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FPStandard SPRING 2015
IDEAS THOUGHTS AND TRENDS IN THE FINANCIAL PLANNING PROFESSION
On My Mind:
Why We Do
What We Do
Clients Trust What They See:
Display Your Full Value
with Winning Body Language
Professionals Must Always
Be Watchful for Potential
Conflicts of Interest
for the Canadian Financial
SPRING 2015 – 1
ON MY MIND
WHY WE DO
WHAT WE DO
There is no question that we live in an age
of information sharing and unprecedented
transparency. The past decade has seen
explosive growth in the number and
popularity of the online communities and
social networks that provide an avenue for
millions of Canadians to share the many
details of their lives, thoughts and opinions.
An August 13, 2013 headline in the
National Post noted that “More Canadians
use Facebook daily than anywhere else
in the world”. In fact, at that time the
Post reported that “More than 19 million
Canadians were logging onto Facebook at
least once every month — that’s more than
half the population — while 14 million check
their newsfeed every single day…”.
As Canadians, we talk about what and
where we eat and what’s hot on Netflix;
we offer cures for what would have once
been embarrassing ailments; and much
more. It seems like there are no longer any
topics too intimate or too private to share —
except perhaps one.
Most Canadians draw the line when it
comes to discussing their personal finances
— in this age of über-communications,
money may be considered the last vestige
of taboo subjects for Canadians. Divulging
details of our finances has enjoyed an
unrivalled tenure on the ever-shrinking list of
We don’t tell or ask each other how
much we earn or what we owe. Most of
us can only guess how much money our
parents have saved . As Canadians, we
take the “personal” in “personal finance”
seriously. It’s one of the few things that we
all care about, but very very few of us feel
comfortable talking about.
However, we know through empirical
evidence that when Canadians sit down
across from a CFP®
bare all, they are likely to reap substantial
financial and emotional benefit. The Value
of Financial Planning study – commissioned
by FPSC and financially supported by the
Financial Planning Foundation – revealed
that Canadians with comprehensive
financial plans feel that their financial goals
and retirement plans are more on track,
their ability to save has improved, and that
they are more confident they can handle
the inevitable bumps in life. Further, those
working with a CFP professional universally
report more positive feelings regarding their
personal finances and their financial futures.
But Canadians will never realize these
advantages unless they are satisfied they
can trust a true financial professional with
information related to their most intimate
and personal matters – their financial affairs.
That is why we do what we do. Canadians
must know they can trust financial planners
to help them achieve financial well-being,
and financial planners must be worthy of
Canadians need to trust that those
financial planners who have earned the
designation have met internationally
recognized standards of knowledge, skills
Cary List CA, CPA, CFP®
President & CEO, FPSC
Cary leads FPSC as the premier standards-
setter for the financial planning profession
in Canada. He has spent most of the
past decade working to ensure that CFP
certification is recognized as the standard
for financial planning and to see financial
planning recognized in law as a distinct
and abilities and are accountable for and
abide by a code of ethics that prescribes
their duty to act with the due prudence
of a professional and to put their clients’
interests before all others.
FPSC attests to the fact that those who
complete CFP certification have undertaken
an extensive approved education program,
passed rigorous national exams, and
obtained a minimum of three years’
qualifying work experience. To remain
certified, CFP professionals must undertake
continuous professional development
and agree to adhere to FPSC’s Standards
of Professional Responsibility for CFP
It is not easy to become a Certified Financial
professional, nor should it be…
why should Canadians settle for less?
Money. It’s time we talked about it.
With the right professional.
SPRING 2015 – 2
BY MARK BOWDEN
As a financial planner, chances are you have
to present to your current and prospective
clients more than just now and again.
Whether it is to deliver a plan, or to speak
to one or many in order to win new business,
getting your ideas heard and trusted is
essential if you are to stand out from the crowd.
For you to have the most positive impact,
here are my top body language tips for
speaking in front of any audience any time
and in a way that wins trust immediately.
PUT YOUR BODY ON DISPLAY
When speaking at a conference, have a
lavaliere or handheld mic and step away
from the podium. If sitting with a client, pull
your chair back from the table — in short,
display more of your body to your audience.
