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dhodson said:   Well if you arent going to actually say he doesnt have a better system, ill say it. He doesnt. There is no magic in this world and we all know he wont be able to prove he has a better system.

There are ways to prove it although I can almost guarantee he's not at the level that he can.

Now the confusion in mine. You didn't just insinuate it, I thought you actually said it above, "You don't have a better investment method."

I did say it, but my words obviously failed to convey my point. From the consumer point of view, "a better investment method" is meaningless because they generally won't believe you. "Why are you giving me advice instead of hanging on your yacht." From an advisor standpoint, it is dangerous because clients will leave you if the investments don't turn out to be better.

Look Dave,

If your serious about getting into this business you're looking at it all in the wrong ways. You're looking at like my brother does. That maybe you can get some designation, hang a shingle, put up a good website, be smart, and have a good comp structure and clients will just walk in or call you up to greet you.

If that is what you think than you're in for a very rude awakening. Instead this is very, very tough. Even if you wont rely upon them for most of your career you're going to need some sales skills, and you're going to need to have a method of procuring clients until you hit a point where you can rely upon referrals, and that is going to likely mean:
1) Cold calling a couple hundred people a day
2) Door knocking at least 25 people a day
3) Holding seminars that you promote the hell out of which may require you using one of the above methods or sending out costly mailers or paying for expensive radio advertising. And if the those marketing pieces aren't very well done you'll just be pissing money down the drain.
4) Relying upon centers of influence(bankers, P&C guys, mortgage brokers, etc.) to refer clients to you, but guess what they're most likely not going to start sending referrals your way until A) The like and trust you B) You've started to refer clients there way
5) Pestering your family, friends, and colleagues into letting you manage their money
6) Going to work for someone else with an established book of business under the agreement where you take reduced compensation for operational services rendered in exchange for eventually getting a large chunk of their B and C clients
or
7) Working at a bank or credit union where you'll get walk in traffic and will be able to work with the tellers to get them to refer you business.

Pretty much outside of doing one of the above there is pretty much a 99% chance you wont succeed.

So if you want my advice. If you were actually serious about being successful take some kind of sales job selling something simple so that you can prepare yourself for the psychological requirements of this type of work, to drop certain pretenses you have about butting yourself into other peoples lives, to develop a comfort with working people when it's known to both parties that you have a clear objective you're trying to accomplish, to develop a way of phrasing and exchanging presented elements to better effect, to learn how to sell yourself, and to learn how to handle the level of rejection you're actually going to receive. Then pick at least one of the 7 methods above to procure clients and try to find a way to structure a position in the business that will involving using that/those techniques for procuring clients and that usually will mean working for someone else in some fashion(indie or captive) because otherwise you probably wont have the discipline and motivation to see it through unless you have a set time your to be at the office and a set amount of job duties your expected to do in that day.

Okay? Sorry to burst your bubble here, but as I pointed out in a different thread I was recently informed that the turnover rate at Edward Jones is now 98%. That is only a 2% success rate and a 98% failure rate. That is 98% of people who Edward Jones pre-screened, and at least a 1/3 of those 98% actually gave it everything they had coming to work early in the morning, door knocking all day until probably 9:00 pm at night plus doing work on the weekends. Now I would say that the a big portion of their problem is that Edward Jones has already saturated almost every market they're in, but the point is still there. The vast majority of the people that enter into this business fail.

So when I hear you talking about the best way for you to get compensated on your time and what kinds of services you want to provide, etc. (no offense), but I want to roll my eyes. First focus, on understanding the business as it is and what works. Take that general strategy that works and only look at altering some specific bit of it when you have thought, contemplated, asked around, and researched that specific thing to make you feel confident that it will work.

You're sitting there putting the cart before the horse. There is absolutely zero reason you should even be looking at compensation structure until you've already been in the beast for long enough to sample different methods. For the time being though you're comp structure is going to be set by what is easiest for the client. You basically have little say on the issue until you have enough clients to start dictating terms. You're also trying to reinvent the wheel here by focusing on how your going to create a concept of a successful financial planning operation when you don't even understand how its currently done. So what I'm saying is that yes you can decide to put a new paint, or new shine on that wheel if you've thought about that change enough for it to make financial sense to alter, but if you try to reinvent the wheel completely in this business you're going to fall right on your face.

Sorry to be blunt, but I'm starting to get the impression you just need to hear it.

