Leaping Into Financial Confidence

Consumer Advocate Outlines the Best Way to Take

Stock of Your Financial Situation

Washington, D.C., Feb. 17, 2012 – Lack of time is one of the main excuses people use to avoid tasks. Well thanks to the Leap Year, everyone will get an extra 24 hours this month to devote to those outstanding items on their checklist – like getting an honest view of their financial standing.  According to Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, consumers should use this bonus time to peel back the layers of their financial lives and do a true self-assessment, one of the key steps in CFP Board’s year-long “12 for ’12 Approach to Financial Confidence.”

“The average American spends more time planning for a vacation each year than planning their finances; use this extra day as your excuse to better yourself financially,” CFP Board Ambassador Paul Jarvis  (who is also a portfolio manager and Certified Financial Planner ™ at State Bank & Trust), CFP® says.

 Gather relevant financial documents like your most recent tax return, your last paystub, and the latest statements for your retirement and investment accounts and ask the following questions:

  • What is your gross and net income, and what are your expenses?
  • What do you have in terms of financial assets (savings and investment accounts, real estate, retirement plans, etc.)? 
  • What are your debts, both in terms of amounts outstanding as well as what you pay each month?
  • What workplace benefits do you receive? 
  • What insurance coverage do you have to protect your health, income, life, property, or need for physical assistance? 
  • How are your assets titled and who gets them when you are no longer here?

Answering all these questions at one time, in one place is a key first step to building a sound foundation for a financial plan.

Knowing your starting point is necessary for figuring out how far you have to go to achieve your goals, or if, indeed, those goals are feasible. By focusing on exactly where you stand, you’ll be taking a big leap toward financial confidence in 2012.


In January, the CFP Board launched a new initiative called “12 for ’12 Approach to Financial Confidence” where all the components and steps for successful personal financial management are presented, one each month throughout the year including: establishing realistic goals, tax planning, emergency and risk management, investing, retirement, debt management, and estate planning. 


The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 64,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.


CONTACT: Paul Jarvis, CFP® P: 701-306-8276 E: pjarvis@cfpboardambassador.org   Dan Drummond, Director of Public Relations P: 202-379-2252 M: 202-550-4372 E: ddrummond@cfpboard.org Twitter: @cfpboardmedia

1 Response

  1. fargofinancial

    Well written article! More times than not I find that myself and my friends (most of which are in their 30’s) are not making our financial future a priority. It’s a refreshing reminder to get on top of things sooner than later. Thanks Paul!

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