What is a CFP®? What is a CPFA?


A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or a CFP® practitioner is a financial professional who meets the requirements established by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. While others may call themselves financial planners, only those who demonstrate the requisite experience, education, and ethical standards are awarded the CFP® mark.


What are the requirements?

In order to obtain the CFP® mark, an applicant must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Complete a CFP® Board-registered education program
  • Pass the 10-hour CFP® certification exam
  • Have at least three years of qualifying full-time work experience in financial planning
  • Pass a professional fitness standards test and background check

Once appointed, a CFP® professional must meet continuing education requirements of a total of 30 Hours completed every other year in order to maintain the certification.


What does a CFP® professional do?

A CFP® professional is trained to develop and implement comprehensive financial plans for individuals, businesses, and organizations. He or she has the knowledge and skills to objectively assess your current financial status, identify potential problem areas, and recommend appropriate options. You're also working with someone who's demonstrated skill in multiple areas of financial planning, including income and estate tax, investment planning, risk management, and retirement planning.


The CPFA credential – developed by some of the nation's leading advisors and retirement plan experts – demonstrates an advisor's knowledge and commitment to working with retirement plans.

Plan advisors who earn their CPFA demonstrate the knowledge required to act as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities.


What are the requirements?

In order to obtain the CPFA mark, an applicant must pass the CPFA examination which covers four major areas:

  • ERISA Fiduciary Roles and Responsibilities
  • ERISA Fiduciary Oversight
  • ERISA Plan Investment Management
  • ERISA Plan Management

Once appointed, a CPFA professional must meet continuing education requirements of a total of 10 hours completed every year in order to maintain the certification. One of every 10 hours must be on ethics/professionalism topics.


What does a CPFA Professional do?

A CPFA professional is trained to develop and implement comprehensive retirement plans for each client individually. He or she has the knowledge and skills to objectively assess your current financial status, identify potential problem areas, and recommend appropriate options. 

How can Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA help you?

Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA can help create a personal budget, control expenses, and develop and implement plans for retirement, education, and/or wealth preservation. We offer experience in risk management, including strategies involving life and long-term care insurance, health insurance, and liability coverage. Our Team can help with your tax planning or manage your asset portfolio based on your goals.

Specifically, Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA can help you:

  • Establish financial and personal goals and create a plan to pursue them
  • Evaluate your financial well-being with a thorough analysis of your assets, liabilities, income, taxes, investments, and insurance
  • Identify areas of concern and help you address them by developing and implementing a financial plan that emphasizes your financial strengths while reducing your financial weaknesses
  • Review your plan periodically to accommodate your changing personal circumstances and financial goals


Should I choose Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA as my Financial Professional?

Selecting a CFP® or CPFA professional is like choosing a doctor for your financial health. Working with a CFP® and CPFA professional involves sharing very personal information and you will want to feel comfortable with the professional you've chosen. We recommend setting up a meeting with Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA to gauge whether he appears knowledgeable, has integrity, and demonstrates a commitment to the highest ethical standards in the industry.  Also, Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA will discuss whether he offers services that match your specific needs or goals.

The financial world has become a very complex place. Even if you're used to handling your own financial affairs, the time may be right to consult with me to discuss and review your financial health and offer suggestions that may help you pursue your financial goals.

For example, are you familiar with all the different investment opportunities that might be available to you? Are you on track to meet your financial goals such as saving for your child's college education, securing enough income for a comfortable retirement, or preserving your assets against risks and lawsuits? We can offer the analysis you need to help answer these and other important financial questions.


Questions to ask Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA

Here are some questions you may want to ask Clayton J. Winkler, CFP®, CPFA to see if he is the right person for you:

  • What is your education? What schools did you attend and what degrees have you earned?
  • What licenses do you hold? Are you registered with the SEC, FINRA, or the state?
  • Are you affiliated with any professional groups or organizations? Do you execute securities trades through a broker-dealer? Who is it?
  • Does your practice concentrate in a particular area? What types of clients do you work with?
  • What type of products and services do you offer? Are you limited as to the products and services you can offer me?
  • How are you compensated for your services? Do you receive a commission for products you may sell to me?
  • Have you ever been disciplined by any government board or regulatory agency?


How are CFP® professionals and CPFA professionals compensated?

Typically, financial planners earn their living either from commissions or by charging hourly or flat rates for their services. A CFP®, CPFA professional may use a combination fee-and-commission structure: you pay a fee for the development of a financial plan or for other services provided by the professional, who also receives a commission from selling you products. A commission is a fee paid whenever someone buys or sells a stock or other investment, or when someone buys insurance (such as health, life, or long-term care insurance) or annuities.