(tjguitar85, there are plenty of CFPs who do only planning, e.g. by the hour, by the plan, or as a value-add for a bank or CU. They do not sell securities at all. My point was to contrast CFP's who focus on planning, vs. those who focus on investing. I regret the confusion I caused).

We have to stop using the term "CFP". It truly doesn't have any meaning when it comes to discussing business models and what someone focuses on and how they get paid.

Anybody can use the term "financial planner". "CFP" means that someone has passed a test and has met certain requirements, but tells us nothing about the work that they are doing.

If a person focuses on planning and gets paid "by the hour, by the plan, or as a value-add" and part of this planning includes advice concerning securities, they will have to get properly registered and have a form ADV and be affiliated with an RIA.

If a person focuses on investments and they get paid AUM fees, they will have to get properly registered and have a from ADV and be affiliated with an RIA.

Notice that their focus is irrelevant. The key is whether they receive money for investment advice.

If one receives compensation for the sale of securities, they must get licensed and do business with a broker/dealer.

The only way that a financial planner is going to be able to get paid for a financial plan and not be affiliated with an RIA is if the financial plan does not give any advice concerning securities.

Respectfully to all, my investment acumen (or lack thereof) or my specific career plans (and BTW I'm not interested in being an hourly CFP) are not really pertinent to this thread, so I'd prefer not to discuss them further here.

I do genuinely appreciate all the feedback. As bassmanben noted, there several posters here who know whereof they speak, and who also know more about the investment management field than I do. I look forward to learning more from this group. Please keep posting RE pertinent thoughts and experiences.

Edit: Brody, I completely agree with your above post, thanks for clarifying.

DaveHanson said:   tjguitar85 said:   (tjguitar85, there are plenty of CFPs who do only planning, e.g. by the hour, by the plan, or as a value-add for a bank or CU. They do not sell securities at all.

How can they survive though, especially when they are referring their clients to investment managers that presumably make a ton more $$ off the client?
That is a very interesting question, I think.

There are CFPs who make a go of it on an hourly basis. If you have an efficient organization with lean overhead, $300/hr or $2K for your "standard plan and consultation" is enough to make a decent if not fabulous living in many areas. Some of them say they appreciate never having to sell anything but themselves, nor controlling their clients assets (and worries about compliance, poaching, et cetera that comes with that). It does not seem to be a way to get rich though.


You are making a good point. What happens, in my opinion, is that many people think that they will become a CFP and then they will get clients. They are drawn to this hourly compensation or per plan compensation. They think that this stops them from having to sell. But like you said, they still have to sell. As financial advisors, we ALL sell ourselves. How we actually get compensated doesn't really matter. If someone can't sell or doesn't want to sell, they will fail regardless of how they are being compensated.

So, those who go with an hourly or per plan compensation model and can't sell, fail out of the business. Those who can sell quickly learn that they can change their compensation model and make more money.

This is probably why it is almost impossible to find an excellent financial planner who charges solely hourly or per plan.

DaveHanson said:   Respectfully to all, my investment acumen (or lack thereof) or my specific career plans (and BTW I'm not interested in being an hourly CFP) are not really pertinent to this thread, so I'd prefer not to discuss them further here.

I do genuinely appreciate all the feedback. As bassmanben noted, there several posters here who know whereof they speak, and who also know more about the investment management field than I do. I look forward to learning more from this group. Please keep posting RE pertinent thoughts and experiences.

Edit: Brody, I completely agree with your above post, thanks for clarifying.


Probably the only thing that is truly pertinent to this thread is that "yes" it probably makes sense to get your CFP if you are planning on getting paid to give financial advice. If your advice is going to involve advice on securities, you will have to become affiliated with an RIA.

BrodyInsurance said:   DaveHanson said:   Respectfully to all, my investment acumen (or lack thereof) or my specific career plans (and BTW I'm not interested in being an hourly CFP) are not really pertinent to this thread, so I'd prefer not to discuss them further here.

I do genuinely appreciate all the feedback. As bassmanben noted, there several posters here who know whereof they speak, and who also know more about the investment management field than I do. I look forward to learning more from this group. Please keep posting RE pertinent thoughts and experiences.

Edit: Brody, I completely agree with your above post, thanks for clarifying.


Probably the only thing that is truly pertinent to this thread is that "yes" it probably makes sense to get your CFP if you are planning on getting paid to give financial advice. If your advice is going to involve advice on securities, you will have to become affiliated with an RIA.