Your audience's instinctual 'reptilian' brain
needs to see your body and your body
language to decide what they think your
intentions and feelings are towards them.
SPEAK FROM YOUR BELLY
Place your hands in what I have
trademarked the TRUTHPLANE®
the horizontal plane that extends 180
degrees out of your navel area. Bringing
the audience's unconscious attention to
this vulnerable area of your body makes
them feel that you are very confident.
By assuming this physicality, you will
feel confident too.
SHOW YOUR HANDS
Show your palms open with nothing in your
hands to let others know that you mean no
harm and are speaking for their benefit. This
is a universally recognised 'friendly' gesture.
HANG OUT... CHECK OUT
Avoid dangling your hands by your sides
when giving important messages. It gives
your voice a depressing or sleepy downward
intonation, and makes you look unconfident.
Keep your gestures symmetrical. The brain
understands symmetry in the body more
easily than asymmetry, and we find it more
REVEAL, NOT CONCEAL
Avoid having your hands at mouth level
when speaking, for example when sitting
at a table with your chin in your hands.
We lip-read more than we think, and when
the picture of the words is taken away, it
becomes harder to verify the language.
The audience will perceive or create
negative feelings about the speaker's
intentions — in the absence of the
MOVE COMPLEX TO CLEAR
When giving a complex message, avoid
complex movement — so no fiddling
with your pen! It is hard for the brain
to decode complex verbal language
when it is concentrating on complex
CLIENTS TRUST WHAT THEY SEE
FULL VALUE WITH
STOP READING AND START LEADING
Don't try to read other people's body
language consciously. Generally, most of
us stand little more than a 50/50 chance
of getting it right. Instead, concentrate on
influencing your audience to mirror your
simple and positive nonverbal behaviour,
and they will be extremely likely to trust
and engage with you every time you
Mark Bowden is a body language
and behavior expert and the creator of
, a communication training
company and unique methodology for
anyone who has to communicate with
impact. Mark travels all over the world giving
keynote speeches and training groups.
His clients include leading businesspeople,
teams, and politicians, presidents and
CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and
current Prime Ministers of G8 powers.
His 3 books are the bestselling Winning
Body Language, Winning Body Language
for Sales Professionals, and Tame the
Primitive Brain – 28 Ways in 28 Days to
Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at
Work. Mark is particularly honored to now
be in the TED community, having spoken
on the main stage at TEDx Toronto. He
is a regular contributor to TV shows,
and you can see him currently on CTV’s
daily talk show The Social as the resident
body language expert. Mark is voted #1
in the World’s Top 30 Body Language
Professionals for 2014 by GlobalGurus.org.
SPRING 2015 – 3
For more information visit:
as Assurance of FPSC®
-Approved CE Activities and CE Credits.
Academy of Financial Divorce Specialists
Advisor.ca/Rogers Publishing Ltd.
AGF Investments Inc.
Aston Hill Asset Management Inc.
Bachrach & Associates Inc.
Bridgehouse Asset Managers
Bruce Etherington & Associates
Business Career College Corp.
Business Families Foundation
Canadian Anti-Money Laundering Institute
Canadian Securities Institute
Capital R Consulting
CDSPI Advisory Services Inc.
CE Network Inc.
CGA Canada PD Net
CIBC Asset Management Inc.
Clear Path Media
Convention Business Travel
Dalhousie University - MBA
ERAssure - Estate Risk
Protection Plan Inc.
ES Computer Training
Foran Financial Institute
Gobeil & Associates
Gordon B Lang and Associates Inc.
HAHN Investment Stewards
& Company Inc.
Harrison Pensa LLP
iA Financial Group
ILS Learning Corporation
Independent Financial Brokers of Canada
Ingle International/ Imagine Financial Ltd.
Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts
Institute of Advanced Financial Planners
INTEGRIS Pension Management Corp.
Invesco Canada Ltd.
