CFP® Certification Education Courses

Hundreds of the top universities and corporations in the country have selected Dalton to deliver their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER education. Our programs were developed by educators that served on the CFP® Board of Examiners, providing a foundation for best-in-class content and resources. Below is a summary of the CFP Board Coursework, which applies to both our CFP® CERTIFICATION EDUCATION and THE DALTON REVIEW programs.


The program’s first course provides the foundation of knowledge students need as working financial services professionals. It covers the financial planning process, best practices in communication, time value of money concepts, as well as the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues affecting financial planners. The course continues with a discussion of the principles of risk management and insurance, allowing the student to identify a client’s risk exposure and select appropriate risk management techniques.


This course provides students with an introduction to investment planning and portfolio management. It covers the theoretical and statistical rationale building a diversified portfolio, the measurement and calculation of risk and return metrics, as well as the features of stock, bonds, cash-equivalents, and alternative investments such as real estate and derivatives. Additionally, the course covers the application of these concepts when working with clients, including best practices from studies of behavioral finance.


This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to individual income tax fundamentals and the calculation of income tax. Closely following the 1040 tax return, students will learn what’s included and excluded from gross income as well as all deductions before adjusted gross income such as IRA contributions, business expenses, and HSA contributions. In addition, the course covers the tax issues and strategies surrounding business entities, disposition of property, adjusting tax basis, AMT, passive activity rules, charitable contributions, and tax minimization.


This course provides an overview of retirement planning and employee benefits, including public and private retirement plans. Students are introduced to the administration, taxation and distribution rules of retirement plans as well as the characteristics of various plans including qualified, non-qualified, and other tax advantaged plans. The course also details employee group and fringe benefits and the taxation of these benefit plans. And, students learn about the unique issues individuals face in retirement and how to determine which retirement plan to recommend to a client based on the client’s goals.


This course provides an overview of estate planning laws and strategies. Issues discussed include the various types of property interest and the probate process. In addition, students learn about gift tax and how to align a client’s gifting strategy with their goals. The course also covers the estate tax system including what’s included and excluded from the gross estate, various deductions to determine the taxable estate, and calculating the potential estate tax. In addition, students learn various strategies to minimize estate tax consequences through the use of power of appointment trusts, by-pass trusts, and QTIP trusts.


In the final course of the program, students learn and apply various approaches to analyzing, developing, and presenting financial plan recommendations for clients. Course information is presented through a series of videos, including software tutorial, and live virtual classroom sessions with the course instructor. Students use software to help prepare financial statements, conduct ratio analysis, and identify financial strengths and weaknesses. Through the use of representative case studies, students apply the knowledge and strategies they learned in earlier courses. The capstone course culminates with students preparing and presenting a comprehensive financial plan.

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