pass several initial CFP® exams. Once a planner passes the final test and meets the other requirements, he or she may apply to begin using the title Certified Financial Planner®, or CFP®. Obtaining a certification can take a financial professional up to two years. The pass rate for the CFP® exam is only around 63% (as of 2021).

Following the test, the CFP® Board continues to monitor its CFP® professionals. Certain events and changes must be reported promptly. Ongoing education is also required, including certain courses which must periodically be attended live. Those who violate the Board's code of ethics may be removed from the organization and stripped of their CFP® designation.

Come See the Difference a CFP® Makes

Matthew A. Krajniak, CFP®, CMFC, is a Certified Financial Planner® professional serving DuPage County, Kane County, and the surrounding areas (as well as numerous individuals in multiple states throughout the US). He and the rest of the team at The Krajniak Group are dedicated to serving our clients. Every suggestion we make is intended to help address and protect our clients' long-term best interests. We believe in building relationships with our clients that last for many years and in helping our clients to meet their financial goals.

To learn more about the certification process for financial planners or to get started on your financial planning journey, please contact our office. Call 630-364-2406 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today. We offer financial planning and investment advisory services to clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, St. Charles, Geneva, DuPage County, Kane County, and the greater Chicago area, as well as throughout the United States.

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