How I’m getting paid to take my Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Course!
Disclaimer: For the last week, I’ve been dealing with that one thing that all teachers learn to dread… BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK! With that being said, I’ve been working a lot more this week then I have in the last few months combined (at least, on teaching). That means that today’s post is going to be a little shorter than normal. If you can find it in your hearts to forgive me, then thank you. If you can’t… well, too f*cking bad… 😉
Alright, so this has been a few weeks in the making, and it’s taken numerous phone calls, emails, and Googling, but I’m happy to make an announcement that could not only change the course of my professional career, but also of this blog!
I’ve decided to take the Certified Financial Planner course!
This is a pretty large undertaking, as it’s going to eat away at a LOT of my time, but I finally have the resources to get this done, so dammit, that’s what I’m going to do! Here’s how I came to the decision:
First off, what is a CFP?
A Certified Financial Planner is a person that has met certain requirements set by the CFP Board (a non-profit group out of Washington, D.C.). This person wants to not just be a financial planner, but have the credentials that signal that they’re a trustworthy professional that has gone through intense training. These extremely rigorous requirements include:
- 6 different courses in financial planning through a pre-approved course
- Passing the CFP Exam
- Meeting strict experience requirements (2-3 years, depending on your case)
- Meet even stricter ethical guidelines
- Background checks and continuing education courses
…yeah, they’re pretty tough to get. Even if all those steps were pretty straight forward, it would be a pretty big task. However, roughly one in three people fail the exam on their first try. So all in all, it’s probably going to take me over a year to just get through the courses and pass the exam, much less get all the other ducks in a row to actually get the CFP designation.
Ok, so why would I put myself through all that?
Because I’m a masochist, that’s why. No, in all honesty, this is going to be quite the challenge, but there are lots of good reasons for doing so:
- I know a LOT about personal finance, but I’d be a fool to suggest that I’m an expert in all these things. I’m solid on budgeting, the psychology of money, and investing. But when it comes to planning ALL the steps to a retirement, or tax planning, there are definitely some gaps that exist for me to fill. So that’s what I’m going to do!
- I love school, I love learning. Not to mention I’m one of those losers that actually enjoys taking tests. This won’t be as bad for me as it would be for some.
- I want people to really listen to me when I give out financial advice. Here’s the perfect example: Just a few days ago, we had an HR representative come in and suggest that we all open a 403b account. However, I know enough to look at the mutual funds and check out the fees, the managers, and other info. The fees for the funds they were pushing were EXORBITANT !! The words I used were “Legal Theft”. And while I can be pretty convincing, having that extra designation would help to add some credibility to my name.
- I really want to be able to diversify my income doing something that’s actually going to help people. And CFPs really aren’t doing all that bad on the income side…
- I wanted to do something that was going to help this blog out.
So there you have it. At the end of the day it really does make a ton of sense for me to do something like this. It means I’ll be better able to help you, dear reader, and maybe even make some money at it while I’m doing it. Fingers crossed…
But how am I getting paid for it?
This is the kicker and really what took me from a “maybe” to a “omfgyes”. It’s really all thanks to the military. My father is a 22-year vet of the Air Force, and had some experiences during his service that led him to be 100% disabled. Because of this, there is a benefit called “Chapter 35 (DEA) Benefits” that all his dependents (me) receive when it comes to schooling.
Now, I was able to use this benefit intelligently and essentially get my university schooling for free. However, there is a set amount aside for each beneficiary, and I was apparently too frugal during school: I didn’t use up all the money. So, a few phone calls to the VA later, and I learned that there is more than enough money to cover this course that I want to take.
In fact, if I play my cards right, the payouts work in such a fashion that I stand to make a few grand from the whole endeavor. Not a bad ROI in my opinion.
How I’m getting paid to take the CFP course – The Wrap Up
Yep, it’s another short one today, folks. Starting back in the classroom next week means that my focus is elsewhere, at least for the first few weeks while I get things rolling. But I just wanted to share this exciting news with you all, as hopefully it means that I’ll be bringing you even BETTER content filled with more personal financial strategy than you can shake a stick at!
In summation :
- The CFP course is designed for those who want to become professional financial planners, and have a seriously tough designation behind them.
- I want to do this not only because it could make me some more money in the future, but it means I’ll be better able to help people with their finances (and have more awesome ideas for this blog!)
- I’m going to make money while I do it… boo yah.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Let me know if you know any CFPs, and what their thoughts on the designation are!
For more from The Code To Riches, check out:
- The Seven Steps to Avoid Being a Money Moron
- The 7 Vegetarian Meals That Are Saving My Budget
- How Much Is Half A Million Dollars?
- The 10 Best Finance Books Money Can Buy
- 9 Credit Score Hacks You Must Know
- Why I Never Want To Retire
- The Laziest Way to Riches – Investing In Index Funds
- Budgeting Basics – Allocating $$$ Like A Boss
- Fuck You, Frugality
- Why A Million Budgeting Tips Will Never Be Enough
Also, if you’re looking for more information on what the CFP is, check out www.cfp.net. There’s lots of great information there about how to find a CFP professional, and what it takes to become one yourself!
Keep trying to crack the code,
Paul AndrewsFollow me on social media!