Ivey Business School
Jarislowsky Fraser Limited
Knowledge First Financial
McCague Borlack LLP
MedAxio Insurance Medical Services
Mindpath Financial Conferences
My Money Mindset
National Exempt Market Association
NPC Data Guard
Pacific Business & Law Institute
FPSC CE Approval Program
Phoenix Coaching Works Inc.
Practical Management of Canada
Private Capital Markets Association of Canada
Radius Financial Education
Responsible Investment Association
SaskWorks Venture Fund Inc.
Smarten Up Institute
Tabuchi Law Offices
TEN STAR Financial Services
The Canadian Institute of Financial Planners
The Heritage Institute Canada
The Money Finder
Vancouver Dementia Care Consulting
Vision Systems Corp.
Worldsource Wealth Management
SPRING 2015 – 4
BY BOB VERES
We’re all hearing a lot of hand-wringing
discussion about the robo-competition—
the new online advice platforms that
offer automated investment portfolios at
a very low cost. In articles and hallway
conversations, the so-called robo-advisors
are described as a serious threat to the
revenue model of the profession.
What we tend to forget is that the profession
has faced down a number of mortal threats
in the past, and each time has emerged
stronger through positive evolution. When
the personal finance magazines seemed to
be giving away the advice that advisors were
charging for, the profession evolved from
the sales of thick financial plans to ongoing
planning, and the assets under management
(AUM) business model was born. When
discount brokerage firms began running ads
questioning why anyone would work with an
expensive financial advisor when they could
trade stocks on their own, advisors began
recommending portfolios created according
to the principles of modern portfolio theory,
and offered alpha-enhancing services like
disciplined rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting
and a buy-and-hold ethos.
In response to the robo-competition, I
expect to see a similar evolutionary shift for
the better. The new competition is helping
advisors recognize what most of us knew all
along: that their competitive advantage is,
and will always be, the personal service and
customized advice they provide.
There will be two parts to the evolution. First,
advisors will find new ways to maximize the
time they spend face-to-face with clients.
They will start to automate back office
chores like rebalancing, data entry and
portfolio reporting—which can be handled by
computers more efficiently than by humans.
With this additional free time, they’ll
develop new, better service packages. The
profession is already starting to embrace
a more customized advice model which is
sometimes called “life planning”. Instead of
creating financial plans for clients, advisors
will begin co-creating them over multiple
meetings that allow more time to explore
goals in greater depth. They’ll let clients
take the wheel of the planning software and
explore their financial futures.
Recently, I’ve seen advisors beginning to
offer “netweaving” services, where they
collect, from their clients, the names of
local service providers who have provided
outstanding service. Whenever a client
wants someone to fix their plumbing or their
computer, or remodel their kitchen, they go
to their advisor for a recommendation. The
advisor becomes an important information
and referral hub in the community!
The profession will not only survive this latest
challenge; it will become better as a result of
it. After all, it’s done it before.
Bob Veres is publisher of Inside
Information, the leading information
resource for financial advisors and planners
in the U.S. market and was a guest speaker
at the 2014 FPSC CFP®
Symposium held during Financial Planning
Week in November. For a free 3-month
trial of his service, go to bobveres.com/
amember/signup/trial and insert coupon
SPRING 2015 – 5
BY STEPHEN ROTSTEIN, LL.B.
FPSC VP, POLICY & REGULATORY AFFAIRS & GENERAL COUNSEL
FPSC PUBLIC POLICY
In the Fall of 2014, FPSC announced that
it would be launching a new grassroots
program for CFP professionals: the Public
Policy Ambassador Program.
Inspired by the adage that “all politics
is local”, the goal is to assist CFP
professionals to educate their local elected
representative on issues that affect the
public, including the current absence
of necessary safeguards for individuals
seeking the services of a financial planner.
An initial call for volunteers went out in the
late autumn of 2014, attracting over 80
individuals who indicated their interest in
participating. In order to become a Public
Policy Ambassador, CFP professionals must
take part in a training session offered via
webinar. Over 40 individuals participated
earlier this year in our initial training session,
and a second session is scheduled to be
delivered this fall.
