Financial Planner or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™? One Word Can Make a World of Difference

Martha and Matt have goals. They want to find the time and the money to travel with their kids. They want to better manage their household finances. They want to help pay for their kids to attend college. They want to save enough now to eventually live comfortably in retirement. And they want a financial professional to help them develop a plan that puts them on track to meet their goals.

The couple has narrowed their search to two financial professionals, one who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, or CFP®, and the other who calls himself a “financial planner” but who has not earned the CFP® designation. Both candidates seem experienced and well qualified. Now Martha and Matt are wondering if there are distinctions between the CFP® designation and the generic “financial planner” label, and if so, whether those distinctions matter.
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