July 2018 | Posted By John Reagan

Jared, with a few of his favorite CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam study books.

What does it take to become a CFP® practitioner, and what’s it to you whether your advisor has one or more of them on board?

As an acronym – the CFP® credential stands for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Its use is strictly regulated by the CFP Board, which was established in 1985, with roots dating back to the 1960s.

As a credential – It ranks right up there with a CPA or MBA in terms of sweat equity. To even apply for certification, an individual must:

  1. Have a bachelor’s degree or better from a U.S.-accredited institution
  2. Pass a full-day exam
  3. Complete 4,000–6,000 hours of boots-on-the-ground financial planning experience
  4. Pass a background check and sign an Ethics Declaration

As an ongoing designation – a CFP® certificant can’t just coast once they’ve earned the credential. They must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years, and remain compliant with their ethics declaration.

We’re proud to announce that our own Jared Machen has completed all the steps necessary to become a CFP® professional, which means we’ll soon have four CFP® certificants on the team, including me, Jared, Rick Hill and Henry Bragg.

Jared estimates he spent approximately 265 hours studying for the exam, which he passed on his first try. (That’s no cakewalk; the average pass rate is only about 60%.) While passing the CFP® Certification Examination was as challenging as ever, we did notice one way in which technology has helped those studying for it: When Rick passed his exam in 2001, he had to wait weeks for a letter to arrive in the mail. Jared completed his online, and accessed the results with two button clicks, three minutes after he’d finished.

Upon learning the news, Jared shared: “I’m excited to have the test behind me. But I’m even more excited to leverage what I’ve learned throughout the process to deepen my contributions to Hill Investment Group and our clients.”

Way to go, Jared!