My Journey to becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog posts just as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.  I’m still considered a newbie to PF (Personal Finance) blogging and let me tell you…it’s no walk in the park.  Why?  Because I care about the quality of content that I post on this blog.  I want my posts to be insightful and informative yet entertaining and colorful. (I’m still working on the colorful and entertaining part). 🙂

Anyway, I know that you don’t really know a lot about me, so I’m taking this opportunity to open up a little and tell you about a goal that I’ve been working on for quite some time. If you’ve read my About Me post, then you do know that I’m a lover of everything personal finance.  This all began some years back when I first started listening to Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard.  Even though their philosophies were different, their passion for personal finance and helping people were the same.  Their impact was so great that it ultimately inspired me to take the leap and start the long journey to becoming a CFP (Certified Financial Planner).

Why a CFP

I have a burden for helping youth and minorities plan better financially for their futures.  I could’ve opted to get my CPA, and I still might, but the course curriculum for the CFP more identified with what I was interested in….simply put…it was more practical.

There are six areas that the CFP curriculum covers: Fundamentals of Financial Planning, Insurance, Investments, Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning.  To date, I’ve completed all except Estate Planning which I’m currently taking.  The coursework is rigorous and rewarding at the same time.

Obtaining my CFP certification is personally fulfilling and gives my life purpose.  I love seeing people’s lives improve or change because of something I helped them to achieve.

What’s Next

I plan to finish my Estate Planning class around the first of July and then I will take a 3-week review (wrap-up) class and then I will get that coveted plague from my University which shows that I have completed the required coursework to sit for the CFP Exam in November.  I can’t wait.

Prior to sitting for the CFP exam in November, I plan to take a more thorough capstone review either through Keir or Ken Zahn.  It’s going to be expensive but definitely worth it.  This review will help me develop strategies for passing the CFP exam on the first try.  The exam itself is 2 days….that completely freaks me out, but I’ll be okay.  It’s worth it because when I remember my “Why”, I gain courage to face anything.

Future Plans

After I pass my CFP exam in November; that will only be the beginning. There is one last step…I will have to work in the financial services industry for about 2-3 years full-time before I can actually call myself a CFP.  That makes total sense being that I will be giving people professional financial advice.  I want to be a competent advisor, so I will need to work under a seasoned CFP to learn the ropes for a while before branching out on my own.  During that time, I’ll probably have to acquire some additional licenses such as Insurance and series 7 and 66 among other licenses. Once I do my 2-3 years under a CFP and become a CFP myself, I plan to become a fee based advisor working in a small practice or start one of my own.

I hope to find some time to start a non-profit organization focusing on teaching youth and minorities about financial literacy. Educating them on how to manage their money and make better decisions when it comes to their finances.  I’ve already got a name for it…..”The American Association of Minorities for Financial Literacy (AAMFL).  It’s a start but I already know that this organization is bigger than me and that much help will be needed when the time comes to launch it.  But that’s much later down the road. I’ve got a lot to accomplish but I feel that it’s doable so wish me luck.

What goals are you currently working on or have recently accomplished?

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