Part 1 - CFP Board

Demystifying the CFP® Certification Exam:
Interpreting Your Exam Results &
Advice to Re-Takers
January 9, 2014
Steve Barkley, CAE
Director of Examinations
Webinar Outline
■ Part 1: Explanation of Exam Reports
Domain Level
Topic Level
■ Part 2: How the Reports Can Guide Your
Study Plan
■ Part 3: Suggestions for Re-takers
Part 1
Explanation of Domain and
Topic-Level Reports
Two Types of Exam Diagnostics
■ Domains (Exam blueprint)
Job Task focused
■ Principal Topics (Supplemental report)
Content focused
CFP® Certification Examination
Eight Major Domains
1. Establish and Define the Client Relationship (8%)
2. Gather Information Necessary to Fulfill the Engagement (9%)
3. Analyze and Evaluate the Client’s Financial Status (25%)
4. Develop the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) (25%)
5. Communicate Financial Planning Recommendation(s) (9%)
6. Implement the Financial Planning Recommendation(s) (9%)
7. Monitor Financial Planning Recommendation(s) (5%)
8. Practice Within Professional and Regulatory Guidelines (10%)
Domain Level Diagnostic
Principal Topics
1. General Principles of Financial Planning
2. Insurance Planning
3. Investment Planning
4. Income Tax Planning
5. Retirement Planning
6. Estate Planning
7. Interpersonal Communication
8. Professional Conduct and Fiduciary
Percentage of Exam by Topic Areas
Topic Level Diagnostic
Example of Domain and Topic
■ A look at one candidate who was close to
Domain Report
Topic Report
Part 2
Using Domain and Topic-Level
Reports to Prepare Study Plan
How to Develop a Study Plan
Balance areas of weakness
with percentage of exam coverage.
■ Sub-topics in areas of relative weakness.
■ Job Tasks in areas of relative weakness.
Sample of Topic Breakdown
Retirement Planning
44. Retirement needs analysis
45. Social Security (Old Age, Survivor, and Disability
Insurance, OASDI)
46. Types of retirement plans
47. Qualified plan rules and options
48. Other tax-advantaged retirement plans
49. Regulatory considerations
50. Key factors affecting plan selection for businesses
51. Investment considerations for retirement plans
52. Distribution rules, alternatives, and taxation
Sample Domain Breakdown
Domain 3- Analyze and Evaluate the Client’s Status (25%)
A. Evaluate and document the strengths and vulnerabilities of the client’s current
financial situation
1. Financial status
a. Statement of financial position/balance sheet
b. Cash flow statement
c. Budget
d. Capital needs analysis (e.g., insurance, retirement, major purchases)
2. Risk management and insurance evaluation
a. Insurance coverage
b. Retained risks
c. Asset protection (e.g., titling, trusts, business form)
d. Client liquidity (e.g., emergency fund)
3. Benefits evaluation
a. Government benefits (e.g., Social Security, Medicare)
b. Employee benefits
4. Investment evaluation
a. Asset allocation
b. Investment strategies
c. Investment types
5. Tax evaluation
a. Current, deferred and future tax liabilities
b. Income types
c. Special situations (e.g., stock options, international tax issues)
Part 3
General Suggestions to Re-takers
What if I Did Not Pass?
When Should I Retake?
Factors to Consider:
■ How strong was your exam performance?
■ How much time do you have available to
schedule preparation?
■ Have you had repeated unsuccessful
Prepare a Study Plan
Be Aware of Human Nature
Most of us tend to…
1) Study things we like or in which we already
have strengths
2) AVOID things we don’t like or are NOT as
If You Have Failed the Exam More
Than Once…
■ Be honest with yourself
■ How much time invested?
Different Results Require Different
If you are not successful at something, and
continue to prepare in the same way, DO NOT
expect a different outcome.
Insanity: doing the same
thing over and over again
and expecting different
Engage Others
■ Find a study partner/form a study group
■ Talk to others who were successful
■ Seek a mentor
“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
Practice, practice, practice.
Sources for Practice Exam
 Textbooks
 Review course materials
 CFP Board sample items
Learning Objectives Resource
You CAN Do This.
■ Steven Barkley, CAE
Director of Examinations
[email protected]
■ [email protected]

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