Financial planning is the long-term process of managing personal assets to achieve retirement, estate, savings, insurance and investment goals. A career as a financial planner, though it does not require it, is enhanced by certifications acquired through rigorous training in one or all of the key areas of financial planning. A number of programs and institutions offer courses that allow students to meet certification requirement to test for or acquire the various financial planning certifications available.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

Understand the requirements for attaining a Certified Financial Planner designation. Not all courses are alike; therefore it is imperative that you research the CFP Board’s registered programs. The CFP Board will point you in the right direction for course offerings in your area as well as the exam dates so that you can set your schedule accordingly.

Self Study Online

Technology has enabled individuals with busy schedules to customize their learning at a location that is convenient for them. Online programs are designed for individuals with the discipline to self study and hold themselves accountable for the completion of all areas to be covered on the exam while not having to worry about committing to a set schedule or location. As an added incentive these programs typically allow a student to transfer online credit to a traditional classroom course should the students needs change.

Traditional Classroom

In addition to the self study online programs, students have the option of study in a traditional classroom setting in a class typically thought by an experienced professional in the industry. Unlike self study programs, the traditional classroom courses have fixed schedules that often run as long as 12 months. These courses are best suited for students that desire a more personal relationship with the instructors and classmates.

University Programs

More than 300 programs offered by colleges and universities throughout the country. These colleges and universities typically offer both the self study and traditional classroom option for the convenience of its students. In addition these courses are typically available on a credit or non-credit certification basis. Students can also enroll in a college or university’s undergraduate or graduate degree program.