- Today, the Indian market is flooded with a many financial products and services – from loans to stock to government schemes to mutual funds and insurance products, all claiming to help you grow your money. The consumer has choices but choosing the best products as per individual need, profile and situation can be a technical process.
This is where planning & an advisory service comes in. Financial Planners play the role of planning and advising a client on the best personal finance management plan that suits his own profile. Trustworthy and knowledge are important qualities for any professional like a medical practioners.the same we can expect from a Financial Planner in personal finance industry.
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCMCertification is a mark of excellence granted to individuals who meet the stringent standards of education, examination, experience and ethics. It is the most prestigious and internationally accepted Financial Planning qualification recognized and respected by the global financial community. The CFPCM Certification wins trust and presents opportunities worldwide. In this era of super specialization, the Professional Certification – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM Certification, gears career aspirants and existing financial intermediaries for giving comprehensive financial advisory services to individuals and make a satisfying career in the financial services industry. FPSB India is the principal licensing body that awards CFPCM Certification in India through an agreement with FPSB Ltd. CFPCM Certification is the highest level of Certification worldwide in the field of Financial Planning with over 100000 CFPCM Certificants and widely respected by consumers, professionals & industry. Education is an integral component of the CFPCM Certification Program and any candidate aspiring to become CFPCM Certificant has to register himself with any of the FPSB India’s Authorized Education Partners. However, certain candidates having specified qualifications and work experience have an option of applying through Challenge Status pathway wherein they can challenge the CFPCMCertification Education Programme.
- 4 E Criteria for Initial Certification
CFPCM Certification worldwide is awarded by FPSB Affiliates to competent & qualifying candidates fulfilling the 4 E Criteria of CFPCM Certification i.e.
- Education:A candidate must complete academic coverage of the Financial Planning curriculum by undergoing the 5 Module CFPCM Certification Education Program through an Authorized Education Partner and pass corresponding Exam 1-4 facilitated by NSE. However candidates applying through the Challenge Status Pathway are exempted from the Education Program considering their higher qualifications & work experience. Education criteria demonstrate to the public that the candidate has acquired the necessary knowledge to become a Financial Planner.
- Examination:The CFPCM Examination (also called Exam 5 based on Module VI-Advanced Financial Planning) is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to apply Financial Planning knowledge to real-life Financial Planning situations. By passing the CFPCM Certification Examination, the candidate demonstrates to the public that he/she has the required level of competency to practice Financial Planning.
- Experience:The experience requirement qualifies work experience that involves Personal Financial Planning. Candidates under the Regular Pathway may complete the experience criteria pre or post appearing Exam 5 however candidates under Challenge Status pathway need to have attained relevant experience before appearing Exam 5. The Experience criterion is designed to provide the public with the assurance that the candidate understands the counseling nature of personal Financial Planning.
- Ethics:To get the CFPCM Certification, candidates after meeting Education, Examination & Experience criteria must agree to abide by FPSB India’s Code of Ethics, Rules of Professional Conduct, Practice Standards & Disciplinary Rules & Procedures. Careful adherence to these standards of professional conduct helps turn initial consultations into trusted, long term consulting relationships with clients and gain public confidence in the Profession & Certification.
- Continuous Education
Once Certified, CFPCM Certificant must fulfill the Continuing Education (CE) requirement to stay current on Financial Planning strategies, products and trends affecting their clients. CE plays a vital role in the CFPCM Certificants pursuit of ongoing professional competence. This demonstrates to the public that the candidate has kept himself /herself abreast of developments in the Financial Planning field.
- Authorization to use CFPCMMarks
A candidate fulfilling the rigorous initial & ongoing CFPCM Certification criteria and after paying the Annual CFPCM Certification Fees is authorized by FPSB India to use CFPCM, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM & CFPCM flame logo collectively known as CFPCM Marks in his/her publishing material and communications. To maintain the legitimacy of use of CFPCM Marks FPSB India publishes the list of CFPCM Certificants on its Website Directory. Consumers are advised to cross-check the authenticity of the Financial Planner claiming to be a CFPCM Certificant by referring to FPSB India website directory.
