Licensed Financial Planner vs Financial Adviser Representative

As a normal citizen, I believe we see no difference between a Licensed Financial Planner* or a Financial Adviser Representative* because the public has interpreted the titles as any normal servicing agent representing an agency or a financial institution.

I must agree that the agency’s business model has been in the market for quite some time and at the point of writing this article, it is still monopolizing the market share compared to the professional career like the Licensed Financial Planner*. Therefore, it is a norm for us to receive responses as such, when in fact these professional career has been in Malaysia for more than a decade long. (Licensed Financial Planner since 2007; Financial Adviser Representative since 2005)

If you google the word “licensed financial planner*” or “financial adviser representative*”, there are already tons of articles written by other financial bloggers, including official sites of these respective professional bodies too have posted information on this role on their websites.


Not much information reflects the real difference between the two titles and if you are coming from the financial industry, you will notice selective articles are written with a personal agenda in mind and since I am still a #CFP student at work at the point of writing, I can say I have the privilege to dissect the core difference in a transparent manner.

Below is not the full set of info that differentiates the two roles but what I wanted to point out to you is the one written in blue. Please be mindful, I do not have an intention to belittle any roles. I just wanted to point out the main difference. That is all. Period.

Area of Conduct Licensed Financial Planner Financial Adviser Representative
License Issuance By Security Commission Malaysia Under Schedule 2, Part 2 of the Capital Markets & Services Act 2007 Central Bank of Malaysia under the Insurance Act
Scope Analyzing the financial circumstances of another person and providing a plan to meet that other person’s financial needs and objectives. Insurance Products and may provide advice and market other financial products subject to prior approval from the relevant authorities.
Minimum Requirement# Passed all modules from CFP/ IFP/ RFP/ Shariah RFP with at least 3 years of experience. Passed Module 1, 2, and 3 from any of the course: CFP/ IFP/ RFP/ Shariah RFP
Charge Fee Allowable Not Allowable

As you can see, the minimum requirement to apply for the respective role is very clear. However, having partially passed modules from each respective certification doesn’t mean they are less competent. It only means they have a limitation of what they can offer to their client and they are NOT allowed to charge a fee until they have fully passed the whole certification and upgrade their status to a Licensed Financial Planner.

On the matter of fees chargeable, I will be discussing it at another time, meanwhile, in my next article, I will be sharing the differences of each certification in general so you will get an idea of what we learned.

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If you have comments about this article or suggestions on future topics, please do drop me an email at AskShaneHo [at] Gmail dot com.

The title financial planner and financial adviser is a regulated profession by the Securities Commission Malaysia and Central Bank of Malaysia respectively.

FAR Program, information as of 3 Dec 2019. The full name for the respective course are:

CFP Certified Financial Planner Certification is issued by the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM)
IFP Islamic Financial Planner
RFP Registered Financial Planner Certification is issued by the Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC)
Shariah RFP Shariah Registered Financial Planner