What Designations Should Your Financial Advisor Have?
Choosing a financial advisor can be a confusing process, particularly given the different standards of care that financial professionals provide. Making matters worse is the wide range of job titles and designations people use to convey their expertise.
While a job title might have some relevance to a firm’s internal hierarchy, you can start with the assumption that all job titles are a form of marketing. Titles are unregulated and cannot be treated as verifiable proof of someone’s credibility or authority to serve your financial needs.
Professional designations provide a more standardized way for people to convey their expertise, but not all letter combinations require the same degree of knowledge and training. It is rare to meet a financial professional without some combination of letters on his or her business card, but here are three most meaningful designations (listed alphabetically) for financial advisors offering comprehensive wealth management services.
1.CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ [certification]
This designation is the most comprehensive designation regarding financial planning. The CFP® certification requires participants to complete a series of financial planning courses and pass a two-day board exam. The curriculum covers general principles of financial planning, education planning, insurance planning, investment planning, tax planning, retirement savings and income planning and estate planning.
The CFP Board also requires that its participants demonstrate three years of professional experience related to the financial planning process or two years of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements….
By Peter Lazaroff
January 29, 2019