IMO he should do himself a favor and actually jump into this with both feet without the CFP. First, see if he can hack it before you spend time and money on something you may never even use.

And if he's planning on hopping in this without any securities license than all I can say is, "Captain Ice Berg ahead!" Captain: "Full speed ahead!"

Also, it's hard to talk about how this business actually is without some reference point(like Dave's plans) unless you just want people to tell you whether or not a CFP is a good idea or not.

In which case "Sure, why not" might be the best answer.

Respectfully to all, my investment acumen (or lack thereof) or my specific career plans (and BTW I'm not interested in being an hourly CFP) are not really pertinent to this thread, so I'd prefer not to discuss them further here.

I would think that which designation somebody should pursue probably does depend on their specific career plans.

As its title indicates, my idea for the thread was to discuss the CFP designation and FWFers experience with them: how they were obtained, whether they were worth it, pros and cons of the work. My thought was that this topic would be of interest to many at FWF, for different sorts of reasons.

As bassmanben pointed out, many of the recent replies are from people who may or may not have or seek this designation, but who are well versed in related fields. That's genuinely helpful to many readers of this I reckon (myself included), and it's also close enough to the designated topic that it doesn't seem to warrant exclusion.


Now selfishly, of course I'm interested in my own career plans. And I genuinely appreciate the efforts of many here to give me sound advice. Two problems though. First, I think focusing on my own rather unique situation detracts from the general usefulness of the thread for others. Second, a number of assumptions are being made about my views and situation that aren't accurate...and even where I do feel comfortable correcting them, attempts to do so just bring the thread further off-topic.

I hope this does not come across as ungrateful. On the contrary!

Dave, this sort of dove tails on Dshibb's last post. This may not pertain to you, but it is what I have seen in my 20 years in the industry. Overall, the CFP is a positive, but way too many people get it too soon. Their pursuit of the CFP hinders their business. The people who succeed tend to spend years of being overworked and relatively underpaid. Those who spend time getting their CFP think that they are spending time working and advancing their career. The reality, though, is that the time spent pursuing the CFP is time not spent trying to get clients or service clients.

In short, the pursuit of the CFP before someone is successful in the business increases the risk of failing in the business. Studying for the CFP is better than going to a bar, but instead, it is usually done instead of calling on clients/prospects.

DaveHanson said:   As its title indicates, my idea for the thread was to discuss the CFP designation and FWFers experience with them: how they were obtained, whether they were worth it, pros and cons of the work. My thought was that this topic would be of interest to many at FWF, for different sorts of reasons.

As bassmanben pointed out, many of the recent replies are from people who may or may not have or seek this designation, but who are well versed in related fields. That's genuinely helpful to many readers of this I reckon (myself included), and it's also close enough to the designated topic that it doesn't seem to warrant exclusion.


Now selfishly, of course I'm interested in my own career plans. And I genuinely appreciate the efforts of many here to give me sound advice. Two problems though. First, I think focusing on my own rather unique situation detracts from the general usefulness of the thread for others. Second, a number of assumptions are being made about my views and situation that aren't accurate...and even where I do feel comfortable correcting them, attempts to do so just bring the thread further off-topic.

I hope this does not come across as ungrateful. On the contrary!


Bolded part: You thought wrong. Actually that is really the only types of conversations that can get someone(you or a reader) to better understand the value of a CFP and when someone should look at it vs. not look at it.

The obvious point being is that nobody should get a CFP if they aren't already pursuing or don't intend on pursuing this as a business. So any conversation about CFP is usually going to revolve around:
1) Where are you in your career?
2) How are you getting your or plan to get your clients?
3) What problem are you experiencing or think you will experience that you think it will address?
4) How satisfied do you think your clients are with your work or (be honest) how satisfied do you think they will be with your work if you think of it the context of other talented professionals you've met?
etc.

If the question is just should I get a CFP without specifics than the only answer you're going to get is..."Sure, why not!"

Interesting. So, in general (dare I say that?) ), for newer finanical professionals, who looking for clients, your advice Brody (and you, dshibb?) is, "don't bother with CFP, until you are more successful."

But if you are not trying to aggressively grow a client base because you already have access to HNW clients, then it's worth getting something like CFP designation, or perhaps the (more difficult and rigorous?) necessary RIA credentials instead (or possibly in addition to) if you will be selling investments.

deleted - the below replies make more sense to me.

