Certificate in Professional Financial Planning

Photo of Certified Financial Planner showing investment options to couple

Program Overview

Our Certificate in Professional Financial Planning program prepares students for rewarding careers as financial consultants to individuals, families, and small businesses. The curriculum builds a foundation to provide advice about investment, tax, and estate planning, as well as on issues such as risk management, employee benefits, and business succession. The program is registered with the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Board of Standards, and satisfies the education requirement to sit for the professional examinations administered by the Board.

Our program is especially useful for financial professionals seeking to update their skills or acquire new expertise, as well as for graduate students in the NJCU School of Business who wish to leverage an advanced degree by adding a specialized credential to their skills inventory.

Benefits of Learning Financial Planning at NJCU

It is a well-paid profession.

According to U.S. News, the financial advisor profession ranks #4 in Best Business Jobs with a median salary of $89,330,* and an unemployment rate of 0.4%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 5% employment growth for financial advisors between 2019 and 2029—with an estimated 21,500 new jobs each year. The New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area has the highest employment level in personal financial advisors across the nation, with an annual mean wage of $169,850.

Fill the gap.

According to various studies and publications, currently the average age of financial advisors is between 51 and 55 years, with 20% over 65 years old. 38% expecting to retire in the next 10 years, and just 4% are currently below age of 30. This means that there will be more people leaving the industry than entering it, which equals more opportunity for new financial advisors!

A chance to build a network or start your own business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of the reported planners are self-employed and 74% work in the finance and insurance industries. Financial planning is a growing field for corporations as well as for individual business owners. In NJCU's program, you will develop essential skills to become a professional financial advisor, a financial specialist for your clients, or a financial expert for yourself.

More About the Program

Just a few months to finish!

Each course takes 7 weeks to complete. The duration of this program can be as short as 14 months.

Program objectives

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify major concepts, techniques, and tools in financial planning.
  • Analyze economic environment and its impact on clients’ financial status.
  • Evaluate different alternative solutions for the financial needs of different clients—individuals, families, and business owners.
  • Design and recommend appropriate solutions to clients.
  • Satisfy the education requirements for CFP® certification.

Program Requirements

This certificate program is a non-credit program which consists of seven courses to cover the eight Principle Knowledge Topic categories required by the CFP® Board. Students who complete the seven courses are eligible to receive the Financial Planning Certificate from NJCU.

This course is an overview of personal financial planning as a profession. It introduces fundamental principles and concepts including financial planning process, personal financial statement analysis, time value of money, economic environment, CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, education planning, etc. This course is the prerequisite for CFP601 – CFP605. 

Textbook: Fundamentals of Financial Planning, Dalton, Dalton, Gillice and Langdon, published by Money Education.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

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This course provides a broad overview of the fundamentals of investment planning process. It covers the introduction of financial markets, financial instruments, basic asset pricing, and general portfolio management.

Textbook: Investment Planning: Concepts and Strategies, Dalton and Forjan, published by Money Education.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

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Textbook: Income Tax Planning, Langdon, Grange and Dalton, published by Money Education.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

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This course introduces basic concepts in the area of life, health, casualty and liability insurance and how different types of insurance are used for risk management purpose. It also covers the income tax impacts of insurance benefits and premiums and how insurance is used in retirement and estate planning.

Textbook: Insurance Planning, Dalton, Dalton, Gillice and Langdon, published by Money Education.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

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This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of retirement planning process, including the coverage, eligibility requirements, and the income tax impact of different types of retirement plans, as well as Social Security. It also covers specific employee benefits and the income tax impact to both employers and employees.

Textbook: Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, Dalton and Langdon, published by Money Education.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

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This course is an overview of the fundamentals in estate planning process. The focus is on the introduction of the principles of the estate, property ownerships, and relevant income tax and gift tax impacts. The use of trusts, charitable transfers in estate planning is also covered.

Textbook: Estate Planning, Dalton, Dalton, Gillice and Langdon, published by Money Education.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

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This capstone course allows students to practice written and oral communication skills in the comprehensive financial planning process in different real-life case scenarios, making professional recommendations to clients.

This course can be taken after completing CFP601 – 605, or can be taken alone if a student is taking the Accelerated Path defined by the CFP Board with one of the following qualifying credentials:

  1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  2. Licensed Attorney
  3. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
  4. Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
  5. Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC)
  6. Ph.D. in financial planning, finance, business administration, or economics
  7. Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  8. CFP Certification from outside the U.S. [from the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB) affiliate located in your territory of residence]

Textbook: None.

Fee: $695
cost does not include textbooks or materials.

Apply for this Course

Hardware Requirements

This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account and Blackboard platform.
  • A financial calculator of any of the following models that are allowed in the CFP® exam.

