So you want to do CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certification and looking for a course to help you complete certification on time. Here I have compared some of the best CFP courses available in India. Hope this will help you chose right one.
Do comment if any noteworthy course is missing in list. Also if you have some experience with any of the institutes and want to share details that will help others, please do comment or contact me.
List of Institutes compared
Below are some of the institutes that I will compare. I will add more as I get feedback.
- The CFP Aspirant Club in India – We will refer this as CFP Aspirant Club. This is founded and run by Mr. Keyur Shah and you can search by his name in YouTube. You will see multiple success stories of his institute.
- Financial Planning Academy – We will refer them as FPA throughout the course. Please note that I feel they also operate under other multiple brands like Ambition Learning and CFP4Sure but for now, we will consider them under single umbrella of FPA so as not to confuse you with repetitive details.
- International College of Financial Planning – Founded and backed by Bajaj Capital. They are one of oldies in Financial Planning in India. We will refer them as ICOFP
- IMS Pro School – We will refer them as ProSchool
- Apna Course – We will refer them as ApnaCourse
But you can check out them in links if interested.
Let’s get started with our comparision.
Best CFP Course – Fees
If we keep aside fees that we need to pay directly to FPSB for registration, exams and certificate, then course fees in India range approximately from Rs. 15,000 to Rs 1,35,000. What a wide range.
tip: You will get some discount during each month end so try to negotiate deal in last week of a month.
Out of the above institutes, Apna Course is cheapest at around 15,000. FPA and ICOFP are somewhere in middle with range of 40,000. IMS Proschool is around 50,000. CFP Aspirant Club is the costliest course with Fees going up to INR 1,35,000.
Fees are approximate and may change from time to time but I hope you get some idea across institutes. Also above fees are for their flagship courses which are either live online or classroom type. Other formats of course will be cheaper.
Winner in Best CFP Course ‘Fees’ Category is Apna Course and Looser is CFP Aspirant Club.
Best CFP Course – Study Material
All the institutes cover entire syllabus till final certification. IMS Proschool , ICOFP and FPA offer physical books / study material. Out of three, FPA study material is most concise and to the point.
ICOFP is also good but little detailed one and you may need more time to go through entire books. So if you prefer something like shorter notes type material then FPA is your best bet and if you are person who wants to understand in form of stories then you can consider ICOFP.
IMS proschool study material ranks last in my personal view as it was in form of really huge books in comparison to others and not really something very easy to understand. If you have some background in this field then it should be fine but if you are new to this field, I wont say it is as good as others.
CFP Aspirant Club and Apna course don’t have physical material.
You can see sample of Apna course material here. Looks like more of ppt style to me than real reading material. Please comment if you have done the course as how it is so others can benefit. As per site I see its more than 1800 pages but difficult to judge quality unless at least few chapters are shared.
No details on CFP Aspirant Club except that it is available only in online format. I am not great fan of online reading for exam preparation but if you prefer that style, may be you can consider same.
Winner for Best CFP Course ‘Study Material’ category is FPA or Financial Planning Academy
Best CFP Course – Faculty
All of them have CFP certified faculties. But being CFP as well as good trainer is different case. In this context, I would say Mr. Keyur Shah would come out at top.
Many of other institutes do employ visiting faculty for live online / classroom courses. Going by demo sessions, I would rate ICOFP faculties more experienced compared to FPA and IMS ProSchool. However take this opinion with little pinch of salt as it will be difficult to comment on specific faculty for your specific batch as faculty may vary from time to time.
Both FPA and IMS ProSchool faculties were good enough from certification exam perspective so you will not struggle to get doubts clarified. Just that Mr. Keyur Shah comes with loads of practical experience which may help you beyond certification.
If teacher is most important criteria for your decision then CFP Aspirant Club is your best choice. Apna Course would come last as we really don’t know real faculty behind recorded sessions.
Winner for Best CFP Course ‘Faculty’ category is CFP Aspirant Club
Best CFP Course – Mode of training offered
FPA offers Classroom, Live online and Distance learning options. First two are almost same except that sessions are done online in later. Details here.
ICOFP also offers all above three options similar to FPA. Details here.
IMS ProSchool also offers three modes – Classroom (50,000), Live but Virtual (30,000) and Self paced video training (20,000). Details here
Apna Course offers online recorded video sessions. Details here.