DaveHanson said:   Interesting. So, in general (dare I say that?) ), for newer finanical professionals, who looking for clients, your advice Brody (and you, dshibb?) is, "don't bother with CFP, until you are more successful."

Yeah unless of course you can hammer it while your in college or something. It's not a hard rule. Some people know what they're getting into regardless and have basically already made up their mind that financial services will one way or another be their career come hell or high water. But generally for most people just get a license and see if you can make it. Then once when you arrive and your life calms down a bit than get the designation.


DaveHanson said:   But if you are not trying to aggressively grow a client base because you already have access to HNW clients, then it's worth getting something like CFP designation, or perhaps the (more difficult and rigorous) RIA credential instead (or possibly in addition to) if you will be selling investments.

Maybe you should come out with what your situation is. What does 'access' mean? Many people have different forms of 'access' to HNW clients it doesn't necessarily mean they are going to take you on as an advisor.

And RIA is not a credential and it's not more difficult than the CFP. RIA means that you can render financial advise for compensation without a broker dealer.

I don't get why you're having so much difficulty understanding the difference between a license(or to be more specific an entity enabled by a license) and a credential/designation.

DaveHanson said:   Interesting. So, in general (dare I say that?) ), for newer finanical professionals, who looking for clients, your advice Brody (and you, dshibb?) is, "don't bother with CFP, until you are more successful."

But if you are not trying to aggressively grow a client base because you already have access to HNW clients, then it's worth getting something like CFP designation, or perhaps the (more difficult and rigorous) RIA credential instead (or possibly in addition to) if you will be selling investments.


Dave, I think that you are very confused, but don't know that you are confused.

An RIA is not a credential. An RIA is a business entity. One must be affiliated with an RIA to give investment advice for a fee. The necessary exams, either the Series 65 or the combination of the Series 7 and the Series 66, are actually much easier than getting the CFP. Again, the CFP allows a person to do nothing. It is the equivalent of taking an ad out in the yellow pages. It may be helpful, but doesn't allow the advisor to do anything.

In order to give securities' advice to those HNW clients in exchange for compensation, you must become affiliate with an RIA. Getting/not getting the CFP is simply a personal preference.

If one is selling investments, one must be affiliated with a broker/dealer. This would mean that they would have to pass their Series 7 (stocks and bonds) or their Series 6 (mutual funds).

If one is selling investments, one must be affiliated with a broker/dealer. This would mean that they would have to pass their Series 7 (stocks and bonds) or their Series 6 (mutual funds).

Is this correct? It sounds like you are saying that one who is affiliated with an RIA, but not a B/D, would not be able to sell investments. That seems odd to me.

tjguitar85 said:   If one is selling investments, one must be affiliated with a broker/dealer. This would mean that they would have to pass their Series 7 (stocks and bonds) or their Series 6 (mutual funds).

Is this correct? It sounds like you are saying that one who is affiliated with an RIA, but not a B/D, would not be able to sell investments. That seems odd to me.


Correct. One would collect AUM fees for managing the money as opposed to earning a commission for selling a product.

tjguitar85 said:   If one is selling investments, one must be affiliated with a broker/dealer. This would mean that they would have to pass their Series 7 (stocks and bonds) or their Series 6 (mutual funds).

Is this correct? It sounds like you are saying that one who is affiliated with an RIA, but not a B/D, would not be able to sell investments. That seems odd to me.


You cannot collect commission from a securities product sale without a broker dealer. You can however direct a portfolio of investments for compensation as long as you don't receive a commission from a securities product. You can however collect a commission from an insurance product(with the exception of VUL, Variable annuities, etc. which are regulated securities products) because that is a separate matter governed by licensure for just insurance products.


Basically drop your Broker Dealer and the main areas you cant do anymore are:
1) No more 12b-1 fees(commissions) from sale of mutual funds
2) No commissions for variable annuities
3) No commissions for variable life insurance

There also used to be the pre dot com crash era where many brokers pitched individual stocks for a commission. For example if a company did an IPO all of that stock inventory would often find it's way at an investment bank would get it out to all of wirehouses who had brokers who collected commissions for selling that inventory of stock. That side of the business is extremely different now, but that was definitely Registered Rep type work and it made sense because that was the era before online exchanges. People had to make the market over the phone back then.