Hewlett Packard

Texas Instruments

Sharp

HP 10b

TI BAII Plus

Business/Financial Calculator EL-733

HP 10bll

TI BAII Plus Professional

Business/Financial Calculator EL-733a

HP 10bll+

TI BAII Plus (Business Analyst)

Business/Financial Calculator EL-738

HP 12c

NA

NA

HP 12c Platinum

NA

NA

HP 17bll+

NA

NA

For more information about the calculators, please refer to this policy.


Prerequisites 

There are no prerequisites to take this program. 


CFP® Certification

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ credential is the standard of excellence in financial planning. CFP® professionals meet rigorous education, training, and ethical standards—and are committed to serving their clients' best interests today to prepare them for a more secure tomorrow.

To be eligible to sit for a CFP® exam and become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, candidates need to first fulfill the two-part education requirements: completing coursework from a CFP Board-registered program, and obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

CFP Board Registered Programs offer courses that cover the 8 Principal Knowledge Topic categories (72 topic areas in total) that are assessed on the exam that candidates must master to earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ credential.

These topic categories comprise the major areas of personal financial planning:

  1. Professional Conduct and Regulation
  2. General Principles of Financial Planning
  3. Education Planning
  4. Risk Management and Insurance Planning
  5. Investment Planning
  6. Tax Planning
  7. Retirement Savings and Income Planning
  8. Estate Planning

CFP® Certification Process - The 4 Requirements for Certification


Instructor information

Xiaomin Guo headshot

Dr. Xiaomin Guo is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a member of Financial Planning Association (FPA).  She is an experienced finance educator and has worked as a finance professor in different higher educational institutions, such as University of South Florida and Pacific University. She leads and teaches investments, financial modeling, and financial planning for graduate and undergraduate programs. She is also an established scholar with numerous publications in the investment and real estate fields.

FAQs

All the courses in this program are designed, led and delivered by an instructor who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and an instructor with many years of higher education and online teaching experience. 

This program is a CFP® Board Registered Program which can be found in the searching results by searching “New Jersey City University.” So completing this program (or completing the Capstone course for those taking accelerated path) helps students fulfill the education requirements for CFP® certification. 

Even if a student is not preparing for the CFP® exam for the near future, this program still provides a complete framework of professional financial planning. Students will be well-versed in the major personal financial planning areas: Professional Conduct and Regulation, General Principles of Financial Planning, Education Planning, Risk Management and Insurance Planning, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Retirement Savings and Income Planning, Estate Planning. And students will be able to conduct comprehensive analysis on clients’ financial status and develop a professional financial plan. These are not only necessary skills for everyone to become competitive in the job market, but also useful lifelong techniques to gain to make personal life better – to avoid any unnecessary financial distress and be better prepared for economic uncertainty in the future.

This program is suitable for the following candidates:

  • Financial planners seeking board certification
  • Accountants
  • Investment advisors and brokers
  • Insurance agents
  • Retirement plan and employee benefits specialists
  • Lawyers/Attorneys
  • Bankers
  • Anyone considering pursuing the CFP® certification, or financial planning as a career
  • Anyone considering improving financial planning skills for their families

All of the seven courses in the program are instructor-led online format. Students are using course material via Blackboard platform to complete the study and assessment process. All courses are asynchronous virtual classes that are recorded in advance. So students will never miss a class and are able to study anytime and anywhere at their convenience. The instructor is leading the course schedule and monitor each student’s progress throughout the entire semester. The instructor is also available to provide support via office hours and meeting by appointments.

Yes. The CFP® certification requires a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. And financial planning is a skill for everyone. So basically everyone can be a successful financial planner. All you need to do is to follow the course schedule, participate in the course activities, ask for support from the instructor when necessary, and practice.

The passing rate is usually around 60% - 70%. The July 2021 exam passing rate is 62%. So passing the CFP® exam and becoming certified is doable for most people, no matter what education background they have.

Yes. Even if a student is not preparing for the CFP® exam for the near future, this program still provides a complete framework of professional financial planning. Students will be well-versed in the major personal financial planning areas: Professional Conduct and Regulation, General Principles of Financial Planning, Education Planning, Risk Management and Insurance Planning, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Retirement Savings and Income Planning, Estate Planning. And students will be able to conduct comprehensive analysis on clients’ financial status and develop a professional financial plan. These are not only necessary skills for everyone to become competitive in the job market, but also useful lifelong techniques to gain to make personal life better – to avoid any unnecessary financial distress and be better prepared for economic uncertainty in the future.

There will be some calculation questions. But they do not require advanced math techniques. The instructor will explain examples that involve calculations in detail and provide practice questions for students to apply, assuming all the material is brand new to the students. So students are able to learn how to solve the math-related problems step by step.

In each course, there will not be mid-term or final exam. Instead, assessments are split into several unit tests so students can focus on smaller blocks in a short period of time. Each test will weigh less in the entire course. So the entire program will be more doable, especially for those without a business background.


Program Contact

Xiaomin Guo, Ph.D., CFP®
Email: xguo@njcu.edu

 

*As of May 2020