CFP Aspirant Club offers recorded video sessions as part of live learning. Details here.
My suggestion is to go for classroom / live online class mode. This will force certain discipline to spend time. Will add peer pressure so you would study to keep pace with others. Your doubts will get solved immediately.
If you are really dedicated learner and some background in this field then you can chose other mode and same some money.
Winner for Best CFP Course Training Modes are ICOFP and FPA
Best CFP Course – Location Choice
In current world of online learning, location of centers is becoming less important. But for some who still google “CFP Course near me”, let us look who stands where. It also helps if some center is near by for some urgent query resolution or fees related issues.
In case you need some center near by, then chose one as per your location.
Winner for Best CFP Course ‘Location’ category is FPA and IMS ProSchool
Preview before joining
Every institute provides some preview of the course / faculty / style before you join. So do spend couple of days to see quality yourself before you make a final decision.
Reach out to FPA, ICOFP or IMS Proschool via phone or chat and they would share a link for a lecture or two for you to see it before joining.
Best CFP Course – Additional Features
Here we will try to find if any of the institutes offer something beyond training for certification.
CFP Aspirant Club offers additional training for portfolio creation. You can be part of their CFP group to exchange ideas. They also promote people as mentors for CFP students. That way you can help other students, earn something as well as build network. Mr. Keyur Shah also helps with practical ideas in sessions if you plan to start your own advisory business. So you do get something beyond standard certification training.
ICOFP is promoted by Bajaj Capital. It provides training on portfolio creation for clients as additional training along with CFP training. Also chances of some leads and support from Bajaj Capital after certification is possibility here.
ICOFP, CFP and IMS ProSchool are liberal in allowing to attend even other batches and accommodative if you miss / fail in first attempt. Generally they do not charge additional amounts for this.
Winner for Best CFP Course ‘Additional Features’ category is CFP Aspirant Club
Best CFP Course – Any Negatives?
Let us look at some of the things you should be aware before you sign up.
ApnaCourse is currently not offering course for new curriculum so do check out with them before you sign up if its legacy or new course
Both ApnaCourse and CFP Aspirant Club are not authorized education providers registered with FPSB. So you will need to register with FPSB in self study mode.
CFP Aspirant Club charges fees for even small things like initial counselling. Those are deducted if you sign up for course. Access to course is for much lesser duration compared to other competitors. You will need DVD player as they use that format.
IMS ProSchool is not a Finance centric education provider with diverse courses. Actually it does not matter to us what other things any institute does. But generally it is better to be part of institute which is focused on specific niche.
Best CFP Course – Other Noteworthy mentions
If you are okay to learn little untraditional way, I mean not a institute per se but from a individual then you can check out Prashant V Shah from Ahemdabad here. He has also officially registered with FPSB as Education Provider now.
He charges around 60,000/-. Also provides just books or study material in reasonable price if you are okay to do self study.
Here are list of all FPSB authorized education providers if you want to check out other options not covered here.
Now comes most difficult part of any blog. Data points are enormous but how to take a decision 🙂 Let me give a try.
CFP Aspirant Club is too expensive for my liking. When fees of FPSB are around 70,000, then paying almost double to just training is not worth according to me. If you have attempted CFP in past and struggled to clear it, I would say only then you should pay such expensive fees.
But if ‘paise ki kami nahi hai’ then this is best option to clear exam in first attempt. No one can charge 2-3 times more than competitor unless they are good.
Apna course is cheap but did not see good support model for query resolution. Also CFP is very calculation intensive exam so good faculty / support is needed. If you are really short on money, and confident that you really don’t need any guide or mentor, then only you should consider it. Also note that it is yet to release revised course for new CFP curriculum. Check before signing up.
That leaves three serious contenders.
I would rank IMS ProSchool at third place based on study material.
First and second place for me is like a very close IPL contest with match going till final over and 2 wickets in hand and 10 runs to win type situation. It can go either way.
You will not go wrong with either of these two institutes – FPA or ICOFP. You can clear exam within reasonable fees. Just that some interest and motivation to study will be needed. If you like to read a lot (like my lengthy blogs) then ICOFP is winner and if you like small notes type reading then you can consider FPA as winner.
Or still better, chose the one that is charging cheaper fees between these two.
All the best. Happy reading.