Privileges of being a Certified Member

– Entitled to use the CFP CERT TM mark on your business cards.

– Complimentary copies of “4E Journal”, FPAM’s publication exclusively for members.

– Special rates to attend continuing education programs including seminars, forums, conferences and luncheons.

– Invitations to networking events and industry related gatherings.

– Voting rights at Annual General Meeting.

– Opportunities to stay informed about the latest trends, developments and products through seminars, workshops and meetings.

– Chapter Working Committees provide platforms for interaction among members in their respective states.

Financial Planning in General

Q1. What is Financial Planning?

Financial Planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances. These goals may include buying a home, saving for your child’s education, starting a business or planning for comfortable retirement.

Q2. What is the role of a Financial Planner?

A financial planner is someone who uses the financial planning process to draw-up a plan with an objective to meet your life goals. The planner takes a “big picture” view of your financial situation and make financial planning recommendations that are right for you. He takes into consideration all of your needs – budgeting, saving, taxes, investments, insurance and retirement planning. He can also work with you on a single financial issue but within the context of your overall financial situation.
This makes the financial planner different more comprehensive in his approach than other financial advisors who may be trained only on specific areas of your financial needs.

Q3. What is the Financial Planning Process?

This Process consists of six steps:

i. Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship
The financial planner should explain clearly or document the services to be provided to you and define both his and your responsibilities. The planner should explain fully how he will be paid and by whom. You and the planner should agree on how long the professional relationship should last and on how decisions will be made.

ii. Gathering client data, including goals
The financial planner should ask for information about your financial situation. You and the planner should mutually define your personal and financial goals, understand your time frame for results and discuss, if relevant, how you feel about risk. The financial planner should gather all the necessary documents before giving you the advice you need.

iii. Analysing and evaluating your financial status
The financial planner should analyse your information to assess your current situation and determine what you must do to meet your goals. Depending on what services you have asked for, this could include analysing your assets, liabilities, cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments and tax strategies.

iv. Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations and/or alternatives
The financial planner should offer financial planning recommendations that address your goals, based on the information you provide. The planner should go through the recommendations with you to help you understand them to help you make informed decisions. The planner should also listen to your concerns and revise the recommendations accordingly.

v. Implementing the financial planning recommendations
You and the planner should agree on how the recommendations will be carried out. The planner may carry out the recommendations or serve as your “coach”, coordinating the whole process with you and your other professionals like your lawyers or stockbrokers.

vi. Monitoring the financial planning recommendations
You and the planner should agree on who will monitor your progress towards your goals. If the planner is in charge of the process, he should report to you on a time basis mutually agreed upon to review your situation and adjust the recommendations, if needed, to complement the changes in your life.

Q4. What are Practice Standards?

Practice Standards were developed to help CFP CERT TM practitioners better understand and implement the financial planning process. These standards also explain what is expected of a CFP practitioner and are to be adhered to when providing financial planning advice.
Practice Standards describe the process that a financial planner should reasonably be expected to follow during a financial planning meeting. These standards are based on the six-step financial planning process :

Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship
Gathering client data including goals
Analyzing and evaluating the client’s financial status
Developing and presenting financial planning recommendations and/or alternatives
Implementing the financial planning recommendations
Monitoring the financial planning recommendations

Q5. What are the 4E’s?

The 4E’s are:

i. Education

Before commencing the certification examinations, a candidate must complete the academic requirements of the CFP syllabus. They are:

Module 1 – Foundation in Financial Planning and Tax Planning
Module 2 – Insurance Planning and Estate Planning
Module 3 – Investment Planning and Retirement Planning
Module 4 – Financial Plan Construction & Professional Responsibilities

ii. Examination
Once a candidate has completed the Education requirement, he can enroll for the Certification Examination. The examination is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to apply the theoretical knowledge he has acquired to financial planning situations in an integrated format, thereby assuring the public that the candidate has acquired the level of competency required for practice.

iii. Experience
In addition to having to complete the financial planning education and examination requirements, a candidate is required to show evidence of having worked in a financial planning-related position for a period of at least three years before or after the successful completion of the Certification Examination.

iv. Ethics
Once a candidate has completed the above 3 E’s and prior to certification, he is required to disclose past or pending litigation or agency proceedings and to acknowledge the right of FPAM to enforce its Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

Only when the candidate has fulfilled his ethics requirement, is he entitled to be a full fledge CFP professional.

Q6. What is it about the CFP CERT TM Mark that distinguishes it from other financial planning qualifications?

The CFP CERT TM mark identifies individuals who have met the education, examination, experience and ethics requirements established by the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB). FPSB owns the CFP Mark outside the United States and licenses qualified individuals to use this mark and refer themselves as “CFP professionals”. The CFP certification is an internationally recognised mark for the highest level of competence in financial planning.

FPAM is the marks licensing authority in Malaysia in line with the international standards.

Q7. What is the difference between a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER CM Practitioner and the other kinds of financial advisors?

