Last modified: July 10, 2022


Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities. Sunlight Peaks Financial Partners, LLC's website and its associated links offer news, commentary, and generalized research, not personalized investment advice. Nothing on this website should be interpreted to state or imply that past performance is an indication of future performance. All investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to consult with a tax professional before implementing any investment strategy.  Investment Advisory Services offered through Sunlight Peaks Financial Partners, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with the State of Colorado, Arizona, Maryland and Texas. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.


*Minimum Qualifications for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®): 

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional I am certified for financial planning services in the United States by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”). Therefore, I may refer to myself as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or a CFP® professional, and I may use these and CFP Board’s other certification marks (the “CFP Board Certification Marks”). The CFP® certification is voluntary. No federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold the CFP® certification. You may find more information about the CFP® certification at www.cfp.net. CFP® professionals have met CFP Board’s high standards for education, examination, experience, and ethics. To become a CFP® professional, an individual must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Education – Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and complete CFP Board-approved coursework at a college or university through a CFP Board Registered Program. The coursework covers the financial planning subject areas CFP Board has determined are necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, as well as a comprehensive financial plan development capstone course. A candidate may satisfy some of the coursework requirement through other qualifying credentials.
  • Examination – Pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination. The examination is designed to assess an individual’s ability to integrate and apply a broad base of financial planning knowledge in the context of real-life financial planning situations.
  • Experience – Complete 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the personal financial planning process, or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements.
  • Ethics – Satisfy the Fitness Standards for Candidates for CFP® Certification and Former CFP® Professionals Seeking Reinstatement and agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (“Code and Standards”), which sets forth the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.


* Minimum Qualifications for the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

The ChFC program is administered by the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. This designation has the same core curriculum as the CFP® designation, plus two or three additional elective courses that focus on various areas of personal financial planning. In addition to successful completion of an exam on areas of financial planning, including income tax, insurance, investment and estate planning, candidates are required to have a minimum of three (3) years of experience in a financial industry position. Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®)


The ChFC® designation is offered by The American College. Designation holders are required to serve clients with the highest level of professionalism. The authority to use the ChFC® mark is granted by the Certification Committee of the Board of Trustees of The American College, and that privilege is contingent on adherence to strict ethical guidelines. All ChFC® advisors are required to do the same for clients that they would do for themselves in similar circumstances, the standard of ethical behavior most beneficial for their clients. Each ChFC® has taken 9 or more college-level courses on all aspects of financial planning. The average study time for the program is over 400 hours, and advisors frequently spend years earning this coveted distinction. Each ChFC® must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years and must meet extensive experience requirements to ensure that you get the professional financial advice you need.


Minimum Qualifications for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

CPA's are licensed and regulated by their state boards of accountancy. While state laws and regulations vary, the education, experience and testing requirements for licensure as a CPA generally include minimum college education (typically 150 credit hours with at least a baccalaureate degree and a concentration in accounting), minimum experience levels (most states require at least one year of experience providing services that involve the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills, all of which must be achieved under the supervision of or verification by a CPA), and successful passage of the Uniform CPA Examination. In order to maintain a CPA license, states generally require the completion of 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each year (or 80 hours over a two-year period or 120 hours over a three-year period). Additionally, all American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) members are required to follow a rigorous Code of Professional Conduct which requires that they act with integrity, objectivity, due care, competence, fully disclose any conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict exists), maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the client any commission or referral fees, and serve the public interest when providing financial services. The vast majority of state boards of accountancy have adopted the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct within their state accountancy laws or have created their own.