In the few short months since the training
webinar took place, CFP professionals have
already begun to set up and hold meetings
with their elected officials, promoting the
need to restrict the title “financial planner” to
only those who have met unified standards
of competence, practice and ethics, with
the CFP designation at the forefront of
As the Public Policy Ambassador Program
continues to grow, FPSC will gather
feedback from Ambassadors and provide
additional materials and resources to assist
with their advocacy efforts.
If you are interested in learning more about
the Public Policy Ambassador Program, or
about how to participate, please email us at
A MATTER OF TRUST:
Studies have clearly demonstrated that
Canadians are not getting the financial
planning help they need, from qualified,
professional financial planners. This is
partially the result of a lack of understanding
of how to identify a qualified financial
planner and of what they should expect
of a financial planner and/or a financial
plan. Today’s unregulated financial
planning environment leaves consumers
vulnerable and at risk of receiving advice
from individuals holding themselves out as
financial planners but who have not had to
meet any qualifications based on accepted,
unified standards of ethics, competence
We need to ensure that consumers are
appropriately served and protected by
qualified and competent financial
planners. Clear, singular standards of
competence, ethics and practice must
be accepted and permitted to be
enforced by provincial governments.
The solution proposed by the Financial
Planning Coaltion is simple – codify in law
the professional certification structure,
governance and oversight mechanisms
that already exist in practice, but that are
currently voluntary for the 22,000 financial
planners licensed or certified through IQPF
and FPSC in Canada, and make them
a requirement for all who wish to claim
financial planning as their own.
Members of the Financial Planning Coalition
are working to ensure that this message
is received by all levels of government,
About the Financial Planning Coalition:
The Financial Planning Coalition was formed
in 2009 to establish a framework for a
profession for those holding themselves
out as financial planners. The Coalition
advocates for the official recognition of
financial planning as a distinct profession
that will best serve the interests of
Canadians. Members include the Canadian
Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs),
Financial Planning Standards Council
(FPSC), the Institute of Advanced Financial
Planners (IAFP) and the Institut québécois
de planification financière (IQPF).
Canadians must be able to trust financial planners to help them achieve financial well-being.
SPRING 2015 – 6
BY DAMIENNE LEBRUN-REID, LL.B.
FPSC DIRECTOR, STANDARDS AND ENFORCEMENT
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
ALWAYS BE WATCHFUL
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
CFP professionals must always place
their client’s interests ahead of their
own; the Client First Principle is the first
principle of the FPSC®
Code of Ethics.
Despite the importance of this principle
to the profession, CFP professionals,
like many others, continue to struggle
to identify and manage potential and
realized conflicts of interest.
The Standards of Professional
Responsibility require CFP professionals
to be objective when providing services
to clients and to maintain confidentiality
of client information. Rules 8 and 9 of the
Rules of Conduct directly address
disclosure of conflicts and require that likely
conflicts be disclosed in writing to the client
on an ongoing basis.
This article explores common sources
of conflicts of interest and provides best
practice tips for anticipating and managing
Be Watchful for Potential
Conflicts of Interest
You will encounter situations that involve
inherent conflicts of interest, for example,
where you represent spouses, members of
the same family or business partners. When
they first retain you, a couple’s interests
and financial goals are likely aligned;
however, the potential for a conflict to arise
is undeniable. It may well be that you can
act for a couple as long as their financial
objectives remain aligned, but you should
alert your clients (and remind yourself) that
there may come a time when you can no
longer act for both parties.
Taking steps in the early stages of a
client relationship to anticipate and plan
for future conflicts is in your best interest
and your clients’ best interests. Document
the steps you take to identify potential
and actual conflicts, and your discussions
with your clients.
Taking it a Step Further – Best Practice
The public expects more from professionals.
Best practice suggests that in addition to
identifying and disclosing likely conflicts,
CFP professionals should decline to act for
a client where a conflict of interest exists or
is likely to materialize and where the conflict
cannot be mitigated. You should:
1. Decline to act where there is an existing
conflict of interest:
a. Between you and your client;
b. Among your clients in the case of
a joint engagement; and
2. Advise your clients that you may not be
able to continue to provide services to
them if a conflict of interest materializes
in the future.
