To all the financial advisors: why CFA? why not CFP?

I am a financial advisor myself and I am trying to decide between the two exams. I probably go for CFA and my reasoning for CFA is: it’ll be easier for me I want to switch jobs in the future with a CFA designation. With a CFP, my career will be limited to the financial advisor industry. Also, isn’t CFA is a much much harder exams compare to CFP? Thanks. - the confused advisor

Well… all people in here are crazy…this is why we all went for the CFA! :slight_smile:

Are there financial advisors here?

I think a lot of these questions come back to the same question: What do you want to do when you grow up? Yes, the CFA is much much more challenging than the CFP. Yes, I believe the CFA does have more reach in terms of career choices. That’s not to say that the CFA/CFP combo does not have merit. Again, it depends on what you want to do. A CFA designation should improve an advisor’s street cred and allow you specialize on discretionary accounts/high net worth clients. However, as I’m sure many will point out to you…you don’t necessarily need the CFA designation to get those roles, and you probably wouldn’t be “using” your new skills to the extent you would in other jobs. Just my 2 cents

The LIII curriculum applies more to a High-net-worth Financial adivisor than it does to any other position. I would have expected to find many of the readings in the CFP curriculum - not CFA.

The CFA is much much much MUCH more difficult than the CFP. I have the CFP and I’m going for the L2 in June. I’ve put in 2x as many hours (just for L2) as I did for the CFP and I don’t know if I’ll pass this one. Before you blindly decide you need to sit down and figure out what you want to do. You’ll have more credibility in the industry with a CFA, especially with high net worth individuals or if you move over to big 401k plans, db plans, etc… In my opinion most of a Financial Advisors duty is just sales. I’ve heard the argument for most FA’s to not waste 3 years of their life and focus all that energy on marketing and networking. I’ve met some FA’s in the industry that don’t know what Beta is but probably have 40million AUM. To me that’s sad but they are sales people and with a 90% payout being independent they could gross $360K. I certainly wouldn’t want to invest my money with them. You can’t be on the fence when you are going for the CFA. You either have to put that as your number 1 or 2 priority or you’ll be weeded out of the program quickly. If you do get a CFA charter you can sit for the CFP exam without taking any of the pre-req’s. Good luck on your choice.

CFP is good for low to middle income clients and a more sales oriented approach at an establish shop CFA is better for a higher net worth and building your own business I think… My 2

If I were an advisor I wouldnt take the time, whats the point? I have never seen an architecture that you could really manage money on that isnt built around sales in some way. I guess it depends how you get compensated…AUM, %, commission, etc. The CFP is a marketing designation in my opinion, I had taken a few of the courses in the past and realized it is just a time commitment, not a knowledge thing. The CFA stands for something, but I dont think it does much for an advisor. If you were looking to do more asset management then I guess I would opt for the CFA. I would expect prospects to know what it is, however, as they might with the CFP, maaybe. But again, how much AM can you really do when you are dinging people for upfront loads, feeing them from numerous angles, and have a bunch of products that are not necessarily true investment vehicles such as annuities and life insurance?

A financial advisor with the CFA is pretty rare, so you could use it to differentiate yourself among employers and clients. I’m going to do the CFP at some point, maybe sooner than later. Nice thing about doing the CFA first is you get to take the final CFP test without going through the certification examinations.

XSellSide Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > A financial advisor with the CFA is pretty rare, > so you could use it to differentiate yourself > among employers and clients. I’m going to do the > CFP at some point, maybe sooner than later. Nice > thing about doing the CFA first is you get to take > the final CFP test without going through the > certification examinations. Yeah that is a big incentive actually. I doubt I’ll ever up in Personal Financial Mgmt, at least not for another like 20 yrs. But I would probably do it just because I’d only need to do one exam unlike some other des’. Just please reference yourself as “XSellSide, CFA CFP” and not the other way around!!!

I’m an advisor who picked up the 3 letter because I wanted the knowledge. May go back for the CFP at some point as I think it is more practical for most advisor roles. Anyone know the most cost effective way to study for the CFP? My sense is that I want the schweser study notes equivalent for the CFP program.

most cost effective way…get the CFA first (that allows you to automatically sit for the CFA exam…then use a Dalton or Schweser CFP program and sit for the final. I got the CFP about 5 years ago and concur there is no comparison on the level of difficulty (CFA way harder)

because i want run institutional and very high net worth money. to me having a cfp is like saying you did accounting in highschool, plus its very focused on taxes and estate planning and i fuckin hate that shit.

I have a few questions about the CFP. 1) To skip directly to the final exam, do I have to pass the 3 tests of the CFA program or do I actually need the charter (with the required 4 years experience)? 2) How many hours aprrox. is necessary to pass the exam? CFA requires 250 hours, or we talking the same ballpark figure? 3) Are there annual fees like the CFA?

  1. Need the charter (I am pretty sure) 2. Depends on your background. While the material is easier to grasp, if you have no background in estate planning, life insurance etc, it will take longer. I think that the CFP is about the same as level I of the CFA exams. 3. Yes ($360?). In addition there are continuing education credits that must be completed every 2 years. FYI, I have the CFP and am a level II candidate.

I know a bunch of HNW advisors with CFA, CFP on the biz card. A couple of them are CAs as well. For some reason they list it as follows: CA, CFA, MBA, CFP Impressive, I know?

what if you were a CPA, CFA, CFP and an Eagle Scout? You’d be da man.

i have ‘Master of the Universe’ on my business card

“How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?” Homer Simpson

Here are some facts… CFA is recognized globally. CFP is US centric CFA requires college degree. CFP does not (I believe that might have changed last year) CFA requires at least 2.5 yrs of studying. You can pass the CFP is less than 1.5 yrs CFA is 3 days exam, CFP is 1.5 day Took the CFP in 04, passed with minimal study. The whole curriculum was condensed into the size of 1 book only. Now I am going for my 3rd trial at LII. Everytime I studied my butt off and I still can’t make it.