And for a lot of people this isn't much of a sacrifice today. The way they look at is they can just pick mutual funds for their clients that have no 12b-1 fees(and therefore no inflated M&E charges to payout those commissions) and then charge a AUM fee on it. So let's say you have 2 choices:
1) A 12b-1 fee mutual fund has a 4% front end load charge and a 2% annual management fee and splits out revenue between the Advisor that sold it and the portfolio manager(and staff) that manage it.
or
2) A mutual fund that has no load charge, 1% M&E and gives zero revenue to the advisor, but the advisor charges a separate 1% AUM fee.

Both have 2% a year in fee costs, but the former also has a sales load. It is for this reason why many advisors don't care about anymore about ditching their transactional business and going RIA.

Brody, here is my understanding, and feel free to correct me. Hopefully I can dispel any lingering confusion I may have.


-Individuals OR businesses can be licensed as RIAs, with either their state (under $100 mil AUM IIRC) or SEC ( if larger) regulatory agencies.

-One must either BE an RIA, or affiliate with one, in order to manage investments or give investment advice.

-If one is selling investments (i.e. getting commissions from same), RIA doesn't cut it...BD relationship is necessary, along with the exams you mention.

-CFP is (merely) a designation, however holding it entitles the affilate of the RIA to an exemption from the exams they would otherwise need to take.

I guess "selling investments" has a more specific definition in reality than I would have guessed.

Someone who utilized an RIA to manage $$ in no-load mutual funds/ETFs, or individual stocks and bonds, under AUM, or some kind of fixed retainer fee, would not be considered to be "selling products" and thus does not need a broker dealer because they are not paid on commission.

Fascinating.

In very simple terms:

RIA - Asset Based Fee
Broker Dealer - Transaction Based Fee

You can be a financial adviser at either and hold the designation of CFP, CFA, ChfC, CPA, etc. These are all just tests that someone takes, regardless of if they are associated with an RIA or B/D.

DaveHanson said:   Brody, here is my understanding, and feel free to correct me. Hopefully I can dispel any lingering confusion I may have.


-Individuals OR businesses can be licensed as RIAs, with either their state (under $100 mil AUM IIRC) or SEC ( if larger) regulatory agencies.

-One must either BE an RIA, or affiliate with one, in order to manage investments or give investment advice.

-If one is selling investments (i.e. getting commissions from same), RIA doesn't cut it...BD relationship is necessary, along with the exams you mention.

-CFP is (merely) a designation, however holding it entitles the affilate of the RIA to an exemption from the FIRNA exams they would otherwise need to take.


Essentially correct! The business is what gets established as an RIA by having the Principal of said firm meet the licensing requirements.

It's a good thing you finally Wikipedia'ed it though

DaveHanson said:   Brody, here is my understanding, and feel free to correct me. Hopefully I can dispel any lingering confusion I may have.


-Individuals OR businesses can be licensed as RIAs, with either their state (under $100 mil AUM IIRC) or SEC ( if larger) regulatory agencies.

-One must either BE an RIA, or affiliate with one, in order to manage investments or give investment advice.

-If one is selling investments (i.e. getting commissions from same), RIA doesn't cut it...BD relationship is necessary, along with the exams you mention.

-CFP is (merely) a designation, however holding it entitles the affilate of the RIA to an exemption from the FIRNA exams they would otherwise need to take.


Your understanding is mostly correct. An individual can start their own RIA firm or become affiliated with one. I don't know if your dollar figures are correct, but the concept is.

The Series 65 is not a FINRA exam. The CFP will usually let the person escape taking this exam. The same is true for the following designations: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Charter Financial Consultant (ChFC) or Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC),

dshibb said:   It's a good thing you finally Wikipedia'ed it though Uh, yeah. Is there even a good single wikipeida entry on all this? Kidding aside, I would want to read that assuming it's accurate.

Anyway, where I was unsure, and am still unsure, is what all is involved in getting licensed by the state to be an RIA (obviously getting licensed as a BD is more complicated). That is why I spoke of RIA "credentials" above--wasn't sure if there was more than that necessary. Once the principal of the RIA business has the requisite exams passed, is it as simple as paying the annual fee to the State/SEC? Or are their more hoops/costs involved. Or perhaps it varies quite a bit by state?

as far as I know, you could just farm it out to RIA in a Box:

http://www.riainabox.com/

Very interesting tjguitar85, never heard of that outfit. What do you all think about the $2,785 in fees to get started?

