Persistence underpins CFP designation

01 February 2017

Adelaide-based senior financial planner, Sally Kolbig

Jayson Forrest

Jayson Forrest is the managing editor of Money & Life Magazine.

For Adelaide-based senior financial planner, Sally Kolbig, from People's Choice Credit Union, finding the motivation and dedicating the time to completing the CFP® Certification unit are keys to becoming the best planner you can be.

1. As a CFP® professional, how important is community involvement to you?

A balance in life has always been important to me, especially with the long hours that occur as a senior financial planner in many organisations.

As planners, we are involved in the community indirectly via our clients but also directly via the relationships and the natural empathy we develop during the ongoing advice process.

I am privileged enough to have worked for People’s Choice Credit Union now for almost 15 years and People’s Choice have always had a community focus and priority.

I believe community involvement to not just be something we do in our spare time, but a responsibility we have as professionals.

2. Why did you decide to become a CFP® professional?

I have been studying since I finished school back in 1993, so the idea of continuing my education is nothing new. However, seeing how the industry has changed so dramatically over the 17 years I have been involved has reinforced my decisions.

The CFP® designation is something the general public take notice of and understand. The public often draw upon the CFP® similarities to the CPA designation made famous by accountants here in Australia, which can only improve the professional reputation of financial planning.

3. How did you approach your studies for CFP® Certification?

Initially, back in late 2006, I started the first subject and proceeded to churn through them (certification units 1-4) in two years like clockwork. I really enjoyed all four subjects and to be honest, I gained the most practical information from these than anything else I have studied.

Once I had all four subjects completed, with the last CFP® certification still to complete, I found myself lacking the time and the motivation to finish. I had gained the knowledge and used it everyday in my work but couldn’t justify the final subject, which was in my opinion a test on the first four subjects.

After a few unsuccessful attempts by running out of time or having too much on my plate, I shelved the idea and didn’t bother.

After talking to Judy Saunders from the FPA in 2015 in one of our professional development days, where she came to visit, it became very clear that without the CFP® designation, employers, legislators and the general public just weren’t going to take me seriously in a profession that I love.

So, six years later, I embarked on the final subject and catch up readings, vowing to finish what I had started.

4. As a professional, how important is structured and ongoing education for planners?

Knowing how busy we all are, I believe we need structure and ongoing education, otherwise it will always be pushed aside in place of client needs and new business.

If we don’t continue to participate in the education process, we will find our knowledge is outdated and our professional reputation diminished.

5. What is the most challenging aspect facing the profession?

The amount of legislative uncertainty that exists is impeding our ability to plan for our clients’ retirement needs.

Many of us have already adapted our advice for those clients who are further away from retirement and have started looking at ordinary investments, more than superannuation, for dependability reasons.

6. What advice do you have for any planner considering becoming a CFP® professional?

The knowledge you collect during these modules will make you a better planner – why wouldn’t you want to be the best you can be?

Besides that I believe that legislation and barriers to entry for those giving advice will rise quickly as a form of protection for consumers. How can this not be a good thing for our profession? Embrace it and reap the rewards.

7. What has been the best financial words of wisdom you’ve been given and who were they from?

Lo, money is plentiful

For those who understand

The simple rules of its acquisition

  1. Start thy purse to fattening
  2. Control thy expenditures
  3. Make thy gold multiply
  4. Guard thy treasures from loss
  5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment
  6. Insure a future income
  7. Increase thy ability to earn

From The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.

You may also be interested in