CFP- Your path to Financial Planning & Retail Banking

Life is all about dreaming & seeing your dreams come to life. What is your dream career?

If so, It’ll be a great idea to acquire a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. The CFP course is designed to provide you with a sound understanding in Financial Planning, currently one of the fastest growing careers not only in India but across the world. A CFP has to go through a rigorous education and experience process which is geared to boost a client’s confidence and satisfaction.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Incomes are on the rise, people are seeking guidance to invest their surplus money in the right avenues to reap the maximum benefits. At present India has nearly 10 crore families with investible surplus. Assuming one financial planner can handle nearly 500 clients, the country needs at least 200,000 CFPs immediately. According to FPSB India, the number of CFP professionals in India was 1,843 as on December 31, 2013.Therefore it cannot be disputed that hiring of CFPs is set to grow at a much faster rate.

Indian investors have experienced a lot of mis-selling of financial products in the past. They now need professional and well-regulated advisory services. To safeguard the interests of investors, various regulatory bodies like SEBI, IRDA, etc. have been certifying professionals. In a set of comprehensive guidelines, the markets regulator, SEBI has emphasised on suitability of investment advice given to investors. The guidelines say that now advisers will not only have to follow a documented process for selecting investments based on clients’ objectives, risk profiles and financial situation but also receive proper certification from SEBI. A CFP is exempted from the various tests for the purpose of being a Registered Investment Adviser with SEBI.

With the fast growing economy, huge business opportunities are being created for banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial services providers. The wealth management division of retail banks with well-developed branch networks have access to a large customer base. But over time they have earned the reputation of mis-selling of products, conflict of interest, lack of knowledge and clarity about products and frauds. These banks see immense value in hiring CFP professionals as they want to instill confidence in their clients that they act in the investors’ best interest and keep track with their financial and life goals. CFP professionals are associated with their need-based and holistic consumer- centric approach.

Recently, an international study was conducted on behalf of the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB) by Comparator, an Australian benchmarking organization. Twelve countries including India participated in what was deemed the global “Value of CFP Certification” Study. The other countries included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany and the US. A total of 114 financial services firms participated in the survey. The key findings were:

● CFP is one of the most prestigious internationally accepted financial planning certification.

● Most Firms indicated that hiring CFPs had a positive effect on clients’ satisfaction with the firm.

● Employing CFP professionals led to increased client retention.

● Hiring of CFPs is expected to grow globally, including India, as:-

● Most firms are planning to increase the number of CFPs with them in the next 12 months or so.

● All the firms surveyed plan to hire CFPs in the next 3 years

Thus we see, hiring CFP professionals positively impacts a firm’s bottom line, client relations and risk management for these financial services firms. This will lead to a huge surge in demand for CFPs in the near future. So, not only does a CFP certification give you a fine career option in retail banking but also a huge opportunity to be your own boss & have your independent Financial Planning practice. Just in case you decide to opt out of both these options and choose an alternate career, it will always be helpful in managing your own wealth.