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Money Moves

Training for the top


Hong Kong's financial planners have a host of professional designations at their fingertips, including the internationally-respected title of Certified Financial PlannerCM , writes KS Lau

One of the most widely-recognised professional designations for professional financial planning is that of Certified Financial PlannerCM (CFPCM ). Originating in the United States, professional education for this designation is now available in Hong Kong through the Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK). In order to qualify as a CFPCM , a candidate must satisfy various requirements:

1. Candidates must complete a registered educational programme recognised by the IFPHK. Registered course providers include the University of Hong Kong School of Professional and Continuing Education (www.hku.hk/space), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (www.polyu.edu.hk/medc), The Asia-Pacific Institute of Business of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (www.cuhk.edu.hk/apib/cfp) and the Open University of Hong Kong (www.ouhk.edu.hk/lipace). Study programmes for CFP are very extensive and take school-leavers up to three years to complete. The educational programme consists of six modules, including: Foundation of Financial Planning, Insurance, Investments, Tax Planning, Retirement Plans and Employee Benefits and Advanced Financial Planning.

2. Candidates must also pass the CFPCM certification examination. This ten-hour multiple choice examination covers 90 certification examination topics in subject areas set out in the above educational programme. Knowledge of advance financial planning is tested in the form of case studies.

Entry requirements include the completion of an IFPHK-registered educational programme. However, candidates with certain professional designations in the fields of accounting, finance, insurance and the law are granted challenge status and exempted from this requirement. Designations include:

Accounting and finance:
CGA - Certified General Accountant, Canada
CMA - Certified Management Accountant of Canada, the United States or Australia
CFA - Chartered Financial Analyst, United States
ChFC - Chartered Financial Consultant, United States
AHKSA - Member of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) and other credentials recognised by the HKSA, as detailed on www.hksa.org.hk/

Insurance:
FCII - Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, United Kingdom
ANZIIF - Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance & Finance
FSA - Fellow of the Society of Actuaries
CLU - Chartered Life Underwriter, United States

The law:
Qualified member of the Hong Kong Bar Association.

3. Finally, candidates must possess recognised financial planning work experience. The number of years of experience required depends on the candidate's academic qualifications. Three years' experience is required of degree-holders, while non-degree holders should demonstrate six.

The following issue will review the designation of Certified Financial Consultant and the various requirements that should be satisfied in order to qualify.


K S Lau, MSc, MBA, FCCA, FCPA, CFE. An accountant by profession, Mr Lau is specialised in corporate governance and management development. He is also the co-author of Q&A: Financial Planning Exams, a popular course book preparing students for financial planning examinations. For any enquiries regarding the article, you can contact Mr Lau on
E-mail: academia@newsgroup.com.hk

Taken from Career Times 19 September 2003

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