I received some questions regarding the Registered Financial Planner (RFP) Program that I took up a few years back. In order to address the frequently asked questions, I am posting in full my correspondence with a reader who was thinking of taking up the program too. I hope this helps out others who are also considering the RFP Program!
Greetings Atty. Jill!
I am one of your follower and reader of your blog Frugal Honey. I read in your blog that you attended the RFP training. I would really want to learn more about financial planning for the future of my family. And because of that I am planning to attend the Associate Financial Planner course next year to learn more about Financial Planning so that instead of getting a financial planner to set a comprehensive plan for me and my family I hope to do it myself. I hope I can have some advice from someone like you who was able to attend the course.
What it's like attending the course? Will I be fully equipped to formulate how my wife and I can get out of debt faster after attending the course? Will I learn how to make good investment decisions? I live in Laguna and attending the course will really take effort from my part. From the investment knowledge of P12,000.00, from filing a leave from office ( I am also a government employee) and from travelling just to get to the venue. What else should I do before attending the training? Aside from reading your blog post I was able to read some Personal Finance books like Millionaire Next Door, Richest Man In Babylon, and some books from Chinkee Tan. What will I expect from the training? I hope you can share with me your experiences and learn things I might need to know before taking the course. Thanks.
With your interest in personal finance and the books you've read, I think you might be disappointed with the program because it's honestly nothing more than a summary of what you yourself can pick-up through self-study.
I did enjoy hearing about the insights of the speakers, and the speakers are among the best of the best in their field so there's a lot of useful anecdotes and battle stories that you can pick up there.
When I attended the course, it cost 20k++ and ran for 8 Saturdays (half-day) and was held in Crowne Plaza, Ortigas. It's seminar style and you're given all the materials you'll need (and light snacks and drink all you can tea and coffee). To get certified, you'll have to make a financial plan and defend it before a panel.
Most of my classmates were insurance agents because they could use the Registered Financial Planner title to level up their career. But for someone like me who's not in the insurance or financial industry, it's honestly quite useless career-wise, although I did enjoy the seminars because personal finance is my passion.
Some quick answers to your questions:
What it's like attending the course? - Already answered above.
Will I be fully equipped to formulate on how my wife and I can get out of debt faster after attending the course? - No. You won't learn how to get out of debt faster through the course because that's not something you learn in school but through experience and with drive and determination. And from what little I know of you through your email, you seem to have both drive and determination in dealing with debt, so I have confidence that you'll be able to decimate your debt ASAP :)
Will I learn how to make good investment decisions? - Hmmm....I don't think there's a separate module on investments, but I could be wrong. But even so, investment knowledge is gained through reading up on it and trial and error. Again, it's a sariling sikap sort of thing and if you do attend a seminar, you'll probably learn basic things that you can learn by reading through the internet. Nonetheless, I really believe that you attend seminars to learn about the speaker's take on the subject and hear his/her experiences, and not the actual topic since it's easy to learn about that with the internet.
What else should I do before attending the training? - Nothing. There's no recitation and you'll get spoonfed the information.
I would advise revisiting your reasons for wanting to attend the seminar because the fee is not small change and the time investment is quite considerable (I found it challenging at times to wake up early on Saturdays and make the drive from Sucat (where I live) to Ortigas (where the seminars are). Also, there's the financial plan you'll be presenting before a panel and that can take some work because you'll need actual "clients" you'll be crafting a plan for.
Considering your self-study background in personal finance, you might end up disappointed with the program because the material is not really technical and something that you can learn on your own. So that's my only concern regarding your interest in attending an RFP course.
One last thing, the yearly membership fee is Php5,000 and you'll get calling cards and free passes to the RFP events. It's actually quite a good deal if you're in the financial industry, but since I'm not and am usually unable to attend RFP events, I no longer renewed my membership for 2016 because sayang din ang Php5,000.
I hope I was able to answer your questions, and if you need some guidance with making a comprehensive financial plan (which I know you can do on your own), just give me shout-out.