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Certification Updates

CFP Board to Consumers: Ask for CFP® Certification, the “Highest Standard” for Financial Planning Advice

Feb 03, 2014

Public Awareness Campaign Stresses Importance of CFP® Certification in Identifying Qualified Financial Advisors

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announced today the next phase of its ongoing Public Awareness Campaign that urges consumers to look for CFP® certification, the “highest standard” for financial planning advice, when choosing a financial advisor.

“Consumers often don’t know where to go or who to trust with their finances. We want the public to know that when it comes to financial advice, CFP® certification is the highest standard – and something they should look for,” said CFP Board’s Board of Directors Chair Ray Ferrara, CFP®.

The CFP® certification is considered the cornerstone of the financial planning profession and only those who have the certification can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. CFP® professionals have completed education requirements, have passed a rigorous exam to demonstrate required competencies, have met experience requirements and are held to rigorous ethical standards that require them to provide advice in their clients’ best interest.  

The creative concept behind the advertising, which comes from Arnold Worldwide, Inc., shows how the CFP® certification makes a difference when it comes to choosing a financial advisor. The advertising features consumers accepting financial advice from an individual who appears and acts like a financial advisor, yet has no qualifications to provide financial advice. “If they’re not a CFP® pro, you just don’t know,” a new television ad states, urging consumers to visit LetsMakeaPlan.org to seek out the highest standard and find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who is thoroughly vetted.

Versions of the print ads, television spot and banner ads can be found here, and for a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign click here.

The new advertising, marketing and public relations campaign includes a mix of television, print and online advertising appearing in national outlets, as well as sponsorship messages on National Public Radio. This is the newest execution of a three-year campaign that has already generated significant increases in consumers’ awareness of CFP® certification and the value of working with CFP® professionals. Last July, after reviewing its initial progress and successes, CFP Board’s Board of Directors authorized the continuation of the campaign.

“Anyone can hold him or herself out to the public as a financial advisor or planner,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller, CAE.  “We urge consumers to seek someone who has demonstrated competency and ethics by achieving CFP® certification, the highest standard for the financial planning profession.”

In addition to the advertising, CFP Board has retooled its popular website, www.LetsMakeaPlan.org, with more helpful “news you can use” information, a blog – “Let's Talk Planning” – from CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, a tool that allows people to search for and connect with a CFP® professional in their area and a new Facebook page just for consumers.

CFP® professionals have access to the new ads and other resources that they can use to create awareness of the CFP® certification through a toolkit available on www.CFP.net.

ABOUT CFP BOARD

The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 69,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

CONTACT: Dan Drummond, Director of Public Relations P: 202-379-2252 M: 202-550-4372 E: ddrummond@cfpboard.org Twitter: @cfpboardmedia

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