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CFP Board Registered Programs offer courses that cover the 8 Principal Knowledge Domains (70 topic areas in total) assessed on the exam that candidates must master to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. These topic categories comprise the major topic areas of personal financial planning. 

The Capstone Course
The Coursework requirement includes the Capstone Course, during which you will develop and present a comprehensive financial plan.
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Completing this coursework on your path to CFP® certification equips you to become a competent, knowledgeable planner who can help secure your clients' financial future by providing a holistic view of their finances and offering advice tailored to their situation.

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A Blueprint for the CFP® Exam

The Principal Knowledge Topics establish the blueprint for the CFP® exam. Each exam question is linked to one of the following Principal Knowledge Topic areas below, in the approximate percentages indicated.

The Principal Knowledge Topics serve as not just a framework for the CFP Board coursework requirement, but also the subjects that CFP Board accepts for Continuing Education credit.

Principal Knowledge Domains and Topics

A.1 CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct
A.2 CFP Board’s Procedural Rules
A.3 Function, purpose, and general structure of financial institutions
A.4 Financial services regulations and requirements
A.5 Consumer protection laws
A.6 Fiduciary standard and application

B.7 Financial planning process
B.8 Financial statements
B.9 Cash flow management
B.10 Financing strategies and debt management
B.11 Economic concepts
B.12 Time value of money concepts and calculations
B.13 Education needs analysis
B.14 Education savings vehicles
B.15 Education funding
B.16 Gift / income tax strategies

C.17 Principles of risk and insurance
C.18 Analysis and evaluation of risk exposures
C.19 Health insurance and health care cost management (individual and group)
C.20 Disability income insurance (individual and group)
C.21 Long-term care insurance and long-term case planning (individual and group)
C.22 Qualified and Non-Qualified Annuities
C.23 Life insurance (individual and group)
C.24 Business owner insurance solutions
C.25 Insurance needs analysis
C.26 Insurance policy and company selection

D.27 Characteristics, uses and taxation of investment vehicles
D.28 Types of investment risk
D.29 Market cycles
D.30 Quantitative investment concepts and measures of investment returns
D.31 Asset allocation and portfolio diversification
D.32 Bond and stock valuation concepts
D.33 Portfolio development and analysis
D.34 Investment strategies
D.35 Alternative investments and liquidity risk

E.36 Fundamental and current tax law
E.37 Income tax fundamentals and calculations
E.38 Characteristics and income taxation of business entities
E.39 Income taxation of trusts and estates
E.40 Tax reduction/management techniques
E.41 Tax consequences of property transactions
E.42 Tax implications of special circumstances
E.43 Charitable/philanthropic contributions and deductions

F.44 Retirement needs analysis
F.45 Social Security and Medicare planning
F.46 Eldercare and special needs planning
F.47 Types of retirement plans
F.48 Qualified plan rules and options
F.49 Non-qualified plan rules and options
F.50 Key factors affecting plan selection for businesses
F.51 Distribution rules and taxation
F.52 Retirement income and distribution strategies
F.53 Business succession planning

G.54 Property titling and beneficiary designations
G.55 Strategies to transfer property
G.56 Estate and incapacity planning documents
G.57 Gift, estate, and GST tax compliance and calculation
G.58 Sources for estate liquidity
G.59 Types, features, and taxation of trusts
G.60 Marital deduction
G.61 Intra-family and other business transfer techniques
G.62 Postmortem estate planning techniques
G.63 Planning for divorce, unmarried couples and other special circumstances
G.64 Planning for special needs and circumstances

H.65 Client and planner attitudes, values, biases
H.66 Behavioral finance
H.67 Sources of money conflict
H.68 Principles of counseling
H.69 General principles of effective communication
H.70 Crisis events with severe consequences