Certified Financial Planners (CFP) offer financial planning services in a number of fields, including insurance, income tax and estate planning. Training to provide these services can be found in CFP courses taken as part of a financial planning certificate program. CFP classes are a necessary step to being qualified to sit for the CFP examination. Topics include the following:
- Basic accounting skills
- Laws related to the finance industry
List Of Courses
Fundamentals of Financial Planning Course
This entry-level course introduces the concepts, terminology and procedures of financial planning. Students learn about budgets, credit management, business law and personal finance statements. The class explains how to calculate the time value of money and plan finances for emergency or educational funds. Ethics and proper professional conduct are also stressed.
The ability to successfully plan financial investments starts with understanding how to build a portfolio based on the client's needs. This CFP class discusses several types of investment vehicles, including their risks and potential returns. Portfolio theory is used to address management and reduction of risk. Financial markets are also introduced in this course with study of stocks, bonds and securities.
Income Tax Course
Estimation and planning of income tax payments for individuals, small businesses and large corporations is covered in this CFP course. Students explore federal tax laws, codes and regulations that govern income tax rates and learn to accurately calculate tax owed. Using concepts such as deductions, exemptions and credits, students discover how to remain tax compliant while minimizing the amount owed.
Employee Benefits and Retirement Course
A CFP class in retirement and benefits approaches the subject from the perspective of the business offering the benefits and the employee receiving them. The business side centers on selecting plans and understanding government regulations pertaining to benefits. Employee coursework focuses on retirement needs assessment and plan options. The course also provides information on national benefit programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.
Unique tax rules apply to property that is received as a gift or left to another after death. An estate financial planning course explains these rules, as well as rules that apply to charitable donations and trusts. Emphasis is placed on finding ways to avoid as much taxation as possible to preserve the estate. This class also addresses incapacity planning, or planning what to do with an estate if the owner becomes disabled or otherwise unable to make financial decisions.
CFP students in an insurance planning course learn to evaluate and select plans for health, life, auto, homeowners and other types of insurance. They perform cost benefit analyses for insurance plans and discover ways to reduce premiums. The process of risk management is a focal point of study.