It is always better to be proactive than reactive.
When considering whether you should
accept an engagement or continue in
an existing engagement, you should ask
yourself if the duties you owe your client
may be negatively impacted if you continue
with the engagement.
Consider whether you, your employer or
your business partners have a personal
interest in your client’s affairs. Is there a risk
that your professional duties to your client
may be adversely affected by your own
interests or by your duty to another client or
to a third person? If the answer is yes, there
is a conflict of interest.
Do not ignore conflicts of interest.
Addressing them head-on is both
professionally prudent and consistent
with good client-relationship development
and management practices.
SPRING 2015 – 7
REPORTS ON FPSC DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
Where CFP professionals have been found
by a Hearing Panel to have breached the
standards for the profession as established
by FPSC, the Hearing Panel may impose
disciplinary sanctions ranging from a letter of
admonishment to permanent revocation of
the right to use the CFP marks. FPSC makes
all Hearing Panel decisions public, in part, by
publishing a report on our website.
For FPSC Level 1™ certificants in Financial
Planning, disciplinary sanctions can range from
a letter of admonishment to expulsion from
the FPSC Level 1 Certificant program (thereby
preventing them from using the FPSC Level 1
marks and from obtaining CFP certification).
The following individual has recently
• Cloth, M. Jason (Markham, ON)
On July 9, 2014 FPSC’s Disciplinary Hearing
Panel of the Enforcement Policy Committee
considered the matter of Financial Planning
Standards Council and Jason M. Cloth, CFP®
By way of unanimous decision dated August 7,
2014, the Hearing Panel found that Mr. Cloth
breached Rules 101, 202 and 702 of
Code of Ethics (the Code).
Mr. Cloth appealed the Hearing Panel’s
By way of Order dated October 30, 2014,
the Appeal Panel allowed the Appeal in
part and upheld the following findings of
the Hearing Panel:
i. Mr. Cloth breached Rule 101 of the Code
by failing to properly explain and illustrate
to his client the cost of the product over the
client’s life expectancy or for the time period
the insurance was to be in force;
ii. Mr. Cloth breached Rule 202 of the
Code by failing to act in the interests of
his client by allowing a provision of the
policy that was significant and important
to the client — the Cost of Insurance
— to be changed from Level to Yearly
Renewable without making the necessary
and adequate disclosure and without the
client's proper authorization; and
iii. Mr. Cloth breached Rule 702 of the
Code by failing to implement only those
recommendations that were suitable for
the client, by not sufficiently explaining
to the client the details of the insurance
product, the effects of changes made to
the insurance, and by failing to confirm
the client's understanding of the product
purchased by periodically reviewing it with
Mr. Cloth was issued a Letter of
Admonishment, and his right to use the CFP
certification marks has been suspended for
one (1) year until November 6, 2015.
PRINCIPLES OF CFP
CODE OF ETHICS:
• Put Client Interests First
• Act With Integrity
• Be Objective
• Maintain Competence
• Be Fair & Open
• Maintain Confidentiality
• Act Diligently
• Be Professional
For a full description of the Code,
SPRING 2015 – 8
FOR THE CANADIAN
FPSC and the Institut québécois de
planification financière (IQPF), the two
organizations that establish and maintain
standards for the financial planning
profession in Canada, have for the first
time come together to establish a unified
set of financial planning standards.
With the Canadian Financial Planning
Definitions, Standards & Competencies,
FPSC and IQPF establish a unified code
of ethics and a common set of practice
standards by which individuals holding the
F.Pl. diploma and CFP®
abide. They also define the ethical and
performance standards that clients should
expect from a professional relationship.
“We’ve achieved unprecedented
consensus within the financial planning
profession to unify standards that
will help give Canadians clarity and
confidence when engaging a qualified
financial planner,” says Cary List,
President and CEO of FPSC. “Together
we will use this as a foundation to
elevate financial planning as a distinct
professional practice in Canada; one
that holds itself to the highest possible
standards of ethics and performance.”
“This is a milestone for the financial
planning profession,” says Jocelyne
Houle-LeSarge, President and CEO of IQPF.
