It takes a substantial investment to earn the CFP certification. The financial cost can be significant, between signing up for the educational classes, potentially take a live exam review course, and enrolling for the CFP exam itself. And the cost in terms of time is significant, too – for many, the entire process often takes 12-18 months of putting in the hours it takes to learn the material. Fortunately, at least some advisory firms are willing to help share in some of the costs.
In this week’s #OfficeHours with @MichaelKitces, my Tuesday 1PM EST broadcast via Periscope, we look at the question of how much should an advisory firm be expected to invest for a paraplanner to get the CFP marks? And in particular, if an advisory firm is willing to help cover the financial cost, is it appropriate to ask for time off to study as well?
The short answer: No. While a growing number of firms will at least support the financial cost of CFP coursework – in part, because it may be outright too expensive for many entry level paraplanners to afford on their own – most firms will still reasonably expect the paraplanner to make an investment, too. Which means if the paraplanner can’t put in the dollars, at a minimum he/she can put in the time it takes to study.
Given the commitment, that may well mean that a paraplanner who wants to earn their CFP marks and get promoted will have to carve out from their personal time in the evenings and on the weekends to study. But the reality is simply that sometimes, that’s what it takes to get ahead. You always have the choice to not make the investment, and remain in the job you’re currently in. But if you want to take your career to the next level, you have to find a way to make the investment in yourself, and not just expect the firm to give you the dollars and the time!