Anybody else taking the CFP in July?

Anybody else also going for their CFP concurrently with the CFA? I began workign on the CFP last March and studied for that through July, then I devoted all my time to CFA through Dec 1st. Now (pass or fail) I will be going 100% CFP through July. If I end up passing L1 I will take the L2 June of 2009. If I fail LI will take L1 again in Dec 08, then LII in June 09. Anybody trying to juggle both?

I am fortunately not trying to juggle both, but I am curious to know the difficulty of the CFP relative to the CFA.

I have an interest in the CFP as well. I know people that have done both (not at the same time) and their feeling was that the CFP was easier than the CFA, but still not a walk in the park. It’s a related but different subject matter. Pennsteric, what are your thoughts on that?

Bodymore, Granted I am only about 50% done taking classes/studying/reading for the CFP and only took Level I of the CFA, but if I were pressed I would probably agree that the CFP (although hard) is somewhat easier. I think the CFP is more centered around laws/strategies/memorization,etc. and the CFA is a little more calculations/concepts realted to statistics/math/quant. One section (20% or so of total) of the CFP has a large overlap with the CFA, so that might help me out also. Ill have a better idea after I take the CFP in July. I did want to see if anyone here already took the CFP and could compare the tests.

I currently hold the CFP and wrote CFA level one just last weekend. I would say that CFP is easier, but it is still not a walk in the park. I think it also depends somewhat on your background, CFA level 1 was more challenging for me because of the heavy weighting placed on accounting (which I have little background in). CFP doesn’t go nearly as deep into asset valuation, so you will likely excel in the investment areas on the exam. The tax component (of CFP) can be a little tricky but is nowhere near as confusing as DTA or DTL on the CFA exam. In my personal view CFP is good designation if you are a financial planner, however I definetley feel CFA is the superior designation (and I haven’t even looked at the level 2 or 3 material yet)

I have the CFP and have passed level I of the CFA. I would say that the CFP is about as difficult as the first level of the CFA. It is probably a little different for everybody. The CFP is much more about synthesis than the first level of the CFA (this changes in later levels of the CFA). The answers on Level I are made in a vaccum. That is not the case with the CFP in their case studies. As TheDubs said, the content may be a little easier but the test is different. It is a 10 hour exam and is more about putting all the subject areas together. That being said, you don’t get the CFA unless you have passed all three levels (plus work exp) so getting the CFA is harder overall for sure (I may never achieve it). I would make sure the field you are working in makes use of the designation. The CFP will have little value in a corporate setting, while a client will have no idea what the CFA is (most likely).

By the way you will probably get bashed on these boards for mentioning the CFP. This will be done out of a straight up comparison of the two designations…this can’t really be done because they serve to completely different purposes.

I feel that the CFA/CFP combination is pretty powerful if you are in a “wealth management” role or would like to be.


i passed CFP exam in june this year in canada. the exams are comparable, maybe cfp is easier but for me, this year’s cfp exam was challenging. the good part is that is not that difficult, it’s more about learing the subjects and knowing your stuff.

florinpop Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > i passed CFP exam in june this year in canada. the > exams are comparable, maybe cfp is easier but for > me, this year’s cfp exam was challenging. the good > part is that is not that difficult, it’s more > about learing the subjects and knowing your stuff. florin are you a planner?..who do you work for?

I think as for difficulty it is a matter of your background and work experience. I passed the CFP in 2005 and it was difficult, more difficult than the CPA exam that I took 20 years ago. As for the CFA L1 to me seems about as difficult as the CFP and perhaps even more. I hope six months is enough time for me to pass L1. It took me over a year to master the CFP material.

I did the CFP, but not concurrently. There is a fair bit of over lap both in ethics and also in the TVM questions…it also got my study habits going. are you in the GTA, if so email me at

what are the better test preps for the CFP? i’d be interested in browsing the material.

Bisys has good review materials for the CFP. Qbank, sample exams, review notes, etc…

Re: Anybody else taking the CFP in July? new Posted by: TheDubs (IP Logged) [hide posts from this user] Date: December 7, 2007 06:35PM florinpop Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > i passed CFP exam in june this year in canada. the > exams are comparable, maybe cfp is easier but for > me, this year’s cfp exam was challenging. the good > part is that is not that difficult, it’s more > about learing the subjects and knowing your stuff. florin are you a planner?..who do you work for? No I am not just passed the exam… I don’t have the work experience required to apply for the designation… so I guess that will happen in the future.I just work for a small company and my work is not very qualified for now

