Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation is the industry’s first and only designation that demonstrates knowledge and competency in the area of fiduciary responsibility and communicates a commitment to standards of investment fiduciary excellence. Holders of the AIF® mark have successfully completed a specialized program on investment fiduciary standards and subsequently passed a comprehensive examination.
The CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® certification marks are financial planning credentials awarded by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) to individuals who meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. First, is an educational requirement, satisfied by a variety of academic degrees and professional certifications. Alternatively, you must attend a CFP®-approved program of classroom education. Second, you must pass a 10-hour exam given over two days. The test measures your ability to apply financial planning principles to real client problems. Third, you need three years of qualifying full-time work experience in the financial planning field. Fourth, the CFP® certification requires you to agree to adhere to CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards, and acknowledge CFP Board’s right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.
The Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC) credential is a financial planning designation awarded by The American College. The program focuses on the comprehensive financial planning process as an organized way to collect and analyze information on a client’s total financial situation; to identify and establish specific financial goals; and to formulate, implement, and monitor a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. The designee must complete 9 courses and pass each test, in addition to meeting a three year experience requirement before being awarded the credential.
The College for Financial Planning awards this designation to investment practitioners who complete its nine-module Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor, CMFC®, Professional Education Program jointly sponsored by the College and the Investment Company Institute, the primary trade organization of the industry. The CMFC® program provides the education necessary to earn the only industry-recognized mutual fund designation. Pass an examination, commit to a code of ethics and agree to pursue continuing education. This program provides a thorough knowledge of mutual funds and their various uses as investment vehicles. The case studies used throughout the course—presenting client scenarios and pointing out opportunities for you to make the most of these popular investments—provide insight into effective use of these investment vehicles.
The College for Financial Planning awards this designation to investment practitioners who complete its Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor, CRCP®, Professional Education Program. The course materials define a “road map to retirement,” enabling the practiciner to focus on clients’ pre-and post-retirement needs, as well as issues related to asset management and estate planning. The topics in the CRPC® program are structured in logical order, going through the retirement process from start to finish. The curriculum is based on a client-centered, problem-solving method using case studies to give the practicioner a hands-on approach to the material. The designee must complete the courses, sit for an exam, commit to a code of ethics and agree to pursue continuing education.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is a mark of distinction that is globally recognized by employers, investment professionals, and investors as the definitive standard by which to measure serious investment professionals.