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Category Archives: Financial Careers

THINK LIKE A PLANNER (sm) for CFP (R) Exam Success

Student preparing for the exams

When you use the Keir CFP® Certification Examination Review materials, you will be trained not only for the CFP®  Board exam, but for your career.  The CFP® Board exam is designed to test whether you are ready to use the financial planning process and to think through the issues like a financial planner.  You must learn to THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM.  The Keir Educational Resources materials teach you to use the technical knowledge you have learned and to solve financial planning issues in the organized manner of the financial planning process.

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CFP® THINK LIKE A PLANNER(sm) Talking points

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The THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM Method is a unique study plan developed by Keir Educational Resources to prepare students for the array of questions that can appear on the CFP® exam. This approach does not just prepare students for exam questions that have appeared in the past but gives students the thought processes that will allow them to succeed as the exam changes and new questions appear.  The CFP® exam is constantly changing, so it is important for students to learn the method that will prepare them for the many transformations of questions and the multifarious reincarnations of concepts. The exam preparation of the THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM Method will make students ready for whatever may come their way on the test.

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The 5 Things Successful Financial Advisors Take Very Seriously

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Financial planning professionals who are great at what they do enjoy their work. The most successful financial advisors understand that enjoyment does not exclude taking things seriously.


When pundits tell students to follow their passion, they often gloss over a very important component of what passion truly means. True passion for work comes from mastery. And the only way to get really good at something is to work hard and focus.


So if you’re working towards a future in this field, it’s definitely smart to learn as much as possible from trained financial advisors who are already successful. With that goal in mind, let’s look at the five things excellent planners take very seriously:


1. Character: An advisor who’s committed to long-term success is always going to do what’s best for their clients instead of being influenced by things like a quick payday.


2. Collaboration: It’s easy to romanticize the idea of the lone wolf professional. But great advisors know that’s not the best way to work. That’s why they look for opportunities to collaborate and create a positive outcome for everyone involved.


3. Commitment: Successful advisors honor their commitments to others. They also make a conscious commitment to putting in the work that’s necessary to find lasting success in this field.


4. Consequences: Stellar financial advisors don’t blame anything that goes wrong on other people or the market. Instead, they think through scenarios with the realization that they’re responsible in the event something goes wrong.


5. Control: Successful financial advisors who do well understand that they’re in control of things like their daily activities, and not in control of other elements like their clients’ attitudes.


How Can Future Financial Advisors Get This Type of Experience?


After passion and mastery, the most important requirement for a financial planner is getting the right kind of experience. One of the biggest challenges for upcoming financial advisors is gaining experience from exposure to the situations professional advisors deal with on a daily basis. Although it’s obviously important to pass the CFP®Certification Exam, this exam isn’t simply about regurgitating knowledge. Instead, students who want to put themselves in the best position for future success should use this exam as an opportunity to develop the critical thinking skills of an advisor.


With Keir’s THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM study program, students preparing for the CFP® Certification Exam will learn the thought process needed to ace the exam and thrive in the world of certified financial planners. Keir’s THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM Method goes beyond simply comprehension and incorporates analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information. For any student who wants highly relevant experience for what a future job will demand, our proven method of study is the way to go.

What Does the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule Mean for Advisors?

Smiling investment broker talking to clients

The majority of small investors currently have their main retirement savings in defined contribution accounts. A common issue for those investors is the only education they receive is from plan consultants who don’t have a fiduciary status. Additionally, any advice small investors do receive in regards to topics that include rolling over an IRA fails to dig deep into specific issues like tax considerations.


Understanding the Impact of the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule


This rule will have a significant impact on DC plan advisors. The DOL rule will make it possible for advisors to act as fiduciaries. What that means is it will be possible for advisors to innovate and provide what’s best for plan participants. Specifically, advisors will be able to guide small investors towards specific investments that are cost-effective and offer what an investor needs.


Another benefit of this rule is it will make it far easier for individuals to get the advice they need in regards to IRA rollovers. Instead of needing to somewhat guess with this decision, defined contribution plan participants will be able to get the comprehensive and objective advice they deserve.



During the last decade, the financial planning industry has seen a shift from focusing on products to emphasizing advice. The introduction of the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule will continue to move the industry towards making fiduciary investment advice the top priority.


Additional Takeaways for Financial Advisors


While there are quite a few reasons for financial advisors to feel positive about this new rule, it’s important for certified financial planners to understand the full spectrum of effects the rule will have on the industry. Specifically, it’s very likely that the impact of this rule will result in greater competition among advisors.


There’s a good chance that the increased competition spurred by this rule will put downward pressure on the general fees associated with trained financial advisors. However, that doesn’t have to create a major pitfall for advisors. Instead, it can act as an opportunity. The way it can create opportunity is by giving advisors a clear and compelling reason to explore different ways to render their services.


All signs point towards this rule leading to more people becoming aware and interested in getting guidance from professional advisors. This overall trend should result in a larger number of smaller investors who are making the best decisions about managing their money and planning for retirement.


Since the overall impact of this rule should be positive for advisors, the best step for them to take is to spend some time reviewing the specifics of defined contribution accounts and then think about where an advisor can use their specialized knowledge to provide the most value.