Updated on April 19, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between CIPM and CFP

Tricky is the word that describes the decision-making phase of choosing the right career. However, we understand every aspirant’s confusion about choosing between CIPM and CFP. Hence, we decided to make this process simple for aspirants. How? Take a look at the notes below to make the right decision between the two courses.


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What is CIPM?

International courses have their value and recognition. However, if a candidate wants more than just recognition, this course will help them succeed as an investment performance analyst.

The CIPM course can be helpful in performance measurement of attributes such as investment banking, investment analyses, investment management, and advising or investments. This course is offered to global finance candidates from the CIPM Association, the certified Investment Performance Measurement Association. Additionally, it is backed by the CFA Institute, so this course has international recognition.

Let us give a brief history of this course. That will give an idea as to why it initiated the CIPM course. This industry has undergone continuous changes; however, they did not predict them early. Hence, certain trends, regulations, and laws decided how the financial products would be formed and advertised. And the changes took place; when the previous movements were not encouraged, especially by the US Security and Exchange Commission. The regulators and the Global Investment Management Industry have set a few standards that cover the calculations of returns and set standards of advertising that mandatory need to be adhered to. As a result, the investment industry has achieved continuous growth. This growth has been global, not only for the USA or the global emerged economies.

What is CFP?

The global financial committee respects the CFP course considering it prestigious and internationally acceptable. This certification is a definite trust in gaining opportunities globally in any field of finance. Just name any areas in the finance industry and get a chance there. Banking, investment banking, taxation, real estate, investments, insurances, they will all need you. This course will give you a satisfying career in financial services undoubtedly. There are over 1,00,000 CFPs globally, as this is the highest level of certification in the finance industry-respected genuinely by the industry, professionals, and the consumer.

To become a CFP, you need to make education or studying a very important part of your life. Therefore, the entire course is based directly on the 4 E’s: Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics. The details will follow in the notes below. We have tried to give you or rather bring you all the required information about the course.

However, this course also requires being in touch with the market continuously. Hence, continuous education is a very important part of this course. The motive behind constant education is to display the candidate’s development in the financial planning field to the public, including clients, professionals around you, and the entire industry.

CIPM vs CFP Infographics

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Let us see the difference between CIPM and CFP.


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CIPM vs CFP Summary




Organizing Body

The CFA Institute, USA, is the organizing body for the CIPM exams.The Certified Financial Planner Board (CFP Board) of Standards Inc., USA, is the organizing body for the CFP exams.


The course has two sequential levels – Level I and Level II, which replaced the Principles level and Expert level, respectively. As a result, the CFA charter holders do not need to appear for the Level I exam.The CFP course has only one level.

Duration of the Course

The candidates usually take around 18 months to complete the course and become CIPM qualified.The candidates usually take three years to complete the course and become CFP qualified.


The course focuses on the following topics: –  
  • Ethics and ProfessionalismPerformance AttributionPerformance MeasurementPerformance PresentationPerformance AppraisalManager SelectionGlobal Investment Performance Standards
The syllabus of the course covers the following topics: –
  • General Principles of Financial PlanningEstate PlanningRetirement Savings & Income PlanningEducation PlanningTax PlanningRisk Management & Insurance PlanningProfessional Conduct & Regulation

Exam fees

The total expenditure of the course primarily includes the exam fees, which may vary between $950 to $1,350 depending on the time of registration.The total expenditure of the course may vary depending on the time of registration, such that early, standard and late registration costs $825, $925, and $1,025, respectively.


Some of the common profiles include:
  • Risk Analyst
  • Compliance Officer
  • Investment Consultant
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Investment Analyst
  • Financial Adviser
Some of the common profiles include:
  • Tax Consultant
  • Estate Planner
  • Legal Financial Manager
  • Retirement Planner
  • Investment Planner
  • Risk, Manager


The CIPM exams are very difficult, and only 25% of the aspiring candidates clear both levels. In September 2019, the pass rates were: The CFP exams are moderately difficult, as indicated by more than 60% historical pass rate. During 2019, the pass rates were:
  • Overall: 62%
  • First-timers: 66% [Source: CFP].

Exam Date

The schedule for the upcoming exams for the year 2022 for Level I and Level II is as follows: –
  • Level I: Mar 16- Mar 31 & Sep 16- Sep 30Level II: Mar 16- Mar 31 & Sep 16-Sep 30
The schedule for the upcoming exams for the year 2022 is as follows: –
  • Mar 08 – Mar 15, Jul 12- Jul 19 & Nov 01- Nov 08.