“This publication plays an important role
in driving consistency across the financial
planning profession by specifying unified
standards for those practicing within it. It
further acts as a resource to the industry
firms, financial planning educators, other
key industry partners and the Canadian
public at large.”
Recent research by the Financial Planning
Coalition* reveals the significant need for
clarity around standards. The survey found
that while most Canadians feel they
have insufficient knowledge to adequately
plan their financial future, they are
also unaware of the lack of mandatory
standards for financial planners
throughout most of Canada.
The research found that two-thirds of
Canadians feel they need help planning their
financial futures, but most are unaware of
the lack of regulatory standards for financial
planners throughout most of Canada. Fewer
than half of respondents (49 per cent) know
there is a difference between a financial
planner and a financial advisor, while almost
half (44 per cent) believe there are regulatory
standards in place for financial planners.
In unifying financial planning standards,
FPSC and IQPF have clearly defined what
“financial planning”, a “financial planner”
and a “financial plan” really mean. These
definitions and standards emphasize
objectivity; confidentiality; ethics and client
interest first; a deep understanding of the
financial needs, goals and aspirations of
the client; and a high level of competence
as essential characteristics of all financial
planners. Critically, the organizations
stipulate that a true financial planner must
be appropriately qualified and agree to be
accountable to professional oversight and
to putting their clients’ interests first.
The Canadian standards for financial
planning are consistent with the highest
professional standards in financial planning
internationally, through association with
the Financial Planning Standards Board
(FPSB), which represents standards for over
150,000 financial planners worldwide.
*Members of the Financial Planning
Coalition include Financial Planning
Standards Council (FPSC), Institut
québécois de planification financière (IQPF),
the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners
(CIFPs) and the Institute of Advanced
Financial Planners (IAFP).
Financial Planning Standards Council
Financial Planning Standards Council
) is a not-for-profit organization
which develops, promotes and enforces
professional standards in financial planning
through Certified Financial Planner®
certification. FPSC’s purpose is to instill
confidence in the financial planning
profession. As a standards-setting and
certification body, FPSC ensures CFP®
professionals and FPSC Level 1™
Certificants in Financial Planning meet
appropriate standards of competence
and professionalism through rigorous
requirements of education, examination,
experience and ethics. More information is
The Institut québécois
de planification financière
The Institut québécois de planification
financière (IQPF) is the only organization
in Quebec authorized to grant financial
planning diplomas and to establish rules
concerning the ongoing professional
development of professional financial
planners. Only professionals recognized
by the Institut québécois de planification
financière are authorized to use the title of
Financial Planner (F.Pl.) in Quebec.
The IQPF is also the only organization in the
province entirely dedicated and reserved for
CARY LIST, CA, CPA, CFP®
PRESIDENT & CEO, FPSC
PRESIDENT & CEO, IQPF
SPRING 2015 – 9
Financial planners are in demand now and will be even more in the future.
Helping people plan for their future financially isn’t just a way to make
a living. It’s a way to make a difference. When you become a Certified
professional, you have the opportunity to give clients
peace of mind and a true road map to their financial well-being. CFP
certification represents the standard for the profession, demanding the
highest level of competence, ethics and practice. Below is a depiction of
the path to CFP certification. For more information on the specific steps,
be sure to read page 10 of this publication.
SPRING 2015 – 10
STEPS TO EARNING
THE CFP DESIGNATION
To obtain the CFP designation, you must
complete a rigorous education program,
pass an FPSC-Approved Capstone
Course, two national examinations and
complete three years of qualifying work
experience. You definitely earn your
designation – the standard for the financial
planning profession. If you hold relevant
financial planning qualifications or other
relevant professional qualifications, you
may be eligible for exemption from certain
requirements for both CFP certification
and FPSC Level 1 certification. Check out
beafinancialplanner.ca for more details and
to see if you may be eligible to fast track.
Step 1: Complete
FPSC-approved Core Curriculum
programs are offered by institutions
across Canada in person and online.
Log on to beafinancialplanner.ca to see
a full list of programs.
