Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a professional certificate course in Financial Planning, provided by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) which can be done within 6 months to 2-3 years.
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This certification course is considered best for individuals who wish to pursue a financial planner as a career and want to help manage people's financial affairs.
The CFP certification program has five exams for six modules, which deals with disciplines like Financial Planning, Investment Planning, Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning, Advance Financial Planning, etc.
The minimum eligibility for CFP is Class 10+2 from any recognized board or relevant entrance exam scores like CA/Intermediate level, CFA, ICWA, CAIIB, CS, etc. among other qualifications such as LLB, Ph.D., and such.
CFP certification can be undertaken in two modes– Regular Pathway and the Challenge Status Pathway, which depends upon the candidate's eligibility and qualification.
|Key Highlights of CFP Course|
|Duration of the Course||6 months to 2 years (Depends upon the student’s eligibility and ability)|
|Minimum Eligibility||Class 12|
|Average Fee||INR 40,000|
|Average Starting Salary||INR 2-10 LPA|
|Top Recruiting Companies||NRHM, Public service commission, Railways, Life Insurance, RBI banks, Oil India Limited, AIG, Boeing, Philips, JP Morgan Chase, Asset Management, Banks, Research Institutes, etc.|
|Top Job Areas||Colleges & Universities, Front Offices, Management of Companies, Banking Sector, Self-employment, Consultancies, Finance Companies, etc.|
|Top Job Positions||Financial Services, Research Analyst, Management Trainee, Finance Assistant, & Accountant Outbound Debt Management Specialist, Financial Agent, Project Coordinator, Financial Consultant, Financial Accountant, Finance Manager, Finance Assist. Manager etc.|
The CFP course is divided into two types which are commonly known as Pathways. Given below are the details of 2 different kinds of CFP Pathways.
Students need to qualify 5 CFP exams of the 6 modules to get CFP certification. Those who have completed Class 12 and are currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree course usually register for CFP through Regular Pathway.
Challenge Status Pathway
Students only need to qualify for the last exam, i.e. Advanced Financial Planning to get CFP certification. Those with higher degrees and qualifications such as LLB, Ph.D., CA, CS, etc. can register for CFP through Challenge Status Pathway.
Do I qualify CFP Eligibility Criteria?
Students can get CFP certification through two ways, depending upon their qualification which is mentioned below:
- Regular Pathway:
The minimum eligibility for CFP is Class 10+2 from any recognized board. To earn the CFP certification, students must have cleared the five exams covering all six CFP modules of the program given by the FPSB.
- Challenge Status Pathway:
Students must have cleared one of the following examinations like CA/Intermediate level, CFA, ICWA, CS, CAIIB, LLB, Ph.D., MPhil, PG, Actuary, FFSI & FLMI from LOMA, Associate/ Fellowship of Life Insurance, Civil Service Examinations by UPSC.
In this, students are only required to clear the fifth exam, i.e. Advanced Financial planning to earn CFP certification by FPSB.
What is the CFP Admission Process?
The registration process for Regular Pathway is as follows:
- Obtain an NCFM number through the NSE Academy website.
- Register as a Student Member of FPSB Ltd. by completing a Student Registration Form.
- Pay the Student Registration Fee.
- After verification, FPSB Ltd. activates the student on the NSE exam portal.
The registration process for Challenge Candidate Pathway is as follows:
- Obtain an NCFM number through the NSE Academy website.
- Register as a Challenge Candidate with FPSB Ltd. by completing a Challenge Candidate Registration Form and sending the required self-attested, scanned documents to IndiaCFPExperience@fpsb.org while mentioning your NCFM number.
- After verification, you will be required to pay the registration fee.
- After the payment, FPSB Ltd. activates the candidate on the NSE exam portal.
What are the modules for CFP Exams?
CFP certification includes five exams for six modules. There is no separate exam for the first module, and its weightage is added to the rest five modules (20% each).
The six modules of CFP are mentioned below:
|Module 1||Introduction To Financial Planning|
|Module 2||Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning|
|Module 3||Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits|
|Module 4||Investment Planning|
|Module 5||Tax Planning & Estate Planning|
|Module 6||Advanced Financial Planning|
The fee required for registration and enrollment are mentioned below:
CFP Exam Fee Details for Regular Pathway
|Student Registration Fees||INR 11,540 (valid for 1 year)|
|Exam Fee (Module 1-4)||INR 4,130 per exam per attempt|
|Exam Fee (Module 5)||INR 8,260 per attempt|
|CFPCM Certification Fees||INR 7,080 and to be renewed annually|
CFP Exam Fee Details for Challenge Status Pathway
- The registration fee with FPSB India is INR 29,955, which is valid for 1 year, inclusive of Certification fees and exam fees.
