Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) credential is granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., to individuals who complete a comprehensive curriculum (including the fundamentals of financial planning, insurance and risk management, investments, taxation, retirement planning and employee benefits and estate planning) and successfully pass a challenging 10-hour comprehensive exam (typically the pass ratio hovers around 52 percent). In addition, CFP® practitioners must have at least a bachelor's degree and have at least three years of experience in the financial services industry. CFP® certificants must obtain 30 hours of continuing education every two years, including two hours of ethics. CFP® professionals are held to a fiduciary standard of care, meaning they must always act in the best interest of their clients. They must provide a contract for any financial planning services, as well as a disclosure form including all conflicts - or potential conflicts - of interest, methods of compensation, and other parties that may affect the crafting of a client's financial plan.  Check out the campaign to increase awareness of CFP® Certification.

Securities Licenses

The Series 65 license is a securities license required by most U.S. states for individuals that act as an investment advisor.  The Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, also called the Series 65 exam, covers laws, regulations, ethics, and knowledge on specific investment products. The exam consists of 130 questions plus 10 pretest questions. Applicants are allowed 180 minutes to complete the examination.

Insurance Licenses

Life, Accident & Health - Exam is required through the Iowa Insurance Division.  Once you have passed the exam, individuals can market Life Insurance, Variable Annuities, Disability, and Long Term Care.