Step 2: Write the
FPSC Level 1
This multiple choice exam is about four
hours in duration. It is offered twice a year
in both official languages at computer-
based testing centres located all across
Canada. You will need to apply to write
the exam at least one month before the
scheduled exam date.
Step 3: Apply to
Become an FPSC
Level 1 Certificant in
Once you have passed the first exam,
you may apply to become an FPSC
Level 1 certificant and start using the
FPSC Level 1 marks – an indication of your
accomplishment to colleagues and clients
and representation of your commitment to
professional ethics and performance. Once
you become a certificant you will be required
to complete a minimum of twelve Continuing
Education credits per year. You may maintain
your FPSC Level 1 certification indefinitely
provided you complete annual CE and renew
your certification annually, but we encourage
you to continue on to Step 4 – your next
step on the path to CFP certification.
Step 4: Complete
Prior to writing the CFP examination you
will need to complete an FPSC-Approved
Capstone Course. As part of the course
you will complete a full financial plan
independently, designed to apply and
integrate the technical knowledge gained
from Core Curriculum courses in the
analysis of personal financial planning
issues. You will also hone your professional
skills, to effectively relay those financial
planning strategies to clients. Log on to
beafinancialplanner.ca to see a full list of
approved Capstone Courses. Successful
completion of this course qualifies for two
years’ worth of CE credits for your FPSC
Level 1 certification.
Step 5: Write
This exam is a combination of multiple-
choice and constructed-response
questions, and is about six hours in
duration. It’s offered twice a year in both
official languages. The exam in offered in
computer based testing centres located
across Canada. You will need to apply to
write the exam at least one month before
the scheduled exam date.
Step 6: Verify That
You Have Completed
Three Years of
Relevant financial planning experience
provides the opportunity to hone your
skills and demonstrate that you’re able to
meet client needs in a real-world setting.
You must have completed three years of
qualifying work experience within the eight
years prior to applying for CFP certification.
Step 7: Apply for
Having passed the CFP examination and
completed your approved work experience,
you are ready to apply for CFP certification.
Log on to beafinancialplanner.ca to learn
more about the application process.
SPRING 2015 – 11
STUDY TIPS FROM PRESIDENT’S LIST WINNERS
CANADA’S TOP CFP
R. PAUL THORNE
DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA
FPSC’s President’s List recognizes the top
three candidates from across Canada who
have earned the highest marks on the CFP
examination, the final exam on the path to
Here, the first place President’s List recipients
from the 2014 CFP examinations share study
tips for exam candidates, their experiences
along the path to CFP certification and the
benefits of being a CFP professional.
Q: How do you feel about being named a
President’s List recipient?
Greg: It was quite an honour – definitely
a confidence booster in my dealings with
Paul: It was a complete surprise, because
it’s not an easy exam and it’s hard to know
how you did when you walk out of it.
Q: What do you think were the key
factors for your success in the exam?
Paul: I made sure I bought and prepared
with the FPSC Practice Exam. You can’t
beat it to help you get comfortable with
the software, familiarize yourself with how
the questions are asked, and learn what to
expect on the exam. I also attended FPSC’s
exam preparation webinar to find out what
other resources were available.
Q: What is your best study tip?
Greg: When you come across a topic you
are struggling to understand, write it down
in a notebook with all the details. I thought
of this as a ‘What I didn’t know list’. Taking
extra time to study the areas you find
difficult will give you more confidence going
in to the exam.
Q: What advice would you give to other
candidates preparing for the exam?
Greg: Everyone struggles with time
management challenges, especially when
you’re already working in the industry. It’s
not so much about finding the time, but
prioritizing it. Studying will never seem as
pressing as an important client meeting or
other work commitment, so you need to
schedule the preparation time and stick to it.
Q: Now that you have the CFP designation,
do you feel you’re perceived differently?
Greg: There’s definitely a change in the
way clients perceive you – they have more
confidence in your knowledge. There
are countless people calling themselves
financial advisors, but I’m part of the
small percentage in Canada with the CFP
designation who are truly professional
Q: How has obtaining the CFP designation
improved your career prospects?
