What is a CFP®?

The CFP® marks represent the Certified Financial Planner designation. To earn this designation, an individual must meet the education, examination, experience and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (CFP Board). Therefore, a financial planner who has earned the CFP® marks should be distinguished from a financial advisor who has not. Consumers need to be aware that there is nothing preventing a person from declaring themselves a "Financial Planner", and it is therefore incumbent upon the consumer to differentiate between a planner who has earned the marks and one who hasn't.

A financial planner earns the right to use the CFP® marks, by meeting the following requirements:

  • Education:
    1. Completing an education program at a college or university whose curriculum is registered with the CFP Board; or
    2. Submitting a transcript of previous financial planning-related course work to the CFP Board for review and credit; or
    3. Showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees.

  • Examination: Candidates for the CFP® certification must pass a rigorous two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination administered by the CFP Board that covers the financial planning process and includes such topics as tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
  • Experience: Candidates for CFP® certification must prove they have experience in the financial planning process before being authorized to use the CFP® marks.
  • Ethics: Candidates for CFP® certification have their backgrounds checked by the CFP Board, and must also disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct. The CFP Board reviews all such disclosures and investigates those statements that indicate areas of concern.

Candidates must also adhere to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

Additionally, once certified, CFP® certificants must fulfill a biennial continuing education requirement to stay up-to-date on planning strategies and financial trends affecting their clients.



What is a CWS®?

CWS® represents the Certified Wealth Strategist designation. The mission of the CWS® board is to provide financial services professionals with the technical knowledge, the practice management formula, and the critical client interaction skills to create and build a dynamic Wealth Advisory practice that works effectively with more complex client issues.  This highly acclaimed program is one of the fastest growing certifications in the industry, because it is about both knowledge and application – it is about the Advisor’s goal to become their clients’ trusted advisor.

To obtain Cannon Financial Institutes’Certified Wealth Strategist® certification requires approximately 6-months of comprehensive study using a blended approach to learning. Cannon Financial Institute owns the marks CWS® and Certified Wealth Strategist® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the entire program and pass the Capstone project as well as complete the CWS® Board of Standard’s ongoing certification requirements.

The CWS® Practitioner receives ongoing CWS® resources to guide them for refining and evolving with changing of marketplace/industry demands.  These resources are timely and support the practitioner throughout the life of their practice.

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Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck