Registered Financial Planner Philippines (RFP) REVIEW - The Thrifty Pinay

If you’re planning to become an RFP or a Registered Financial Planner, here is an honest and no-nonsense review of the Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines Program.

1. Why take up the Registered Financial Planner (RFP) Philippines Program?

Simple. In my case, I wanted a holistic approach regarding financial management so I can curate my family’s financial plan that is fabricated to our own unique goals and lifestyle.

One thing you must know is that Personal Finance is more than just spending less than you earn and paying off your debts. It is a combination of efforts wherein planning your expenditures, taxes, investing, risk management, retirement planning, and estate planning are essential in one’s successful financial plan- the topics I would love to have a more in-depth understanding of.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely mine and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the RFP Philippines or its affiliates. I am simply a personal finance blogger sharing my thoughts and views on my platform.

2. My RFP Philippines Experience

I belong to batch 90. Pre-pandemic days, the program used to be held at a certain hotel but due to the onslaught of Covid-19 which transitioned almost everyone to being internet-based, the Registered Financial Planner Philippines had to adapt and switch to online classes too.

Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines Batch 90

P28,000 was the normal rate during my batch. A friend from a previous batch mentioned she enrolled for P27,000. Though the P1,000 discrepancy may make one regretful for not taking the course earlier for the financial advantage, I still think that RFP has offered a huge discount from its original price of P32,000 for face-to-face classes.

The entire program had 8 modules (classes) that were held every Saturday, 8 am to 12 pm PST. I had classmates from different countries and so for them, being at the other side of the world meant attending classes at the wee hours of the morning.

Most times, classes extended beyond 12 PM because of the lengthy discussions, but I never really felt it as a nuisance. Needless to say, I appreciated each moderator’s extensive impartation simply because I knew learning from them is an investment.

Online classes were held through Zoom. Were there hand-outs of the modules? Nope. But the program materials were available on Schoology.com. Moreover, each class was recorded, except for Module 3- Time Value of Money. Access to each recorded class was provided through Google Drive, given by the moderator after attending all 8 classes.

Moreover, each class held was fun, insightful, humorous, and entailed a lot of the students’ participation.

3. RFP Registered Financial Planner Philippines Certification Process

To be a certified RFP, you have to complete the entire education program and pass the RFP Exam. This examination will consist of one Financial Planning case exam which you have to defend to a group of panelists that will throw questions, making sure you really understood the ins and outs of your financial plan. Remember your college thesis defense? Yes, it’s similar to that.

Registered Financial Planner Philippines (RFP) REVIEW

4. Reasons why I took up the RFP Program

  • For professional advancement and added authority.
  • For added Financial Confidence
  • For added accountability and fun pressure! LOL!

Initially, I wanted to make a career out of being an RFP. But managing The Thrifty Pinay, along with juggling household and mommy duties, has always made my plate full. I’m not quite sure how and when I can squeeze in time for the revalida, but I know in God’s time, I will.

5. RFP Program Syllabus Review

Module 1 – Behavioral Financial Planning

Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines Review

Facilitated by Mr. Efren Ll. Cruz, his class was a great way to kickstart the whole program. My takeaways here would be the awareness of how our money values are deeply influenced by our behavior.

It was also a nice recap about topics like Behavioral Finance, Mental Accounting, cognitive biases, and some illusions that simply betray what we see through the naked eye.


Module 2 – Financial Planning Process

What I thought was the most self-explanatory and boring module turned out to be one of the most thought-provoking and stimulating one.

Facilitated by Mr. Rolly Robles, this class sheds light on the questions such as:

“How do you gather data from your clients?”

“What types of Qualitative data should you assess from clients?”

“Are there any icebreaker questions you can ask when clients are reluctant to share their financial info?”

My takeaways would be understanding the Personal Financial Planning Process, examples of how to assess your client’s financial situation and financial issues, and having a thorough analogy of an Engagement Control Checklist.

Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines REVIEW


Module 3 – Time Value of Money (TVM)

During my college accountancy days, our old-school way of computing the TMV was through pen and paper, and memorizing the formula. Fast forward to this class with Sir Melvin Esteban, I have learned how to do the basic computations through Excel. I am aware that free TVM calculators are available on the web as I use those too but don’t you think it pays to know how to do it manually?

What I appreciated most here was how Sir Melvin provided different scenarios which consequently made the slightest changes in the computations. He was also very considerate to know first if everyone understood each scenario before tackling the next.

RFP Philippines Review Module 3

Sample question:

If your son is 4 years old today and will be needing a college tuition of P200K per year for 5 years, how much should you have today so you can prepare for his college?

