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Financial Planning Competency Handbook, 2nd Edition by CFP Board

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Preface

Charles R. Chaffin, EdD

CFP Board

Personal financial planning has grown and evolved considerably over the past several years. The field hardly existed just four decades ago.1 As the population’s financial planning needs have grown, so too has practice. As of 2015, there are over 71,000 CFP® professionals in the United States, and the designation exists in 24 countries worldwide.2 Many labor forecasts are predicting a significant rise in the number of employment opportunities in personal financial planning even in the midst of a stagnant global economy. In order to meet this need, an increasing number of institutions and countries are preparing and certifying individuals to become personal financial planners. With an increased need has also come a growing complexity in the financial planning needs of the client. This increased complexity requires higher skill on the part of the practitioner. Practitioners must demonstrate proficiency relative to a broad range of content areas, from retirement planning and estate planning to insurance, taxation, and investments. Within all of this complexity, financial planners are also required to communicate with the client in an effective manner. This communication may be as involved as presentation of complex information in an accessible manner or as simple as listening and empathizing with a client regarding a serious life event. Given the increased need and complexity of this growing field, personal financial planning has taken ...

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