There is an abundance of important looking initials and letters after many financial advisor’s names. With over 200 advisor designations noted on the FINRA website, you might be asking yourself why you should care if your advisor is a PFS™, ChFC®, CLU®, CPWA®, AIF®, CSA®, BFA™, CPWA® or anything else in this arena?
Many of these titles in what we refer to as the “alphabet soup of advice” are relatively unknown to the majority of the financial advisor community and the investing public. Each professional designation in the financial industry differs in terms of knowledge, experience, and course of study. Most designations are not accredited and more than a few have little to do with financial planning advice or investment management.
Most people think all financial planners are “Certified” but this is not true. Only those who have fulfilled the national comprehensive exam and ongoing renewal requirements of CFP® Board can display the CFP® marks, which represent a high level of ethics, education, competency and work experience. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners are required to put your interests above their own while providing their services as a fiduciary. There are only 87,000 CFP® professionals practicing in the nation (cfp.net).
Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may evolve over the years due to shifts in your lifestyle or circumstances such as an inheritance, career change, marriage, house purchase or a growing family. As you begin to consider how best to manage your financial future, you should feel confident knowing that with a CFP® professional, you’re working with someone committed to providing the highest standard of financial planning.
Read more at the CFP Board site.
Jon Ulin®, CFP: Planner Search Profile