LIG!! If you see this you need to listen up. I have my CFP and I used KEN ZAHN for my studies. Google KEN ZAHN and you will find his website. Hands down, the best in the business for CFP. He teaches you HOW TO PASS THE EXAM. Ken expects you to know the material already. Ken has been doing this for 15 years now. Ken holds a 4 day crash course at various sites, provides notes, and tons of questions. Shows you how to deal with trick questions, and how to break down case studies. The case studies are what makes the exam so damm dificult. Each case study is CFP throwing everything into the kitchen sink at you. As I was signing up for L1, I was asking around if anyone teaches you how to pass L1. Couldn’t find anyone, and after taking it, now I know why. Both are difficult in their own way. In my opinion, the CFP and CFA are the best two designations out there!! Good luck

I took the CFP in March of 2007 and passed it and just recently sat for the CFA Level 1 a few weeks ago in December. Thoughts on the CFA exam-- -Material was much more difficult to grasp verses the CFP. Quant, Derivatives, and Econ where in much more depth and challenging. -A lot more information in the CFA L1 curriculum. Between the CFAI books and the Schweser notes that I used just a huge amount to tackle. -The six hours of the CFA exam seemed easier to get through vs. the 10 in the CFP. -CFA exam questions seemed to be pretty straight forward. Wording and the use of double negatives and trickery were really pretty minimal. -Don’t know if I passed the Dec. Level 1 but really expected it to be more difficult than it was. I know that L2 and L3 are different monsters and definitely take a humble approach to the CFA curriculum and it’s tests. Thoughts on the CFP exam. -The use of trickery in wording and similar answers was really quite prevelant. CFP goes by the basis of choose the MOST correct answer. There were a lot of questions that there were 2 answers that were correct and you had to pick the most correct. From a comparison standpoint, the CFA test was much more fair. -If you look at the core books from Kaplan, the readings and books are a breeze to get through. With 12 and 14 point font you should be able to get through 1 of 6 books in about a week. From a reading perspective the CFP curriculum is MUCH MUCH easier in that aspect. -The format for the CFP was more difficult in the sense that it had straight up multiple questions, vignette, and case studies. From a testing standpoint the CFP was a little more difficult. From an accredidation standpoint I really really look forward to acheiving the CFA designation. I work in a wealth consulting role and feel that the CFA does the best job of preparing you for Portfolio Management especially with larger accounts. It’s a huge chore to get through but I really really enjoy the curriculum. The CFA is my biggest goal and can hopefully move on to L2 and take in June 08. The CFP curriculum is a good thing for everyone to know. The basics, insurance, portfolio managment, income tax planning, estate planning, etc… Good overall info to know and I use it all the time in my business and everyday life. I’ve seen that the CFP gets knocked a lot on this forum and in a lot of instances it could be justified. I hope in the future that the CFP goes more in depth into the portfolio manangement, similar to the CFA curriculum but who knows if they will. With the CFP and the CFA pennsteric you’ll do really well. Like someone mentioned above two of the top 3 that you could have in the Finance world (CPA being the 3rd). Pennsteric. I would take the CFP in March and get it over with. You should have ample time to study for it and pass if you’ve finished your educational requirements. If you retained your investment learning from Level 1 you’ll rock the investment portion of the CFP. Which is 1/6th of the curriculum. As big daddy mentioned I would recommend a class like KEN ZAHN or John Hopkins. That will help you prepare for common tricks that hints to pass the CFP exam. You should have more than enough time to study for it and pass. That would allow more time to focus on the CFA. If you are interested I can forward over my handwritten notes and cheat sheets that I used for the test. Seemed to pretty much cover everything the test threw at me. Good luck and hopefully my -$.02 help. GMofDEN

GMofDen, Thanks so much for all the info and opinions! I agree that for the investment portion of the CFP I should be in good shape (Im actually going through the Investment Module now and there is a lot of overlap). Also I have dealt with estate/retirement planning heavily in my job role, and should have a leg up there. I think the way Boston University is structured (Im only about 45% complete) that July would be better for me. I have no intention of taking L2 in June 08, thats for June 09, so I will have almost a year of studytime for that. How much do those prep courses cost? Also I would be EXTREMELY appreciative if you could forward me your prep notes/sheets. That would be awesome! -Eric

Pennsteric, No worries. I’m glad to try and help out the best I can. What is your email address and I can forward that info over and more details and help answer any questions you may have. It’s basically just a scanned copies of my last 2 weeks of hand written notes notes/tables/etc… on what I had to memorize for the exam. I don’t want to bore all the others out there with CFP stuff. -Don’t remember how much the classes are. ~$800 maybe? I don’t think the class would go as well with the CFA because the curriculum is so much bigger. For the CFP it seemed to help me and the others in the class. If you stick with the CFA curriculum and become a Charterholder, you’ll be set and can really set yourself apart from someone that is just a Financial Planner or just a Certified Financial Planner. If you look at the numbers there aren’t many that have both designations.