People who wish to pursue a career in financial planning need to have a diploma of financial planning. This document allows a person to practice within this specific career field, while showing their clients that they are indeed a professional that can be trusted to follow the rules and regulations that have been set forth by the local and federal governments. Certification is also required by law, so after getting this diploma, one must also pass a test administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
The usual route to get a diploma of financial planning is to attend college and take the required subjects leading to this particular degree. There are numerous universities, smaller colleges, specialized schools, and even online providers that offer this kind of education. If a person already has another college degree, they can finish in less time. It is even more helpful if the first degree is in the fields of finance or business, such as accounting, business management or economics. Those with a law or mathematics background are also well prepared to achieve a financial planning degree. Later on, they can get an MBA to boost their credentials further.
Typically, the major courses that a student has to take to get a diploma of financial planning are: tax planning, estate planning, insurance planning, and retirement planning. Additional topics include cash flow management, investment management, and education planning. All these aim to provide the student with in-depth knowledge on insurance, taxes, and risk management. Online courses usually require 21 units of these subjects, but the requirement can vary depending on the student’s educational background and, at times, on their employment background as well.
Apart from the standard courses, and obtaining a diploma of financial planning, the student is usually required to take pre-certification classes. The aim of these is to prepare them for the certification exam. It is reportedly a difficult exam that only half of first-time takers usually pass. It covers all the topics mentioned, and takes a total of about ten hours to complete.
Some people who study to get a diploma of financial planning already are employed in a financial services firm. They study so that they can be promoted to a higher position, or maybe because they plan to set up their own office someday and work as an independent financial planner. To accommodate these employed students, many universities and colleges offer flexible schedules with weekend and night classes. Many students also find that taking online courses works best for them, because the study schedule can be adjusted around their work schedule. Online courses also tend to be less expensive than taking in-school subjects.
In difficult economic times, the services of a financial planner are very much in demand. A financial planner gives professional advice on how people can manage their financial resources and reach their financial goals. They are not only experts in investing, banking and economics; they know how to work well with people as well.