Under WA law, you are exempt from registering as an RIA if you have five or fewer clients. Don't know how typical that is.

tjguitar85 said:   as far as I know, you could just farm it out to RIA in a Box:

http://www.riainabox.com/


Most I've met use this ^^^^

Although make sure that once you have everything completed(ADV, etc.) have a good securities attorney at least look over everything and make any changes that he/she sees(it's cheaper to have them take a peak than to have them draft it all). I'm aware of people who used RIAinaBOX and some things got missed on their ADV and just got an audit notice asking for a few things to be cleared up. Not a huge deal I'm sure, but honestly you never want those monkey's jumping around everything. They're like the IRS except you're number will be pulled and likely more than once. You want everything looking pristine whenever they come across you.

Better to pay the attorney when you start to look over everything than pay the attorney to clear up the stuff once your regulator notices them.

DaveHanson said:   Very interesting tjguitar85, never heard of that outfit. What do you all think about the $2,785 in fees to get started?

Under WA law, you are exempt from registering as an RIA if you have five or fewer clients. Don't know how typical that is.


Their fee's are cheap trust me. Probably the cheapest in the business. I'm aware of a few firms that pay a hell of a lot more to outsource all of their compliance to a different firm which I find funny because they left BD environment to get away from that...kidding. No seriously, outsourcing all of compliance to a full service is actually nothing like a BD compliance department at least in the sense of they don't prevent you from doing your job, but it costs considerably more than RIAinaBox because of the different level of service you get(take a look at RIAinaBox's platinum package and then figure probably around ~$800-1000 or more a month for that type of work to have that).

Better to just use RIAinaBox and occasionally bring in some top quality securities attorney to take a look.

I keep seeing positive references to RIAinaBox. Appreciate the references for them.

Somewhat similarly, a small hedge fund director I know said that if he had to do it over again, he'd essentially use US Bank's "mutual fund in a box"...sooo much easier.

I am now shopping for a self-paced online CFP curriculum. I've found many of the remarks in this thread helpful, and would appreciate any informed suggestions/opinions.

The professionals I know recommend these three:

http://www.theamericancollege.edu/financial-planning/cfp-certifi...
http://www.cffpinfo.com/cfp.html
http://financialplanningonline.bu.edu/self.htm

I am leaning towards pursuing the last program at BU. The course outlines are solid, the support for online students robust, the fees are competitive ($4K all-in, including books) and there's a 15 day refund policy minus a $300 fee if it doesn't live up to its promise. They have been quick to answer my preliminary questions.


A (rather cursory) review of that BU program and several others is at http://www.financial-planning.com/fp_issues/2011_11/financial-pl...

Just about everybody I know used Kaplan Schweser.

For a motivated and intelligent person like yourself I would suspect you'll have no problem passing the test if you do the work. Which program you choose shouldn't be that big of a deal. As long as it's not a joke program you should be fine.

Thanks dshibb. I had not investigated Kaplan, thinking they would be more an exam-prep service than an educational requirement vendor.

Looks like they indeed do offer the educational component, and in an online format no less: http://www.schweser.com/cfp/education-program/online-review-cour... . Oddly, they don't have a discount for buying the whole package, so their fees amount to roughly the same as BU, even with the 10% online signup discount.

Did anyone you know use their curriculum, as opposed to their prep course?

I taught online undergrad and grad courses in philosophy for several years, so have a plenty of experience with (and affection for) that learning modality. With a family and business interests to attend to, it's a much better fit than a traditional in-class program.

Thanks again for weighing in dshibb.

Schweser is certainly popular but my experence using it with the CFA course material was a mediocre so I decided to look for alternatives.

I did my educational component through Texas A&M in 2012. It was a distance program and I can say that I would probably look elsewhere for this as well. Most of my learning on my own out of the books. The organization was sub par and I found numerous errors on the exams. I think this year Texas A&m outsourced their program to Dalton so it may improved, though I did take my capstone course with dalton and it was pretty good. If I recall correctly it was ~3000 for tuition and books.

I rushed through the course in 6 months and spent 2.5 months studying (w/ the cffp online prep course $700) and passed the exam.

I also used the online question bank through cffp was well worth the money and one of the reasons for passing the first time.

Dubvalley, thanks for chiming in.

Edit: dshibb just noticed what I didn't, you're talking about CFA certification, which is a very different beast. Still appreciate the data point though.

Dave CFP vs. CFA...

Whoops, thanks dshibb...missed that.



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