I have the IFIC and CSC and they're a waste of money. I wrote IFIC before the textbook arrived in the mail. I only read the regulation part of the CSC to know all the different rules and crap about Quebec.
I would like a CFP one day, though.
Agree CSC is a joke... Wrote it and now the certificate is sitting in the bottom of a box somewhere at my folk's place.
Just trying to get a guage of where the CFP sits in the spectrum of certifications.
I'd assume the CFA is probably the most onerous of financial qualifications.
I wouldn't mind having CA/CFA/CFP but that's a long road and for the CA would require a break in my career to get the required experience.
The CFA is much more onerous than the CFP but they cover different material, so they aren't entirely comparable. Many people only do one level of the CFA coursework.
I would agree, MG, that the CFP designation is increasingly being used as a barrier to entry. Ultimately, the first priority of the vast majority of CFP charter holders is sales as that is the current business model.
With respect to the high failure rate of the CFP certification exams, I have always had an inkling that they were designed purposely to have a high failure rate. It makes the designation more exclusive and thus more valuable. The lady that we work with at our bank had to write it 3 times before she passed. I wouldn't consider her an ill informed idiot.
My big problem with the whole process was that there was a 50% weighting given to case studies that appeared to be presented with the idea that the solution was black and white. If you weren't on the same page as the person who set the exam, you were out of luck. Too bad the real world doesn't work that way. Worse yet, you pass or you fail; there was never an opportunity to learn from it as to what you did wrong and what was deemed to be the correct solution. The only alternative seems to be to shell out a few hundred dollars to take a CFP exam prep course prior to sitting for the certification exam to improve the odds of passing. There is nothing wrong with putting a lot of weight on case studies, but with the constraints of time, it always seemed unrealistic to me to expect a cut and dried solution gleaned from limited information. (I can recall myself and a classmate getting into heated e-mail discussions with our instructor over this very problem. (The instructors response was prefaced with: "I don't normally discuss exam results and answers to the set questions.") It left me with the distinct impression that I was playing someone else's game and I was being told that if I didn't like the rules, I could just pick up my marbles and go home.
Meh. The exams are written by a committee, not just one person. I don't know that there's a singular agenda at work, in the sense that one person's opinion has sway in how the exams are constructed. I also don't think that exams are really supposed to emulate the real world - they are intended to test your knowledge base while operating with constraints.
I also think case studies are "more realistic" in that you don't usually get rapid-fire a/b/c/d questions in a professional setting - the case studies are a much closer approximation of the requirement to synthesize knowledge.
I took TWO exam prep courses and I thought they were extremely valuable, and would recommend them. They helped me develop a coherent set of study notes and showed me some memorization tricks for formulas.
I haven't looked at the course outline for the CFP program so I have no idea what they are expected to know. My complaint is about professional negligence and selective oversight of accounts based solely on the fees generated. I think most investors suspect there will be ,to some degree, a fee-based focus by financial workers but it my case it became openly ridiculous . But as far as the CFP standards council lawyer was concerned that was OK. Going forward I now understand the degree of respect this appelation deserves.
Didn't read anything to do with the CSC and passed both the exams. Would like to get CFA someday maybe. Hard labour for big money is more enticing right now though. Likely Alberta bound!