CHAPTER 79 The Need for Education

Joyce Schnur, CFP® MBA, ChFC

Kaplan University

Charles R. Chaffin, EdD

CFP Board

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.


There are many opinions about what makes a successful financial planner. Certainly a keen mastery of content areas such as estate planning, investments, taxation, and so on, are vital components to any planner’s effectiveness. Given the broad range of subjects, successful practitioners must be able to apply and synthesize these content areas into plans of action that will bring benefit to the many contexts of diverse clients. Further, as this book has indicated, it is also important to know when to utilize certain skills and competencies to best serve the diverse needs of clients in different contexts and situations. In addition, active listening skills, being able to engage clients by asking questions and providing empathy if necessary, along with the ability to convey a clear message to clients are all vitally important as well. Underlying these necessary skills is confidence. But there is a type of planner confidence that is not recognized or celebrated as much as it could be. That is the confidence that stems from education. While planners build their business and marketing plans and attempt to differentiate themselves by gaining “letters” after their names, many do not recognize the true benefit of the fundamental educational experience. CFP® certification attracts clients, but perhaps ...

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