Exam Requirements


As we know, every candidate needs to meet their educational and other requirements to be eligible for a professional course. The requirements of CIPM are given below. These requirements will help analyze the situation to make a decision.

The candidate can judge themselves with the help of the below-given scenarios: –

  1. The aspirants must have experience of two or more years in displaying investment results, calculations, analyzing, evaluating different investments if they have had experience in giving legal, regulatory, and consulting services in this industry if they have had experience in technical and accounting that directly supports investment services, experience in GIPS standards compliance such as verification, if they have monitored people who deal in investments directly or indirectly or if you been into teaching investments.
  2. Suppose a candidate does not have experience in the above but also are eligible if they have four years of experience in domains such as applying and evaluating finances of companies, evaluating data that is economical and statistical data of some of the most important investment parts of the organization, marketing services of investment companies, keeping a watch on investment companies and their working. That will ensure that they adhere to compliance, standards, regulations, and laws, evaluating and recommending investment managers.


Let us inform every candidate that the CFP requirements vary from place to place now. For example, the USA has multiple criteria before applying for this course. The most important one has the highest bachelor’s degree, equivalent to the same aspects and subjects. Whereas in Canada, a formal university degree is not important before registering for CFP. Many CFP candidates are not even graduates.

Well, we will look at the list of USA CFP requirements.

  1. A bachelor’s degree needs to be completed within five years of completing CFP.
  2. The student must cover approximately 100 financial planning topics before applying for CFP. That should cover major issues such as: –
    • Planning insurances.
    • Planning of employee benefits.
    • State and federal planning of income tax.
    • Asset protection planning.
  3. Individuals holding degrees and designations pre-approved by the CFP board can take the exam and education without completing the education requirement.

Why Pursue CIPM?

A course that benefits candidates in all aspects must be the next plan of action. However, besides benefits, a candidate must also consider the part of interest before choosing between two professional courses. A career needs to be full of successful steps and moves, and this is exactly where and how it can start. Therefore, choose a path that will be interesting and add value to a career.

  1. As per the regulations and the law’s transparency is the key factor of this industry. And because
  2. The CIPM course increases your contacts and improves your recruitment quality, which will help you analyze and choose the right risk managers and analysts.
  3. With the help of this course, individuals will be able to deliver high returns by putting their investor’s money to work and minimizing their risk by developing an insight that will provide more actionable results. They can acquire designations such as risk managers or an analyst.
  4. The key jobs will be studying, evaluating, and producing reports. This course will help to generate reports that are comprehensive and transparent.
  5. Creating awareness of increasing risk will be a part of the course. A candidate will not only create awareness here; they will also calculate, measure, and minimize risk for investors.
  6. If aspirants have knowledge and experience, feedback will be highly valued. The subordinates, colleagues, firm, and clients will respect their viewpoints to help people maximize their wealth.

Why Pursue CFP?

The reasons for pursuing a course are never enough if aspirants want to do it; however, this course is the best and worth of time and effort.

  1. A candidate may gain expertise in financial planning at the end of this course.
  2. The candidates will get an idea and a view of financial planning through insurance planning, investment planning, tax planning, estate planning, and retirement planning, estate planning, and retirement planning.
  3. This course enhances and empowers one’s career in finance and financial planning career. After completing this course, people may recognize candidates professionally in one country and 23 countries globally.
  4. This certification is rated as a gold standard by the famous Wall Street Journal.
  5. Forty-eight organizations in the BFSI industry have supported, recognized, promoted, and preferred candidates who have cleared this course. Hence, this course has a very high demand in finance and industry.

As a candidate who knows quite a bit about these courses, I will help you with some specific and important information; take a look below.


Suppose aspirants are passionate about knowing the financial market, studying its volatility, the industries, and the organizations’ financials. In that case, this is the CIPM course for them. On the other hand, if the candidate has the knack for making money work, then CIPM is the right course. Financial planning is a part of the service industry mostly. Therefore, if individuals are good at giving financial services, this is just the right job and practice. However, CFP has been rated the best job in the USA several times.

This article has been a guide to CIPM vs. CFP. Here,  we discussed the top differences between CIPM and CFP, exam requirements, job options, fees, and pass percentage. You may also look at the following articles: –

Reader Interactions


  1. Roman Rhodes says

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post on CIPM and CFP.

  2. Damien Stowers says

    Very Insightful. Thanks for sharing this post. It was quite useful to me. I just wanted to know all about CFP Exam. As you have not mentioned about CFP Exam registration process and how much is the registration fee for this EXAM. Would please throw some light on this?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks Damien! You can read this CFP Exam here I have mentioned all the details concerning Exam format, registration process, eligibility criteria, fees, pass percentage and many more

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