Paul: Having the CFP certification
provides you with an invaluable base set
of knowledge that gives you the ability to
be comfortable in any number of different
client situations. You can’t compare the
comprehensive knowledge you gain from
the CFP designation to anything else that’s
Q: What is the most rewarding part of
your role as a CFP professional?
Greg: As a CFP professional, I have the
opportunity to have a significant impact on
people’s lives by making them feel more
confident about where they are financially.
At the end of the day, my ultimate goal is to
improve my clients’ well-being.
TOP 10 STUDY
TIPS FROM 2014’S
1. Prepare with FPSC’s Practice Exam
to get familiar with the software and
types of questions.
2. Schedule time for studying and
stick to it.
3. Keep a ‘What I didn’t know’ list
of notes about topics you find
4. Attend FPSC’s exam preparation
5. Consider an exam preparation
6. Answer the question and explain
why that’s the answer – details and
process are important.
7. Remember that there is more than
one way to answer a question.
8. If you work in the financial industry,
take advantage of your day-to-
day work to help integrate the
information you need to learn.
9. Don’t take the exam lightly – be
10. Ask your employer how they can
help to support you as you work
toward your CFP designation.
SPRING 2015 – 12
@ FPSC_CANADA 2015
CFP examination and FPSC Level 1TM
Examination in Financial Planning are held at various locations across Canada.
You must register at least one month prior to the exam.
JUN 08-11 Technical Knowledge Content Development session with CFP professional volunteers in Ottawa, ON.
JUL Results of the June 2015 CFP examination and FPSC Level 1 Examination in Financial Planning are made available.
JUL 20-24 Item writing workshops with CFP professional volunteers in Montebello, QC.
AUG 10-13 Technical Knowledge Content Development session with CFP professional volunteers in Winnipeg, MB.
CFP Professional Ambassadors head back into Core Curriculum classrooms across the country to educate students
on the value of the CFP designation. To book an Ambassador for your school, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCT 19-22 Technical Knowledge Content Development session with CFP professional volunteers in Toronto, ON.
OCT& NOV FPSC’s national consumer awareness campaign begins – watch for news on where to see our television commercials.
NOV 15-21 7th Annual Financial Planning Week takes place across Canada. Visit fpsc.ca/about-fpw.
The Globe and Mail special report on Financial Planning is published. To reserve space, contact Richard Deacon,
National Business Development Manager, The Globe and Mail at email@example.com or 604 631 6636.
Celebration of the Profession Reception and Dinner at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto in conjunction with Financial
Planning Week. Hosted by comedian Judy Croon, it’s going to be a fabulous evening. Seats can be reserved in
Special Breakfast CE Session on Ethics at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto. Facilitated by FPSC’s Director, Enforcement
alongside panelists Cary List, President & CEO, FPSC and ethics expert Rod Burylo. Tickets go on sale in
CFP professionals gather for a full day of Continuing Education at the 2015 Toronto CFP Professional Symposium at
the Old Mill Inn. This year’s theme is “Trust Matters”, with a lineup of amazing speakers and a keynote address from
Scott Stratten: Un-marketing 101. Be sure to reserve your seat when they go on sale in September.
Special Breakfast CE Session on Ethics at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. Facilitated by FPSC’s Director,
Enforcement alongside panelists Cary List, President & CEO, FPSC and ethics expert Rod Burylo. Tickets go on
sale in September.
CFP professionals gather for a full day of Continuing Education at the 2015 Vancouver CFP Professional Symposium
at the Pan Pacific Hotel. This year’s theme is “Trust Matters”, with a lineup of amazing speakers and a keynote
address from Scott Stratten: Un-marketing 101. Be sure to reserve your seat when they go on sale in September.
NOV 23-27 Item writing workshops with CFP professional volunteers in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON.
The winter administration of the CFP examination and FPSC Level 1 Examination in Financial Planning is held at
various locations across Canada. You must register at least one month prior to the exam.
The Financial Planning Foundation is a
charitable organization that is committed to
developing and promoting financial planning
research and education for the benefit of
financial and allied professionals, education
providers and the Canadian public.
Support the Foundation today.