Why the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Designation Matters

School of Financial Wellness


Join us for our next Meld University webinar, Preparing For Long Term Care Expenses in Retirement on October 17th at 3:00 PM CDT with speaker Blake May, J.D., CFP®, Meld Financial.

Click here for more details and to rsvp. There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance.


In this day and age, we can do pretty much anything on our own, and that includes managing our own wealth. Online trading and investment platforms have brought the concept of DIY (do-it-yourself) to the world of finance. But there are certain instances in which experts can add tremendous value, and financial planning is one of them.

That said, not all financial planners are created equal. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™, or CFPs® bring to the table extensive knowledge, experience and testing, along with a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of each client. They are trusted advisors whose primary purpose is to make you money. In short, CFPs® are a pool of professionals who carry a lot of weight in the world of finance.

What does a CFP® bring to the financial planning process?

First and foremost, education. Earning your CFP® designation is no easy feat. You must meet certain education requirements including the need to complete certain coursework in financial planning. You need a minimum of two years’ experience in the field, and you’ve got to pass a three-day, 170-question test.

Lastly, you must commit to act in the best interests of your clients — without fail. A CFP® is considered the highest standard in personal financial planning. When it comes to your money, isn’t that the professional you want by your side?

Is a CFP® able to provide wealth management services?


A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is trained to look at a client’s full financial picture, and that includes investing and wealth management. CFPs® have a deep understanding of the financial products currently on the market, and they have a commitment to act in the best interests of clients in the pursuit of their individual financial goals.

At Meld Financial, we have developed a proprietary methodology called Situational Investing, which involves setting investment goals and then implementing a portfolio that allows you to reach those goals with as little risk as possible.

What about planning for retirement?

Retirement planning is a big part of your overall financial health, and that’s why it’s a critical part of what a CFP® can offer. Many financial advisors recommend implementing a more conservative investment strategy as you age. And on the surface, that sounds like a smart financial move. This is because the older you get, the less time you have to recoup any losses that result from risky investments. But a CFP®, acting in the best interests of his or her clients, understands that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it when it comes to retirement planning.

At Meld Financial, our Situational Investing approach balances risk in retirement planning against need. That means we don’t rule out risk simply because of age. Instead, we weigh the risk against your income needs and design a plan that helps you get where you need to go. For instance, if your needs require taking too much investment risk, we may advise you to reevaluate your retirement goals and consider delaying retirement, phasing into retirement or spending less in retirement.

Because many of our team have attained CFP® designations, our job is to invest your money in your best interests and grow the money you’ve earned over a lifetime. It’s also our job to be your advisors in the truest sense of the word, meaning we guide you toward smart financial decisions that keep you on track regardless of what happens with your wealth or the financial markets as a whole.

Want to learn more about what a CFP® can do for you? Schedule a meeting with a Meld Financial professional today.

Why Meld Financial?

Meld Financial, Inc. is an independent wealth management firm located in Birmingham, AL.

We specialize in financial planning, investment management, employee benefits and executive benefits for individuals, families, trusts, foundations and institutions.

We provide independent and objective services melded with customer-driven financial goals.

Mark McGarvey - President - Meld Financial

“We will always recommend the same course of action we would choose for ourselves, given the same circumstances.”

-Mark McGarvey, President