- For enrollment through Charter Members of FPSB India, the registration fee is INR 15,795, which is valid for 1 year, inclusive of Certification fees and exam fees.
FPSB’s financial planning program includes topics that cover all the aspects necessary to become a Certified Financial Planner, right from the basic fundamentals to the application of skills in the real world.
Have a look below:
|Introduction to Financial Planning||Financial Planning Process that includes client interactions, time value of money applications, etc.|
|General principles such as education planning, etc.|
|Risk Analysis and Insurance Planning||Introduction to Risk Analysis, its strategies, and its applications, etc.|
|Insurance Concepts, Insurance Policies, Environment of an Insurance Advisor,|
|Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits||Introduction to Retirement Planning, Retirement Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Strategies, etc.|
|Pension sector reforms, Reform proposals, etc.|
|Investment Planning||Introduction to Investment Planning, Investment vehicles, Investment strategies, Regulation of an investment advisor, Application to clients, etc.|
|Tax Planning & Estate Planning||Tax Planning Considerations, Tax Computations, etc.|
|Advanced Financial Planning||Financial Planning Process that includes gathering client data and determining goals and expectations, etc.|
CFP Top Colleges & Institutes
Some of the top institutes for Certified Financial Planner course are described in the table below:
Top Government Colleges:
|College Name||City||Average Annual Fees|
|Indian School of Business Management and Administration||Hyderabad||INR 20,990|
|Indian School of Business Management and Administration||Patna||INR 20,900|
|Indian School of Business Management and Administration||New Delhi||INR 25,900|
Top Private Colleges:
|College Name||City||Average Annual Fees|
|IMS ProSchool Pune||Shivaji Nagar, Pune||INR 30,000|
|ICICIdirect Centre for Financial Learning (ICFL)||Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata||INR 30,000|
|ICOFP Delhi - International College of Financial Planning||Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi||INR 35,000|
|ICOFP Mumbai - International College of Financial Planning||Malad West, Mumbai||INR 37,500|
|ICFL - Icicidirect Centre For Financial Learning||Fergusson College Road, Pune||INR 37,500|
Read More: CFP Colleges in India 2021
What after CFP?
A Certified Financial Planner can find desirable jobs in the private banking sector, wealth management companies, investment consultancy firms, and mutual fund and insurance companies among others.
The average salary of a CFP is around INR 3.99 LPA, according to Payscale.
Further, many similar roles are offered to the pass outs of this course that includes financial advisors, risk analysts, portfolio managers, mutual fund advisors, retirement planning advisors, etc.
One can also set up an independent consultancy firm and act as a tax planner, insurance advisor, and debt management specialist. Check the table below to know the job description of some of the common CFP jobs and the average salary associated with it:
|Job Position||Job Description||Average Annual Salary|
|Financial Analyst||A Financial Analyst is responsible for analyzing financial information through collecting, monitoring, and developing financial models for decision support.||INR 4.04 LPA|
|Financial Advisors||Financial Advisors are the professionals who suggest some of the best financial strategies and processes that need to be done to meet the probable goal met by the company or the client.||INR 5.90 LPA|
|Management Trainee||Management Trainees are in charge of working along with managers and accepting delegated duties associated with the position, with the scope of eventually becoming a manager after much experience.||INR 6.34 LPA|
|Finance Assistant||A Finance Assistant is responsible for the business and financial forms of a company for the purpose of verifying account balances, facilitating purchases, etc.||INR 3.01 LPA|
|Project Coordinator||A Project Coordinator is responsible to oversee the project and check if all its processes are running smoothly within the team.||INR 4 LPA|
|Financial Managers||Financial Managers are in charge of the financial health of a company. They generate financial reports, develop strategies, direct investment activities, and plan for the long-term financial goals of their company or client.||INR 8.79 LPA|
|Mutual Fund Admins||Mutual Fund Admins or Advisors are the professionals who know everything about the mutual funds. They help and consult individuals or clients in the process of investing in mutual funds.||INR 5.59 LPA|
Source: Payscale and Glassdoor
Financial Planning is one of the important aspects of business and finance. The course provides candidates with a window into the dynamic financial sector and imparts huge scope in India.