- Established in the USA in 1969, the CFP Certification Programme is viewed as a global benchmark of excellence in the field of financial advisory. Currently offered in 23 countries, it was brought to India by establishing the Association of Financial Planners in 2002. Since then over 2000 people have cleared the certification exams, over 1100 have been awarded the CFPCM Certification and over 17,000 professionals are currently pursuing it. The Association of Financial Planners was later rechristened FPSBI in 2005.
To become a CFPCM Certificant, you must pass five exams based on various aspects of personal finance, conducted by the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
- For those interested in financial advisory as a profession, ideally you can join a training programme after Class 10 and pursue it alongside higher secondary school and graduation. However, to be conferred the certification after taking the final exam, you must have completed Class 12 with five years of work experience or graduation with three years of work relevant experience.
- As a student, you could for instance, assist a financial planner in his practice on a part-time basis while pursuing studies or any other job relevant to the field of financial advisory. Professionals with work experience can also pursue the programme through the Challenge Status Pathway (view box) to help fine-tune their concepts.
- Regular Pathway: Appear for all five exams and pass with a minimum of 60% for the first 4 exams and 50% for the last.
– Registration Fee: Rs.10,000
– Exam Fee: Rs. 13,000 (Rs. 2000 for each of the first four exams and Rs.5000 for the last exam)
Challenge Status Pathway: A candidate only appears for the fifth exam and pass with a minimum of 50%. You must have minimum of three years of work experience and a specialised qualification in finance or related subjects. Log on to fpsbindia.orgfor listing of eligible qualifications.
Registration fee: Rs. 25,000 (inclusive of the exam fee).
- There is no exam for Module 1. The subject content is embedded in other exams. All exams are conducted online and are based on an MCQ format. After clearing the first four module exams, a candidate’s command over individual subjects of personal finance is very well established. You can apply for the title of Associate Financial Planner (AFP) in each of the individual subjects. On clearing the final exam, you will be awarded the CFPCM title, which encompasses all the AFP titles.
- Registrations are open round the year and a candidate can enrol himself any time by paying a registration fee of Rs.10,000 for the regular mode. It is valid for one year within which the candidate has to pass all the five exams. There is a lock-in of 2 months after registration during which candidate cannot take up exams. Once the lock-in period is over, he can take the exam on any day of his choice in any order. However, the final exam can be taken only once the first four exams have been successfully passed. If the candidate is unable to clear all five exams in one year then the candidate needs to renew his registration for another year by paying the registration fee and he can then attempt the remaining exams.
- Some of the leading recruiters for CFPCM Certificants are:
Banks: SBI, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra, HSBC Bank
AMCs: HDFC, ICICI Prudential, Principal, Reliance, L&T
Broking companies: ICICI Securities, Motilal Oswal Securities, Karvy, Edelweiss,
- Prominent education providers
FPSB India has authorised 35 prominent education institutes to offer training for the CFPCM Certification program across India. Classroom training is currently being offered in more than 100 cities, by authorised institutes. Some institutes also offer a distance learning programme and the fees are extra for training. Additionally, training for CFPCM Certification is supported by books, online tutorials and mock tests and classroom tutorials.
- Some institutes that offer training include: International College of Financial Planning, IMS Proschool, The Indian Institute of Financial Planning
- The future of financial planning
Currently, there are only 1800 CFPCM Certificants in India to serve its 1.2 billion+ population. This pales in comparison to the USA which has more than 60,000 CFP Certificants for its 250 million population. Going by the prediction of various prominent economists, India is going to be one of the three biggest economies in the next 20 years. Therefore India is a dearth of good financial planners. As per some market estimates, India needs close to 50,000 financial planners
This translates in the growing per capita income in the next two decades and thus and never-seen before need for qualified money managers. Financial literacy is low in India today but with more and more informed investors getting in to the scene, a Financial Planner will have to have the academic credentials to enable him to walk his talk. CFP Certification thus is the way to go.