How do you plan for a career as a financial planner?
Well, for starters, you need to get your CFP certification, and that begins by enrolling in a high-quality Certified Financial Planner course.
All these courses vary in terms of cost, included features, and length of study time, so narrowing the choices down can take some time and research.
The good news is that we’ve done all the hard work for you; just keep reading to see our detailed analysis of the best CFP prep courses!
Compare The Top 5 Certified Financial Planner Exam Study Materials
Wiley CFP Review (#1)
Adaptive learning technology mixed with old-school instructors
Wiley CFP Review Pros & Cons 2022
Wiley’s CFP review course was designed to be easily accessed on smartphones and tablets. This lets you take your study sessions out with you, which is great if you’re already busy with other time obligations.
To The Point:
As their name implies, Wiley’s courses are designed to teach students as efficiently as possible. This means that videos are on the shorter side, but no important information gets left out.
If you sign up for a Gold CFP review course, you also get to attend a seven-week virtual CFP course taught by a professor. This is a great way to get the traditional classroom experience— even if you miss a session, since these lectures are also available on demand.
In addition to over 800 practice questions in Wiley’s CFP test bank, there are several hundred assessment questions you can work through as well. Extra questions means more practice in realistic exam conditions; additionally, your performance will help you determine whether you need to study more or move on.
Bottom Line: Wiley is a great pick if you’re busy but still want to squeeze in a few quick study sessions throughout the day. They also offer impressive analytics, well-made lectures, and live classroom instruction!
APNACourse CFP Review (#2)
Lots of video content and fantastic support
APNA CFP Review Pros & Cons 2022
Students have a few choices for CFP prep courses if they choose APNACourse as their provider. While they vary in scope and subject matter, one thing they all have in common is a substantial amount of video lectures to help students understand the material.
Something that is increasingly rare to find among professional online educational courses is compatibility with mobile devices. Fortunately, APNACourse provides a convenient Android app perfect for students who want to study on the go.
In addition to APNACourse providing helpful support options, the individuals courses provided by this company for CFP review come with their own support channels. This means that students can easily resolve issues with their curriculum or their payments.
APNACourse can be best described as a middleman in terms of providing educational resources to students. Because of this, they have no way of guaranteeing students who enroll in their courses will pass their exams.
Bottom Line: The way in which APNACourse approaches test prep is unique and worth the attention of students who are tired of the traditional methods. With plenty of video content and helpful support channels, this is a great resource whether you’re on a computer or smartphone.
Dalton CFP Review (#3)
Robust course curriculum and solid live instruction
Dalton CFP Review Pros & Cons 2022
Dalton offers the perfect amount of practice questions for students who want to review core CFP concepts. 2,000 is enough to ensure they understand the material without taking up too much of their study time and energy.
As a high-end test prep provider, Dalton offers something that can’t be found easily among all CFP courses. Their Virtual Classroom enables students to learn from an instructor in a live classroom-style environment.
In order to alleviate the anxiety that can come from paying a large sum for educational material, Dalton guarantees that all students enrolled in their Certified Financial Planner course review will pass their exam or receive their money back.
Although their curriculum is impressive and worth the cost of enrollment, students on a budget may balk at Dalton’s intimidating price tag. It’s not the most expensive course for CFP review but it is far from the cheapest.
Bottom Line: Dalton is an educational company that prides itself on providing students with a premium experience. Thanks to their robust course curriculum and helpful live instruction, students who enroll will vastly increase their chances of passing the CFP exam.
Kaplan CFP Review (#4)
Time tested company with fantastic real world examples and a value driven price point
Kaplan CFP Review Pros & Cons 2022
Thanks to the different tiers of prep course provided by Kaplan, students with any size budget can find a course that suits them. The cheapest CFP course is just under $500 with the more involved programs costing only a few hundred dollars more.
Students who learn best through answering practice questions will love what Kaplan has to offer. Their CFP courses feature over 3,000 practice questions, making them the course with the largest question bank on this list.
Case Dedicated Material:
While lectures and practice questions are helpful for students to a degree, one of the best ways to prepare them for a career in financial planning is with real-world examples. Fortunately, Kaplan draws a great deal of material from actual cases.
Some students are likely to be disappointed by the absence of flashcards in Kaplan’s CFP review course. Considering the cost for some of their courses, students who prefer learning through memorization may want to pursue alternate educational options.
Bottom Line: Kaplan is a company that has stood the test of time. They have been in business for quite some time and have helped countless students to pass their exams, both for the CFP and other difficult professional certifications.
Keir CFP Review (#5)
A la carte course options with more than 20 hours of audio content
Keir CFP Review Pros & Cons 2022
One of the CFP courses offered by Keir concerns the calculations and formulas commonly used in financial planning. This is a course that will not only help students pass the exam but also apply their knowledge in their future careers.
