Your financial planner has the potential to directly affect your financial and emotional well-being, today and in the future. Do you know how to find the right financial planner—someone you can really trust? Do you have questions about the financial planning process? Are you curious how a financial plan can make a difference in your life?
How Does Financial Planning Work?
Financial planning is a process that sets you on a course toward achievement of your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs. Financial planning is more than budgeting and cutting back. The right financial plan balances what you need and want today with the personal goals you have for the future.
What is Comprehensive Financial Planning?
A comprehensive (or integrated) financial plan looks at the big picture to consider all relevant aspects of your life, including budgeting, investing, tax, retirement, estate planning and debt or risk management. A professional financial planner will take into account various aspects of your financial situation, identifying and analyzing the interrelationships across sometimes conflicting objectives to help you meet your goals.
Does Professional Financial Planning Really Make a Difference?
Research shows that Canadians with financial plans feel they are saving more, living well, and experiencing higher levels of overall contentment in their lives. The Value of Financial Planning, a three-year longitudinal study which included close to 15,000 Canadians, was commissioned by FP Canada and the FP Canada Research Foundation.
The study revealed that, regardless of net worth, Canadians who engage in comprehensive financial planning report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being than those who do no planning or only limited planning. Those with comprehensive plans felt more on track with their financial goals and retirement plans, felt they had improved their ability to save in the past five years, felt more confident that they could deal with financial challenges in life and felt better able to indulge in their discretionary spending goals.
Why is it Important to Deal with a CFP Professional?
With a focus on all aspects of your finances, a financial planner impacts your financial well-being and your ability to meet life goals, today and in the future. Yet in most Canadian provinces, there is no legislated standard in place for those who offer financial planning services. With the exception of Quebec, people who call themselves financial planners are not required to obtain any credentials whatsoever.
The CFP designation provides assurance that the design of your financial future rests with an appropriately qualified professionals who will put clients’ interests ahead of their own.
What Letters Should I Look for Behind my Planners Name?
The CFP® mark stands for Certified Financial Planner® professional, long recognized as the standard in financial planning in Canada. The CFP designation ensures excellence in financial planning through extensive education, a rigorous standardized national examination process, comprehensive continuing education requirements and accountability to FP Canada for a code of ethics, practice standards and the rules and regulations of a professional body.
How Can I Be Sure my Financial Planner is a CFP Professional?
Look for the distinctive CFP certification marks after a financial planner’s name. An individual may only use CFP, the words Certified Financial Planner® or in Canada with the authorization of FP Canada. You can also check FP Canada’s Directory of CFP professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning to find a planner or verify a planner’s status.
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