Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

CFP® Certification Course Descriptions

CFP Certification Course Descriptions

Kaplan's CFP Board-registered education programs provide the focus and structure you need to master the 8 major domains covered on the CFP® exam. Select any of our required education courses below to read the course description details. 

Course 101 is an introduction to the concepts and profession of personal financial planning. The student will gain an understanding of the role and responsibilities of a financial planner, along with some analytical skills to aid in financial decision-making.

Topics in the course include the financial planning process, securities regulation and licensing, CFP Board ethics, the economic environment, the time value of money, and planning for special situations such as a college education, the formation and operation of a closely held business, and disability. The course also previews wealth accumulation, tax, retirement, and estate planning techniques.

Course 102 considers risk management principles and the various types of insurance coverage in the marketplace today, focusing on the role of planning for insurance needs. Insurance topics include life, medical expense, and property/casualty policies, as well as long-term care and disability. It also covers benefits made available to employees by employers—commonly referred to as employee or fringe benefits. Employee benefit topics include group policies, deferred compensation, equity-based compensation, and business applications of life insurance.

Course 103 follows sound investment principles as a primary means of wealth accumulation for financial planning clients. In turn, the process of wealth accumulation provides the funds necessary to achieve many financial planning goals. In this course, you will learn investment concepts as well as effective investment planning strategies for helping your clients accumulate wealth. Asset allocation principles are reviewed, modern portfolio management theory is explained, and the importance of tax-efficient investing is considered.

Course 104 discusses effective income tax planning strategies, whether personal or related to clients' business interests. This course reviews tax planning basics - individual income tax calculations, deductions, exemptions, and credits. Key topics include the disposition of property, cost recovery, passive activity losses, charitable contributions, and alternative minimum tax.

Because planners often assist clients who own businesses, the tax characteristics of various business entities and tax planning for those businesses are also discussed in this course. Finally, trust and estate taxation techniques are presented.

Course 105 deals with the single most important issue millions of people will be facing in the years to come: affording to retire. Normally, the amount of money necessary to achieve this goal is substantial and, just like the satisfaction of any other financial goal, requires significant planning. It covers determination of the retirement savings need and subsequently considers both government and employer-sponsored methods of providing for one's retirement. Distribution options from corporate retirement plans are reviewed as well as the suitability of an investment portfolio in ensuring a comfortable and profitable retirement.

Once the wealth accumulation process is complete, distributing excess wealth is a primary goal for many financial planning clients. Course 106 presents the challenges of effective estate planning raised by tax code changes. It begins with a consideration of the estate planning process and the documents of transfer. The course then addresses the unified transfer tax system and the calculation of an individual's estate tax liability. Estate planning techniques such as trusts, marital and charitable deduction vehicles, and intra-family business and property transfers are then discussed. The course ends with a consideration of postmortem tax planning.

In the final course of the program, students will receive instruction and review sample financial plans based on various case facts. The students will then be required to complete a written financial plan, which they will also present orally.