The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards administers the certification exam for financial planners nationwide. Based in Washington, D.C., it maintains a web site where you can confirm a financial planner's certification and any and all licenses the CFP may have.
The site will also reveal any disciplinary actions by local, state or federal agencies against the individual, including failure to disclose investment risks, recommending unsuitable investments and violations of the board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
Go to this site: www.cfp.net. Scroll down on the left-hand menu to "Search for a Certified Financial Planner Professional." Click on that link and follow the directions.
Your certified financial planner should also be licensed by either your state's securities division or your state's financial institutions regulatory agency.
In Tennessee, you can research investment advisers who are registered with the state at http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/securities/secbdiar.html.