Certificate in Personal Financial Planning

Offered by the Gatton College of Business and Economic's Don and Cathy Jacobs Executive Education Center in partnership with the Von Allmen School of Accountancy and department of Finance and Quantitative Methods, this online certificate program is the first offered in the Lexington area.

Participants who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for the CFP Certification Exam, an essential step in preparation for a career as a financial planning professional.


Designed For

The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of:

  • Individuals interested in pursuing a career in financial planning
  • Current CPAs or other working professionals
  • A bachelor's degree is required for enrollment

Course Schedule

The certificate program follows the semester-based academic calendar and all courses will include weekly deliverables and course work. Courses will be offered on a Pass/Fail basis and a passing grade is required for credit toward the certificate.

Fall Course Offerings

Financial Planning for Professionals
This course provides an overview of the financial planning process. Topics include:

  • Regulator issues and ethics
  • Education planning and funding
  • Time-value-of-money concepts
  • Financial planning applications
  • Regulatory issues
  • Legal and economic environment for financial planning

Risk, Insurance and Retirement Planning 
This course discusses key topics in risk management and insurance. Topics include:

  • Types of retirement plans
  • Qualified plans (SEPs, SIMPLEs and 403(b) plans) and additional options
  • Individual retirement planning including IRAs and Roth IRAs, social security benefits, saving for retirement and planning for retirement plan distributions
  • Analysis and evaluation of risk exposures and insurance needs
  • Insurance policy and company selection
  • Health insurance, health care cost management, disability income and long‐term care insurance
  • Individual life insurance and business uses of insurance
  • Property and casualty insurance

Estate Planning 
This course provides a basic understanding of the estate and gift tax system. Topics include:

  • Nature, valuation transfer, administration and taxation of property
  • Gratuitous transfers of property outright or with trusts, wills and powers of appointment
  • Use of the marital deduction
  • Valuation of assets
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Client interviews and fact finding
  • Ethical standards
  • Development of personal estate plans

Spring Course Offerings

Tax Planning for Financial Planning Professionals 
This course examines the federal income tax system with particular reference to the taxation of individuals. Topics include:

  • Gross income, exclusions from gross income
  • Deductions
  • Tax credits
  • Capital gains and losses
  • Taxation of life insurance
  • Taxation of annuities
  • Entity taxation of partnerships, LLCs, corporations and proprietorships

Investment Planning
This course covers various aspects of investments and their application to financial planning. Topics include:

  • Characteristics, uses and taxation of investment vehicles
  • Types of investment risk
  • Quantitative investment concepts
  • Measures of investment returns
  • Asset allocation and portfolio diversification
  • Bond and stock valuation concepts
  • Portfolio development and analysis
  • Investment strategies
  • Alternative investments

    Capstone: Financial Plan Development 

    This course requires the student to demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply knowledge of financial planning topics, as received through the curricula. Upon completing the course, the student will be able to:

    • Effectively formulate and communicate the financial plan
    • Analyze personal financial situations, evaluating clients’ objectives, needs and values to develop an appropriate strategy within the financial plan
    • Demonstrate logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to specific problem
    • Evaluate the impact of economic, political, and regulatory issues with regard to the financial plan
    • Apply the CFP board financial planning practice standards to the financial planning process.

    *This program has been approved by the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards as a CFP Board Registered Program, and fulfills the Education requirement for the CFP Certification Exam. Please note that a college degree is required to take the exam.


    Program Investment

    Tuition for each course of the Certificate in Personal Financial Planning is $895. The total for all six courses is $5,370 and does not include any required texts.


    Ready to Apply?


    More Information

    For more information on the Certificate in Personal Financial Planning, please contact:

    Cynthia Vines
    Associate Professor, The Von Allmen School of Accountancy
    Director, Certificate in Financial Planning Program

    Gatton College of Business and Economics
    (859) 257-4675 | cvines@uky.edu

    Lorna Patches
    Director of Executive Executive Education
    Gatton College of Business and Economics
    (859) 257-7636 | lornapatches@uky.edu