Way to go, Ryan!

Way to go, Ryan!

We are so proud to share that Ryan Kelly has passed the CFP® Exam! After logging more than 250 hours of study time over the past three months, Ryan learned more than just financial concepts. He also learned more about himself and gained a deeper appreciation for what it means to be a financial planner. When asked what he learned about financial planning and about himself in pursuit of earning the CFP certification, Ryan said:

“One thing I learned is that financial planning is more than just managing a portfolio or answering emails. A financial planner’s brain is always on because even a simple question can impact several facets of a Client’s life.

I also learned a little about humility. Interestingly, the right answer isn’t always to make a recommendation. Sometimes, the wisest thing a CFP professional can do is admit what they don’t know and seek input from an expert.

Introspectively, I think I learned that I’m smarter than I think I am. I don’t always give myself credit for knowing things, but I was able to learn a lot during my studies and felt like I retained a surprising amount of information. We’ll see how long it sticks, but for now it’s something I’m genuinely proud of.”

With this accomplishment, Ryan is well on his way to satisfying the CFP Board’s “Four Es” to become a CFP professional.


Ryan fulfilled the education requirement when he earned his M.S. in Financial Planning from the University of Georgia in 2019.


Ryan passed the CFP exam on July 12, 2021. The exam is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to apply their financial planning knowledge in an integrated format.


To become a CFP professional, a candidate must accumulate 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience under the direct supervision of a CFP®. Ryan will meet this requirement in September 2021.


The final step is to complete an ethics certification which includes an inquiry into the candidate’s background and an agreement to adhere to the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics.

What’s next for Ryan? He says:

“Passing the CFP exam opens a lot of doors. As I look toward the final year of my residency at Yeske Buie, I’ll be able to approach my work with greater confidence and will easily feel like I can market myself to whomever I want to work for once I’ve moved on.

On the education front, I can’t imagine adding anything more to the alphabet soup that will follow my name after this (Ryan Kelly, M.S., EA, CFP®), but as I look at the bigger picture, a big focus of mine will be to keep up with continuing education for both of my designations. I’ll always need to justify to myself that I know as much as those letters say I do.

In the short term, I’m looking forward to returning to some of my hobbies, including exploring San Francisco, going out to concerts and live shows, and playing video games. How fortuitous that my passing the CFP exam coincided with the reopening of society in the wake of this pandemic.”

Congratulations, Ryan! We look forward to all that lies ahead in our journey together empowering people to pursue their Live Big® lives.