I am in the midst of doing my CFP Certification Course (Certified Financial Planner) and I found it rather difficult. I was wondering why everyone I met who has already done it said that it was easy. Why did I find it difficult then? Was I getting stupid?
After a few diggings, I realised that those who did it a long time ago.. did not have to sit thru an exam.. they just took the question home and then the next day went to the exam hall to start writing what they had the whole night to prepare. And in those days to get exemptions was easy too.
For my own exemption so that I neednt do the 7 papers but 2, I had to get 2 letters from both my former employer as well as current employer that detailed that I had the relevant experience dealing with some degree of money management (budgetting, etc) before they let me have the exemption to do the Challenge Status. The MBA that I had was not enough at all.
It seems that the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia is trying to increase the standard of the CFP trademark holders. So there is a rather rigorous testing of our ability to produce a financial plan in a mere 3 hours. A normal financial plan takes ages to complete especially if you do not have software to help you. And there is also 6 other exams other than the financial plan one (thankfully I only need to do 2 papers out of the 7). When I first read the questions of the various modules, I realised that I could not answer any of the questions as they involved a deeper knowledge of insurance, investment, tax, retirement and estate planning.
The fact remains that it is no longer "no one fails" like in the old days. Now, easily 20% or more do fail the papers. That is indeed scarier than doing my MBA... because that thought of failing never crossed my mind then.
My final exams is coming and by June 19th I will either be done or done for~!..... it has been a very interesting process and planning my own financial plan is I suppose the best thing that can come out of this! Here's to financial freedom when we want it!