Thursday, July 12, 2012

Douglas offers first step in becoming certified financial planner

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Get your
Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Services and Administration, and you’re on your way to a lucrative career in banking, investment advising or financial planning. But did you know that this Douglas degree also offers you the first step in becoming a Certified Financial Planner?

Getting your Certified Financial Planner designation means gaining the skills, savvy and confidence needed to help clients make key financial and investment decisions.

Douglas is approved as a CFP core curriculum provider by the Financial Planning Standards Council. If you complete the eight CFP core curriculum courses as part of your BBA, then you qualify to write the CFP level 1 exam. The CFP is the leading financial services designation in Canada and is recognized worldwide.

Morna Fraser, an instructor in
Commerce and Business Administration at Douglas, says a CFP designation is a major door opener for grads who want to work with high net worth clients at banks or financial planning institutions.

“When you’re dealing with higher net worth clients, you need the education,” Morna says. “If students have their CFP and a degree, they are far ahead of the crowd. Employers give them a really warm reception.”

Morna notes that the financial sector makes up over 30 percent of the Canadian economy, which translates into a huge number of job opportunities for qualified applicants.

“With the decline in defined benefit pension plans and the increasingly complex financial environment people are faced with, the need for professional financial advice is continually growing. Many of the jobs can be very lucrative if you’ve got your CFP. If you’re knowledgeable and good with clients, you can be very successful.”

Rhonda Sherwood, a Wealth Advisor at ScotiaMcLeod, agrees. She says financial advisors need to have the right competencies and qualifications in order to be able to offer their clients a full spectrum of advice.

“It’s not just a matter of offering investment advice,” she says. “You also need expertise in all other areas of financial planning, such as retirement planning, saving for children’s education, tax planning, estate planning and so on. Hence, the Certified Financial Planner designation is a must.”

Trevor Shuttleworth, Manager of Financial Planning at RBC, says studies have shown that clients who work with an accredited financial planner are much more successful in achieving their financial goals.

“Having the knowledge provided by the CFP allows you to provide advice and solutions to your clients in a deeper, more holistic manner that can truly make a difference in helping them reach their goals,” he says.

The CFP is supported by the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, Certified Management Accountants of Canada; the Institut québécois de planification financière and the Credit Union Institute of Canada.

For more information on CFP core curriculum courses at Douglas, see the calendar or contact Morna Fraser, 604 527 5059.

Apply now to begin your Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Services and Administration in January!