What IQ do you need for CFP?  And Why This is a Highly Valuable Certification

In this blog post, I discuss what IQ you probably need in order to pass the rigorous CFP program, my thoughts on becoming a CFP, and what the pace rate of this very difficult exam is. I have often heard that with regards to difficulty of exams, it goes CFP, CPA, CFA. The CFP has something along the lines of a 50% pass rate, with the CPA exam at 50ish percent, and with the CFP at 20% overall for all 3 exams, the CFP, in this manner, while difficult, is definitely passable. In this blog post, we’ll describe the pros and cons of the CFP exams, and we’ll answer the question of What IQ do you need for CFP programs, be sure to subscribe to our blog for additional details and information.

And so, to answer the gist of this question, and not to necessarily spoil the blog post, I would say that you likely need somewhere in the 120 to 125 IQ range, alongside a decent crystalized knowledge and framework of the subject of finance and accounting, and a marked level of discipline in order to really succeed in a CFP program. The CFP program typically takes around 12 to 18 months, and is like the second part of the Finance degree, it is essentially the intensity level of getting an MBA, or of getting a Master’s degree in Finance, and can be extremely useful to have under your belt if you are working in the field of financial services. The two things that this program will need that an MBA program will not, which makes getting this certification type a lot harder, is one massive difficult exam at the end of the program, that is 2 days and almost 8 hours long, known as the CFP exam, which is basically like taking the SAT’s of finance, and the requirement of getting 3 years of work experience in the field of wealth management and investments before you can be certified. In my opinion, the work experience requirement of this certification is really what makes CFP candidates valuable, in that anyone can take a test, but it takes grit, luck, skill, a well rounded skillset, and good old persistence in order to stay at a job for 3 years, especially in the highly difficult financial services industry. 


What IQ do you need for the CFP Exam? Probably about 120


So, with how hard the CFP exam is, and I should know as I am an up and coming CFP candidate, I would say that you’ll likely need something like a What IQ Do You Need for CFP?120 IQ to pass this test and courses. The exam series in the field of finance are indeed very difficult, and once you get enough of these licenses under your belt it definitely starts to speak to your breadth of financial knowledge. With this being said however, it is my opinion that these licenses and certifications are among the easiest low hanging fruit that you can grab wins with in the field of finance. In comparison to the paperwork processing, legal and compliance, people skills and sales idiosyncrasies, they pale in comparison. The Pro’s of having the CFP certification, are below:

  1. A fantastic resume boost – Having the CFP certification next to your name attests to both your academic and professional knowledge of financial planning, financial analysis, the financial services industry, and of your practical abilities, such as your soft skills, legal knowledge of finance documents, and your knowledge of processes and systems. It even speaks slightly to your abilities in the field of client services, and walks through how you are truly a financial professional.
  2. A Great Knowledge of Finance – The CFP also gives you a truly profound knowledge of the field of finance, and shows that you are highly educated in the field, likely in the top quartile of financial knowledge in the world. CFP’s typically will have at least several years of experience in the financial services field, will have a Bachelor’s degree in some field, and will generally be considered highly educated.


What IQ Do You Need for CFP, and The Pros and Cons of this Rigorous Financial Program

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With all of the above good things about the CFP program, lets take a look at some of the cons of this program, namely cost and repetitiveness with regards to the overlap that it has with other programs.

  1. Cost – It is very difficult to get scholarships for the CFP program, and this program is absolutely notorious for being really expensive. To go through the entire program from start to finish is going to cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000 to $7,000, on the contrary, you can get the much better, much harder, and much better education program of the CFA exam (I think that the CFA society is much better for networking as well) for about $2500, and to top it off, I know plenty of people who are being sponsored by a CFA, and who are getting the exam sponsored for them absolutely free of charge.
  2. Repetitiveness of the Material – As someone who is just starting to study for their CFP, I can say that a lot of this stuff is just memorizing exam tricks, or that it is repetitive of some of the other exams that I have already taken. For instance, while I don’t have a CFP yet, I have been an Enrolled Agent candidate, have gone for a BA in Accounting and have a BA in Finance, as well as have passed the SIE, 7, 66, am a Notary, and have read the books for the Series 9 and 10 Exams. In the field of finance, there’s not a whole lot that usually can stump me (the CFA exam is another story, which is why I think it’s a lot more fun, because it’s really a challenge) and so I am finding a lot of the material not very practical and somewhat repetitive at the moment. Personally I’d rather be going for the CFA, or an Accounting Degree or an MBA. The BA in Accounting would allow me to sit for the CPA exam, the MBA would allow me to be an adjunct professor, and the CFA is the most difficult exam in all fields of finance period (with the exception of the actuarial exams which make it look like a joke.) Each of these benefits really motivate me, CFP>>especially since I won’t have it for 2+ years…..and is way more expensive, really does not.

CFP vs CFA vs CPA vs CIMA, Which of These Licenses is Best Overall?

So, in my personal opinion, if I had to pick one of these, it would be the CPA license. First off, the CPA license looks just as good if not better to financial firms, such as in Wealth Management or Investment Banking as the CFA or the CFP certifications do. On top of this, it gives you the option of not only filing tax returns for people for money on the side, but also of looking like a genius in the field of wealth management, and of having an out from the securities business if you get sick of it. You can pivot to taxation, accounting, audit, forensic accounting, working for the IRS, and a host of other related fields, it really opens up the doors to finance for you. With that being said, the CFA, CFP, CIMA and MBA are fantastic complements to the CPA license, and adding one of them gives you value in the fields of both finance and accounting.

What IQ Do You Need for CFP Programs? And Why a 120 IQ Is Probably Ideal

And so, to get a CFP, generally speaking, you’ll probably want something in the range of 120 to 125 range in terms of IQ, and you’ll also need a high work ethic to make it in the field of finance. Don’t get me wrong, while I somewhat hammered the CFP exam in this blog post in comparison to some other licenses, it is a very well respected designation and should be taken seriously should you choose to embark on the journey. For more information, be sure to comment down below and to subscribe to our blog for weekly updates on all things finance and business!




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