Another Keir CFP course students can use involves 20+ hours of audio content discussing the ins and outs of financial planning in great detail. This is a fantastic resource for students who want to learn while exercising or commuting.
The educational courses and supplementary materials provided by Keir are sold a la carte. This means that students are free to pick and choose particular study materials that they prefer, which is helpful for individuals on a tight budget.
Although the audio lectures are helpful and well-made, the lack of any video content from Keir is concerning. Students who learn best through visual stimulation will be disappointed by the absence of this feature and may want to look elsewhere for CFP prep.
Bottom Line: Keir provides a suite of educational materials perfect for discerning and cash-strapped students. Whether they learn best through audio lectures, practice questions, or hands-on calculations, this provider can give them the tools for success.
College for Financial Planning CFP Review (#6)
Real life practice exams and mobile accessibility
College for Financial Planning CFP Review Pros & Cons 2022
The tests and quizzes provided by the College for Financial Planning go one step beyond the competition. In addition to providing valuable student assessments, these tests draw from material based on real financial planning case files.
Although the College for Financial Planning doesn’t provide a dedicated mobile app, they do offer some compatibility for students with smart devices. All of their lectures are optimized to be easily accessible on mobile browsers.
For students who are looking to save some money on their test prep fees, the College for Financial Planning has some appealing offers. Students can save money on both initial study courses for the CFP exam and CPE material.
Although the College for Financial Planning is affordably priced, something that may cause students to hesitate before enrolling is their lack of a pass guarantee. No financial compensation is provided if they fail to prepare students for the CFP exam.
Bottom Line: Whether you’re a student attempting to take the CFP exam for the first time or an established professional financial planner looking for continued certs, the College for Financial Planning has tools and study materials that will meet their educational needs.
Final Recommendation on CFP Courses
The information provided here should be sufficient for most students to determine the right CFP course for their particular needs. But if you’re still on the fence, here are some quick suggestions of good choices for specific students:
- Kaplan’s CFP course is well-made and geared toward individuals who prefer studying on mobile and who like answering a lot of practice questions.
Hopefully this guide will help you get one step closer to your end goal of a rewarding career in financial planning. Now start hitting those textbooks!
Frequently Asked Questions about the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Exam
How do you become a CFP?
There are four requirements candidates have to meet before becoming a Certified Financial Planner. The education requirement involves completing financial planning coursework and having a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Performance on the CFP exam is another requirement, and the remaining two are professional ethics and work experience.
How hard is the CFP exam?
According to the CFP Board, the pass rates for the CFP exam are just over 60% on average. This is higher than the pass rates for many other finance and accounting exams, such as the CPA and CFA exams. This implies that this exam is easier than these other certification tests. However, this doesn’t mean that the test is easy in its own right, so remember to take your study plan seriously!
How long does it take to become a CFP?
If you’re trying to become a CFP as an undergraduate, it will take several years for you to meet the education requirements by obtaining a 4-year degree. If you’ve already obtained your degree, you’ll still be required to meet the 4,000-6,000 hour work experience requirement. On top of all that, it’s estimated that it will still take candidates 1,000 hours to competently study for the exam itself. Hence, it’s going to take you a great deal of time to become a CFP no matter how you slice it!
How much does it cost to become a CFP?
CFP candidates will be required to cover costs for both education and the CFP exam. Depending on where you’re located, the costs for both of these requirements will vary. The most expensive costs will be related to education, but these can be alleviated by enrolling in a CFP Board-approved online course instead of attending classes in-person.
How much does a CFP make?
Individuals who become CFP certified can enter the workforce in a wide range of positions – many with the possibility of upward mobility. According to Payscale, the average starting salary for a CFP is around $67,000 a year, with some positions making as much as $88,000 annually.
Is CFP harder than CPA?
Becoming a CPA is much more difficult than becoming a CFP. You’ll need to pass 4 exams instead of 1, and the pass rates are much lower for the CPA vs the CFP. Because of this, we highly recommend that you enroll in one of our top-rated CFP prep courses.
Can you be a CFP and CPA?
Yes you can! In fact, a CPA can use the accelerated path to CFP certification, which lets you skip most of the busy work required for the certification.
What is the hourly rate for a financial planner?
Payscale states that a certified financial planner makes an average of $25.06 an hour.
Bryce Welker is a regular contributor to Forbes, Inc.com, and Business Insider. After graduating from San Diego State University he went on to earn his Certified Public Accountant license and created CrushTheCPAexam.com to share his knowledge and experience to help other accountants become CPAs too. As Seen On Forbes