Q&A: What Experience Do You Have?

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In the CFP Board’s “Ten Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor ” they suggest, “Before establishing a relationship with a financial planner you will want to interview several people to make sure they’re the right match for you and exhibit key traits of a good advisor. Here are 10 important questions to ask before selecting a financial planner.”

In this series, we are both providing an answer for Marotta Wealth Management as well as giving a longer analysis about the question, why the CFP Board may have included it, and how other organizations might answer if they were being truthful.

The first question is about experience. The CFP Board likely includes this question because “experience” is one of their required four “Es” for certification. As they say on their CFP® Certification Requirements:

Because CFP® certification indicates to the public your ability to provide financial planning without supervision, CFP Board requires you to have 6,000 hours of experience through the Standard Pathway, or 4,000 hours of experience though the Apprenticeship pathway that meets additional requirements. Qualifying experience may be acquired through a variety of activities and professional settings including personal delivery, supervision, direct support, indirect support or teaching.

Although it is unclear how much experience should be enough experience, a CFP® professional without access to the supervision of another CFP® professional needs a minimum of around 3 years before they can use the designation while a supervised CFP® professional needs a minimum of 2 years.

1. What experience do you have?

Ask for a brief description of the financial planner’s work experience and how it relates to their current practice. CFP® professionals must have a minimum of two years professional experience related to financial planning.

David John Marotta founded Marotta Wealth Management (originally Marotta Asset Management) in 2000. It was a rebirth of Marotta Money Management, a 1980s California-based financial planning firm that was co-founded by his parents George and June Marotta and then sold in the late 1990s.

As a firm, Marotta Wealth Management’s philosophy, experience, and wisdom has decades of experience as guided by David John Marotta. Combining art and science, Marotta Wealth Management has become known for its careful and analytical approach to investment management, financial planning, and wealth management alike. Each component of comprehensive wealth management is analyzed in depth before our practiced methodologies are accepted in the firm.

At this point, we are almost always casually interested in hiring another financial planner. Our favorite hires are people who have no exposure to the commission-based side of the industry. We find that the more exposure people have had to the commission-based salesman world, the longer we have to spend helping them to unlearn bad habits, sloppy analysis, and an adversarial work culture. Instead, we prefer to hire people with little to no “experience” but a lot of education and passion.

Consistently, good candidates come from prestigious undergraduate financial planning programs, such as Virginia Tech’s CFP Board-Registered Financial Planning Program. Although young, these graduates have met the education eligibility requirements to sit for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) examination, which means that within a few months of graduating they can have met two of the four Es required for using the CFP designation (Education and Examination) and just be waiting for Experience so they can sign the Ethics.

All of our employees are directly supervised by David John Marotta (a CFP® professional) and taught our systematic approach to comprehensive wealth management via our methodical workflows. As a result, even our least experienced employees are able to succeed and thrive as though they had the collective wisdom of the firm.

To get started today, give us a call.

Photo by Maurice Schalker on Unsplash

Follow David John Marotta:

President, CFP®, AIF®, AAMS®

David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.

Follow Megan Russell:

Chief Operating Officer, CFP®, APMA®

Megan Russell has worked with Marotta Wealth Management most of her life. She loves to find ways to make the complexities of financial planning accessible to everyone. She is the author of over 800 financial articles and is known for her expertise on tax planning.