What is a Certified Financial Planner®?

In Canada, the gold standard for financial planning is the Certified Financial Planner® designation bestowed by FP Canada on candidates that have completed a rigorous study program, successfully passed two national exams, written a thesis-worthy financial plan and have over three years of experience in the finance industry.

Yes, we said the “finance industry.” The finance industry ranges from bank tellers to branch managers, insurance agents to portfolio managers, industry wholesalers to in-house administrative assistants. No wonder choosing a CFP® is so darn confusing.

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Choose Your CFP® Wisely

After you know that someone has a Certified Financial Planner® designation, there is still more digging to do. That’s where experience comes in. It’s important to understand the past industry experience a planner has on top of the life experience they bring to the table.

Some planners may also be mutual fund advisors or stock brokers. In order to be licensed, there are national examinations to be written. Member’s standing can be reviewed through the National Registration Database of the Canadian Securities Administrators*.

In addition, every province in Canada has their own insurance licensing body. Our planners were originally licensed with the Alberta Insurance Council. In 2021 Roxanne also became licensed in Ontario. Additional provincial insurance registrations may be sought on an as-needed basis, though we do have some great specialists in other areas as well.

Individuals must be licensed in your jurisdiction to sell financial and insurance products to you.

The consulting, referral and planning work we do is not restricted by jurisdiction. Sadly, neither is using the titles of “financial planner” and “financial advisor” (though this is changing in Ontario). It’s not like being an Optometrist!

After you check out all those things, you need to find a professional that you feel comfortable with. You will be sharing many of the most private parts of your life with them. Your relationships, your financial information, your health history, your dreams and challenges. You need to have a good connection with your CFP®.

*note: Quebec typically has separate rules when it comes to financial management.

A CFP® Who Gets It

As someone who worked taking care of others, owned her own professional optometric practice, created a partnership and ultimately sold her practice, our founder Roxanne Arnal has a breadth of experience in growing financial and personal wealth for herself. She also has experience having dealt with mutual fund advisors, stockbrokers, insurance agents, financial planners, bankers, lawyers and accountants—many of whom failed her at her most critical times.

The more you know, the better you do. As Roxanne re-educated herself in her new career (what she refers to as her calling), the more she learned, the angrier she got at all the bad and missing advice she had received. Not one to just sit and stew, she took this fire to create a financial planning business that truly strives to ask all the questions that need to be answered, even when you have no idea what those questions are. That’s experience you can count on!

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Contact us to schedule a no-obligation chat.

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