CFP study providers

Does anyone out there who holds the CFA,CFP combo have any recommendations on which study providers to use for the CFP program? I just passed CFA L3 and I am looking into a few of the providers such as American College for the CFP curriculum but I was wondering if anyone knew what programs are the most time efficient for someone who has already gone through the CFA program. I cannot challenge to sit for the CFP because I still need two more years of work experience for to obtain the CFA charter. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Ken Zahn all the way. no ifs ands or butts. i tried it once before through kaplan, but zahn is the cfp master

I used kaplan and thought it was pretty good. I have heard very good things about Zahn though. Kaplan was the only provider I actually used, so I don’t experience with the others. American College seems to be the most popular, but it is also expensive.

Two parts of this. For the pre education requirement I used the American College…it was pretty good but was expensive and you have to go to a test center for 5 exams prior to sitting for the big one for which I used Kaplan. If you take the CFP after the CFA completion, unless things have changed you are exempt from the pre education requirement.

hey what path do you intend on following if/when you get the CFA/CFP combo? what do you think would be best?

Jasonindc, I am trying to decide whether to wait two years to take the CFP, when I will actually hold the CFA charter and can bypass the education requirement or to take the test before then to get it done with. If I take it before I will have to take the courses for the education requirement through a provider such as American College. Just trying to decide whether or not it makes sense to wait two years or not. I just passed CFA L3 but would like to knock CFP out as well. SkipE99, I work at a fee-only wealth management firm right now. I started the CFA program at a hedge fund but I am glad to be on track to attain the charter now in my current role. I just need 23 more months work experience. Although CFP is probably more recognized in the general retail public, more sophisticated investors are catching on to the value of working with a CFA charterholder in an investment advisory setting. I feel like adding the CFP would mainly help with marketing/credibility but there is probably some good information regarding estate planning/taxes to be learned as well. I am just trying to figure out the most efficient way to go about the process.

Wait until you get the CFA charter to bypass the CFP education program. Took me a good 18 months to get through it…really is the equivalent of 5 college courses via self study…and you can probably prepare for comprehensive with 4-6 months of prep. If you can pass L1-L3 the CFP should be fine. Level 1 in my opinion was much harder than the CFP exam.

Jasonindc, Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of waiting until Spring 2010 and then maybe buying Schweser/Kaplan review materials before challenging the education requirement and giving it a go.

I’d second what jasonindc said. I passed L3 last year and got the charter in March of this year after work experience accrued. I’m sitting for the CFP in November. The pre-education would be waste of time/money. It might move up your ability to take the comprehensive CFP test by a few months but thats it. I am using the Kaplan study materials and like it. Its about the same as studying for CFA L1. Also, you’re really only studying for about 80% of the exam. The investment section is 20% and besides maybe some short refresher readings, you should be able to ace that without even studying.

Unit, Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about investments on the CFP exam. My work experience will hit four years in July 2010. What package are you using for Kaplan materials? I could probably start studying in May 2010 and then just register for the test in July/August 2010 and take in November or whenever it is offered then.

I have the Kaplan books and have also heard that the Ken Zahn course is the best. I got on their waiting list and may register for March '09.

XSellSide Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I have the Kaplan books and have also heard that > the Ken Zahn course is the best. I got on their > waiting list and may register for March '09. i passed CFP (second try) in 07 and level 1 last go around (first try). they are fairly comparable, except the CFP can get more frustrating since some of their questions are subjective in nature (i.e. what should the decedant do first?). you not only have to learn the material, but also how the CFP Board thinks. i failed first try using Keir Resources. went to live review with Jeff Rattiner, then enrolled in Zahn the second time around. Zahns live review course is helpful as he has been teaching this exam for a while now. what i like about Zahn most is that he doesn’t focus on educating you on the material, he teaches to the exam.

Walleye, My employer paid for the books, so I got the full package from their website. Books, case book, practice exam book, cd-rom with questions, and flashcards. Should be everything I need to pass.