A CFP CERT TM Practitioner follows certain standards – called Practice Standards – when providing financial planning advice. Practice Standards describe the process you should reasonably expect a financial planner to use during a financial planning engagement. These standards are based on the six-step Financial Planning Process, documented by the Financial Planning Standards Board through their research on the “Job Analysis” of what a financial planner is expected to be.

Education and Examination

Q1. Do you have to pass just one module to earn the CFP mark or several modules over a period of time?

You have to pass all the 4 modules in order to become a Certified member. However, exemptions are granted to individuals who have certain academic qualifications. Please contact FPAM if you require further information on the grant of exemptions.

Q2. What is the format of the examinations for CFP certification program?

Module 1 to 3 consists of 75 multiple choice questions to be completed in 3 hours.
Module 4 comprises of 2 papers. Paper 1 is a 60 multiple choice questions paper to be completed in 3 hours and Paper 2 is an essay styled case study question paper to be completed in 3 hours.

Q3. Is there a time frame to complete each module?

There is no fixed time frame and the examinations are conducted once every 6 months.

Q4. Is there a time frame to complete all the 4 modules?

There is no fixed time frame. Modules 1 to 3 must be completed before you are eligible to attempt Module 4. A candidate can attempt Modules 2 to 3 in any sequence.

Q5. What is the shortest time frame to complete all the 4 modules?

The shortest time frame required is 12 months.

Q6. If I fail a module, is there a re-sit and what is the time frame for a re-sit?

There is no time frame to re-sit an examination. You are just required to register for the module that you failed in. You can register for the next available examination sitting.

Q7. If I have to re-sit a module, do I pay just the exam fees or the do I need to pay the course fees as well?

If you need to re-sit a module, you are required to register for the next examination and pay the exam fees. Please check with the Education Provider on course fees if you wish to attend additional revision classes.

Q8. Is there a refund on course fees if I decide to discontinue a module?

Please refer to the approved Education Providers for their registration policies.

Q9. When are the CFP certification examinations held?

The examinations are held twice a year. Please check the FPAM website for the dates of the examinations.

Q10. How do I register for the CFP certification examinations?

You can contact either FPAM directly or any of the Education Providers for the registration forms which should be duly completed and submitted to FPAM or the Education Provider.

Q11. Who are the Education Providers approved by FPAM to conduct the CFP certification program?

Please refer to the section on Education Providers on our website for the list of Education Providers and their contact details.

Q12. Have the Education Providers been approved by the relevant authorities?

The provision of education is undertaken by suitably qualified Education Providers duly approved by FPAM. Approval is granted by FPAM subject to the Education Providers having fulfilled certain requirements such as:

i. Having an established track record in the field of education
ii. Capable of teaching the CFP certification program
iii. Employment of professional academic and support staff to ensure comprehensiveness of programs
iv. Adherence to all of FPAM’s rules and regulations

Q13. Do the Education Providers charge the same for the course?

The approach of the independent Education Providers in providing the CFP certification course may differ slightly, depending on their methodology and course materials but in compliance with the syllabus determined by FPAM. The fees for the courses are set by the Education Providers within the range approved by FPAM.

Q14. How do I register any complaint or grievance that I may have with the Education Providers?

You may write to FPAM stating details of the case to:

The Chief Executive Officer

Financial Planning Association of Malaysia
Unit 305, Block A, Phileo Damansara I
Jalan 16/11, Seksyen 16, Off Jalan Damansara
46350 Petaling Jaya
Telephone : +603 – 7954 9500 / Fax : +603 – 7954 9400

Please remember to provide your contact details.

Membership Information

Q1. What are the different types of membership available?

The membership types for individuals are Trade, Associate and Certified.
For institutions, the membership types are Charter Members and Corporate Members.
Please refer to the section on Membership on our website for details of the types of membership available.

Q2. Who are FPAM’s Charter Members?

Charter Members are corporate members of FPAM who contribute and support the development of the financial planning industry in Malaysia.

If you are employed by any of our Charter Members, you are entitled to the Charter Member’s employees’ rate for examination registration fees.

Q3. Can an individual apply to be a Charter Member?

No. Only institutions can apply to be Charter members

Q4. What does the Re-certification process entail?

Once certified, a CFP CERT TM professional is required to maintain technical competence and fulfill ethical obligations. Every years, he must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education to keep abreast of current developments in the financial planning profession in order to better serve his clients better. Two of the 20 hours are to be spent studying or discussing FPAM’s Professional Code of Ethics and Practice Standards.

In addition to the biennial continuing education requirement, every CFP professional must also voluntarily disclose any public, civil, criminal or disciplinary actions that may have been taken against him in the past two years as part of the continuing Re-certification process.

Membership Support

Q1. What additional support does FPAM provide to its students?

FPAM has a comprehensive website which learners can access for updated information on the latest developments in financial planning. There are also links to the websites of other financial planning bodies worldwide.