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Planning funds

education Updated: Mar 26, 2013 17:41 IST

Hindustan Times
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The lowdown

A certified financial planner (CFP) is supposed to help clients achieve their life goals by planning for their investments, taxes, insurance, retirement, property and most importantly, expenses. A financial planner can start his/her career with a wealth management firm, high net worth indeviduals, tax consultancy company, financial services firm, banks and financial institutions. With experience, he/she can be absorbed in middle level management as a sales manager, wealth manager or relationship manager etc. Career options are available in sectors like investment banking, financial consulting, and financial analysis and insurance companies. Today, banks also require financial planners for managing their investment advisory wing, financial institutional investments and portfolio and merchant banking divisions

Client interaction and plan construction are the two most important tasks performed by CFPs. They also research new products, collect knowledge from sources like news papers, Indian and foreign markets to help clients

The payoff
Some CFPs charge a set amount of fees which can range from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 40,000 per plan. Some CFPs take commission, but they earn by selling financial products. There are some hybrids as well. CFPs can also be hired by companies with an average package of Rs. 4.5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh per annum

* Ability to identify financial products
* Ability to identify client’s needs and provide relevant solutions

Getting there
A candidate must pass Class 12 before enrolling with the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) India and has to fulfil the education criterion, which is passing the four exams either through self-study or through training support from any one of FPSB India’s approved education partners. After this, one becomes eligible to register for the CFP exam administered by the FPSB Board. Then, a candidate’s experience is verified before conferring CFP certification. The experience is considered to be of essence as regards application of financial planning knowledge and skills in one or more of the eight competency profiles outlined under financial planning curriculum framework. A candidate also needs to furnish a valid proof of experience of three or five years. Lastly, each CFP certificant agrees to abide by the board’s code of ethics

Institutes and URLs
* Indian Institute of Financial Planning (IIFP), New Delhi
* IMS Proschool, Mumbai
* RNIS, New Delhi, and other cities

Pros and cons
* Few educational requirements
* You build your own client base

After gaining expertise in this field, one can rise to the position of a functional head of the department with increased responsibilities -- Amit Srivastav, vice president, Indian Institute of Financial Planning, New Delhi