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CFP's Planned "Handbook" Will Be a Handful

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The CFP Board of Standards plans to release “The Financial Planning Competancy Handbook” in March of 2013. At an estimated 400+ pages, the title may be something of a misnomer, however.

The book, to be published by John Wiley & Sons Inc., is a first for the CFP. Dr. Charles Chaffin, CFP’s manager of academic programs and the editor of the project, is casting a wide net. He says the book will serve as a resource not only for students but also financial planning instructors and practitioners. The goal is to broadly lay out the things a financial planner needs to know and provide some context for using that information.

“Here’s a client, here’s a situation, here’s what a financial planner needs to think about,” Chaffin says. “We didn’t want to get into the weeds. We’re not looking to replace a textbook on estate planning or a textbook in investments. We’re really looking at focusing on practice and how that content relates to what a financial planner does.”

The book also will outline what a practitioner ought to be able to do at three levels of expertise—novice, competent,  and expert—in situations covering a broad range of CFP topics. Sections of the books will be written by both educators and financial planners in practice.

Chaffin promises the book will be “very readable.” With 90 chapters covering 230 specific topics of mastery, this is devoutly to be wished. By the way, buying a copy is not a prerequisite for obtaining a CFP.

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