CFP Education Program Curriculum

The CFP® Certification Education Program adopts a client-centered, problem-solving approach using real-life case studies. The course comprises of 6 different modules and equal emphasis is given to a broad range of financial planning disciplines. Students gain proficiency in these disciplines and are equipped to engage in the financial planning process on behalf of their clients. A Singapore-localized curriculum that meet the IBF Standards curriculum requirement is used to ensure the content is applicable to the local context to develop a sound, client-centric financial plan. The six course modules are:

Module 1: Foundations in Financial Planning

The first module is a self-contained course (also referred to as the AFPCM Certification Education Program), covering a broad range of professional financial topics that form the foundations of the career of any financial services professional. This module is comprehensive and provides a complete overview of the financial/ wealth planning process, a review of all the financial products and instruments, as well as a review of the legal, ethical and regulatory issues affecting financial planning in Singapore. Upon successful completion of the course, students are eligible to earn the AFPCM certification whilst continuing on with the remaining modules leading to the CFP® certification. Candidates who successfully obtain the AFPCM certification can also apply for the IBF Qualified (IBFQ) Certification with the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) in Singapore, if they meet the qualifying criteria set by the IBF.

Module 2: Risk Management and Insurance Planning

The transfer of risk through the use of insurance is a principal method of handling risk exposures. This module examines the principles of risk management and insurance to identify a client’s risk exposures and to select appropriate risk management techniques. This module also reviews insurance contracts pertaining to both life and general products, and provides practical insurance checklists. Analysis of medical disability and life insurance needs and methods of determining products best suited to clients’ needs are also examined.

Module 3: Tax Planning and Estate Planning

Taxes can affect various financial decisions and having knowledge of tax laws and related issues will generally enhance the effectiveness of a financial/ wealth planner. This module aims to increase a student’s knowledge and skills in the area of tax planning, by providing an overview of the major components of tax. Estate Planning is a critical element of a complete financial plan and students are introduced to the process of developing an estate plan.

Module 4: Investment Planning

Having the knowledge to evaluate and choose the right investments is basic to the implementation of a sound financial plan. This module reviews all categories of investments, client assessment techniques, economic factors, risks and return analysis, valuation methods, asset allocation techniques, portfolio management, investment strategies and performance evaluation methods.

Module 5: Retirement Planning

As Singapore’s population ages, it is critical that financial service professionals know how to advise clients to achieve a secure retirement through proper planning. This module teaches retirement needs, analysis techniques and the process to be used when developing a retirement plan. Retirement considerations for the self-employed, retirement counseling, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) and other schemes will also be reviewed.

Module 6: Financial Plan Construction and Professional Responsibilities

This final module builds upon the earlier modules and integrates all aspects of personal finances that are required for constructing a comprehensive financial plan. Students will learn how to gather and analyze client data, develop, recommend and implement appropriate strategies, and finally the important aspects related to the ongoing assessment of financial plans.

A review of the legal, ethical and regulatory issues affecting financial/ wealth planners will also be covered. This includes client-centered, problem-solving method using case studies to give students a hands-on approach to the study material.

Candidates who successfully obtain the CFP® certification can also apply for the IBF Advanced (IBFA) Certification with the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) in Singapore, if they meet the qualifying criteria set by the IBF.