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News Release

CFP Board Releases Six-Part Book on Psychology of Financial Planning

The Psychology of Financial Planning is a resource for financial planning professionals and students on a critical competency

April 27, 2022

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today the release of The Psychology of Financial Planning, a six-part book published by ALM. The book is a resource for financial planning professionals on the Psychology of Financial Planning, a new Principal Knowledge Domain introduced by CFP Board’s 2021 Practice Analysis Study.


Approximately every five years, CFP Board conducts a Practice Analysis Study — the largest research project in the U.S. related to the body of knowledge for financial planning. The study establishes the Principal Knowledge Topics that define the content of the CFP® certification requirements. The Psychology of Financial Planning is the eighth Principal Knowledge Domain.

CFP® professionals can leverage the book to improve their own practices, and candidates for CFP® certification will benefit from a deeper understanding of a domain that has been added to those covered by Registered Programs, assessed on the CFP® exam and accepted for Continuing Education credit.

“It is paramount that the requirements to earn CFP® certification accurately reflect the demands of current practice. The Psychology of Financial Planning is a critical addition to the Principal Knowledge Domains,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “We hope that CFP® professionals and those pursuing their CFP® marks will find this new resource helpful, and we are grateful to the contributors and members of the Editorial Advisory Board for their important work.”

In addition to technical skill, effective client communication requires mastery of Psychology of Financial Planning, (i.e., “identifying and responding to attitudes, behaviors and situations that impact decision-making, the client-planner relationship and the client’s financial well-being.”) The six parts of the book dive into the Principal Knowledge Topics that make up the new Principal Knowledge Domain, including client and planner attitudes, values and biases, behavioral finance, sources of money conflict, principles of counseling, general principles of effective communication and crisis events with severe consequences. The sections also cover practical applications of each, such as navigating a client’s risk tolerance and helping couples and families achieve greater financial transparency.

The e-book is available now, and pre-orders for the printed version and bundled offers can be purchased at a discounted 30-day introductory price on CFP Board’s website at The print version will be released on June 8, 2022. Bulk pricing is available for Registered Programs to complement education coursework and for financial services firms to educate their financial planning workforce.

The practitioner and academic contributors include Saundra M. Davis, MSFP, APFC®, FBS®; Rick Kahler, M.S., CFP®, CFT-I™, CeFT®; Emily Koochel, Ph.D., AFC®, CFT-I™; Meghaan Lurtz, Ph.D., FBS®; Megan McCoy, Ph.D., LMFT, AFC®, CFT-I™; Lance Palmer, Ph.D.; Ron Sages, Ph.D., AEP®, CFP®, CTFA, EA; and Neal Van Zutphen, M.S., CFP®, FBS®, CRPC®. Members of the Editorial Advisory Board include Swarn Chatterjee, Ph.D.; Sonya Lutter, Ph.D., CFP®, LMFT; and Dave Yeske, DBA, CFP®.


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about cfp board

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 93,000 people in the United States.


James Katsaounis
Managing Director, Marketing & Communications