Nowadays, most of the reputed firms and companies have made it mandatory for their financial advisors or analysts to have the CFP certification. It also helps in getting better salary compensation.
You can easily find financial stability in your career after getting this certification, but there are many other courses/post certifications that you can do after this course which are mentioned below:
Bachelor of Commerce or BCom is a basic undergraduate degree in the field of commerce. Students who have pursued CFP after Class 12 can get this bachelor’s degree in raising their qualifications and getting an edge over other candidates.
Apart from this, there are many specializations of this Bachelor degree which you can pursue in the field of commerce and its related areas which are given below:
|BCom Computer Applications||BCom Accounting & Finance||BCom Banking & Insurance|
|BCom Company Secretaryship||BCom Taxation||BCom Finance|
|BCom Accountancy||BCom Co-Operation||BCom Banking Management|
Master of Commerce or MCom is a postgraduate degree covering the necessary aspects of commerce and its related fields.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, then you can definitely go for M.Com. It will provide you a better understanding of basic concepts and its application across different related sectors.
The several MCom specializations are mentioned below:
|MCom Finance||MCom Computer Applications||MCom Accountancy|
|MCom Financial Management||MCom Business Administration||MCom Banking & Finance|
After becoming a Certified Financial Planner, you can go for many certification courses such as Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), etc.
Other than this, you can also go for many doctoral courses such as:
Apart from these mentioned courses, there are many other programs and certifications that you can pursue after CFP which you can opt based on your interest and the field in which you want to make your career.
Know More: CFP Jobs & Salary
What is the Difference: CFP vs CFA?
CFP is one of the most pursued certification courses among students who want to enter the field of financial planning. The course is mostly compared to others such as CA, CFA, CWM, FRM, etc.
Both these courses are in the field of finance diverging careers into financial planning and financial analysis. The main differences between CFP and CFA are mentioned in the table below:
|Full-Form||Certified Financial Planner||Certified Financial Analyst|
|Minimum Eligibility||Class 12 qualification||Graduate qualification|
|Examinations||Five Examinations in the 6 modules||Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3|
|Overview||This certification is required by all the individuals who want to become a successful Financial Planner and get employment in top companies, firms, or work individually as a consultant.||This certification holds a higher value than CFP and is aimed for individuals who want to make a career as a Certified Financial Analyst and work in top companies and organizations.|
|Average Annual Fees (Training/Coaching)||INR 40,000||INR 60,000|
|Average Salary||INR 3.99 LPA||INR 6.77|
The job sectors for both of these courses are the same and include banking, finance, management, business, and other relevant sectors
Ques. What does CFP do?
Ans. CFP provides financial assistance to its clients in order to make the right investment plan to meet all the personal goals within that financial year or in the long term.
Ques. How long does it take to become a CFP?
Ans. It totally depends upon the candidate, and his/ her ability to clear all the exams. The minimum it can take up to 6-9 months, and the maximum it can take up to 3-4 years. Students just need to qualify the exams which they can do after proper self-study or through coaching classes.
Ques. Is the CFP exam date postponed due to COVID-19?
Ans. On April 13, 2020, the NSE Academy announced that due to the COVID-19 crisis, all the examination centers are closed till May 10, 2020, as of now. Students who are scheduled to take an exam through 10 May 2020 may reschedule his/her test(s) till the test date July 31, 2020. Further notifications will be provided if any more change shall arise.
Ques. Is CFP easier than CFA?
Ans. CFP is slightly easier than CFA in terms of exam difficulty as to become a CFA one needs to qualify all the three levels which is difficult if compared to CFP.
Ques. What is the CFP salary in India?
Ans. The average salary of CFP in India is around INR 3-6 LPA. After getting experience and gaining the required skills, such professionals can earn up to INR 20 LPA after around 10-15 years of relevant experience.
Ques. What are some of the CFP course materials and books in India?
Ans. There are many publishers and coaching institutes that provide good study material to prepare for the CFP. Some of them are:
Investment Planning by Dalton, Risk Analysis, Insurance, and Retirement Planning by IIBF, Investment Analysis, and Portfolio Management by Prasanna Chandra, etc. Check CFP Course Material to know more.