It can be mind-boggling and confusing at first, so make sure you understand the analogy and rationale right from the start so you can keep up with the succeeding lessons.


Module 4 – Investment Planning

Investment planning, itself, is a lengthy subject so compressing all valuable topics within 4 hours is a mission. Honestly, some topics were explained hurriedly (which is totally understandable) to give more time for topics that are of utmost importance. But the good news is, those that were vaguely explained can be searched online. Another good news is that questions from us students were still answered profoundly and in a timely manner.

Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines Review

Facilitated by Mr. Alijeffty Gonzales, his class showcased a nice recap of all Investment Instruments, Real Assets versus Financial Assets, and the effects of Market Volatility on our Investments portfolio.

I wish he could’ve dug deeper on some topics but then again, due to time constraints, most explanations were rushed. Self-study is still a non-negotiable part of effective learning.

I was able to sit-in”with the next batch’s Module 4 class which was facilitated by Mr. Rienzie Biolena. What I appreciated was how he was able to teach the proper way of setting financial goals (e.g. short-term, long-term) and how you should prioritize funding each when your funds are limited.

Another is how to properly align your financial goals with your Cash Flow Statement and SALN, and the ratios seen on the screenshot on the right.

Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines REVIEW


Module 5 – Tax Planning

Back in college, I used to loathe attending our Tax classes. But many thanks to Prof. Xy De La Torre, my naivete has banished and my perspective towards tackling my taxes has made a 180-degree turn.

My favorite takeaways were dissecting the Tax Declaration, knowing the differences between Capital Assets versus Ordinary Assets, what to do when you encounter Back taxes, and a little rundown of the “Psychology of Taxation”.


Module 6 – Estate Tax Planning

We had another fun lecture with Prof. Xy De La Torre, packed again with a lot of thought-provoking scenarios. Now that I’m a wife and a parent, I was more drawn to the concepts of Donation, Estate Tax, how the legitimes and free portion contributions come to be, and writing my own holographic will.

His two classes had elicited a lot of “Oh, ganon pala yun!” kind of side comments and I can adamantly say that this portion of the RFP Program was the most eye-opening of them all.


Module 7 – Insurance Planning

Among all modules, Insurance Planning was the least anticipated one for me simply because insurance-related info has been bombarding Facebook. But surprisingly, there were still a handful of details shared that I was clueless about.

This time, we had Mr. Randell Tiongson. My favorite takeaways were how VUL differs from BTID, how each strategy greatly affects your estate tax, and how significant incorporating the “Principle of Suitability” is when figuring out which investment products fit best for your goals.

I also appreciated Sir Randell, despite being a well-known Insurance advocate, for not being biased at all and was instead, very objective when simulating the arguments related to insurance.


Module 8 – Financial Planning Practice

Heading onto the last and final module was a bittersweet moment for me. A part of me was sad knowing that classes were coming to an end – my mind was like a sponge that wanted to absorb more learnings and hear more inspiring stories from the lecturers. But somehow I was glad that it was the last module which meant I can go back to spending my Saturdays on the backlogs of The Thrifty Pinay and have more playtime with my son.

Registered Financial Planner RFP Philippines Review

Facilitated again by Mr. Randell Tiongson, this class concluded the whole Financial Plan, how you can integrate the learnings into your practice as an RFP, and how you can curate a tailored-fit financial plan for you and your clients.

6. Is the Registered Financial Planner Philippines Program for you?

As a nonlawyer and a non-financial advisor, I can definitely attest that enrolling in the RFP Program is a bang for the buck. As a former banker turned Personal Finance Blogger, I’ve always held my chin high knowing that I had a vast knowledge of personal finance. But after taking all 8 classes, I was humbled in knowing that there were a gazillion things I needed to consider in keeping my financial health in tiptop shape. Funny how suddenly knowing the unknown can humble you, right?

Will it give you any additional insights and unconventional wisdom? It depends on your openness and stock knowledge. What may be basic and simple for you may be a whole lot more complicated for me. As I said, I am not a lawyer nor an FA, and it has been a decade since I last set foot in college. So the learnings I had gave my brain a little “reset”.

The RFP Program has immensely exceeded my expectations and this is what I would love to impart to my dear readers. With this honest review, I hope I have encouraged everyone to enroll so you guys can consummate a personal financial plan, for your clients, and most of all, for yourself!

If you’re having second thoughts or have any questions, feel free to email me at thethriftypinay@gmail.com and I’ll answer them all to the best of my knowledge. Then again, I hope this Registered Financial Planner Philippines (RFP) REVIEW has helped you decide in some way.


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Registered Financial Planner Philippines RFP Review

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.