CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM. The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® and federally registered CFP (collectively, the “CFP® marks”) are professional certification marks granted in the United States by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”).
The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients. Currently, more than 80,000 individuals have obtained CFP® certification in the United States.
To attain the right to use the CFP® marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:
Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:
CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.
Chartered Financial Consultant. Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) is a financial planning designation for the insurance industry conferred by The American College. Candidates must meet education, experience, examination, and continuing ethical requirements. Candidates must have at least three years of experience in the financial industry, or an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited university and two years of experience in the financial industry. Candidates are required to take nine academic courses each followed by an exam. The courses and exams cover topics in finance, investing, insurance, and estate planning.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) professionals must develop their theoretical and practical understanding and knowledge of the financial aspects of divorce by completing a comprehensive course of study approved by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. CDFA™ professionals must have two years minimum experience in a financial or legal capacity prior to earning the right to use the CDFA™ certification mark.
Certified Private Wealth Advisor. The Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®) designation signifies that an individual has met initial and on-going experience, ethical, education, and examination requirements for the professional designation, which is centered on management topics and strategies for high-net-worth clients. Prerequisites for the CPWA designation are: a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or one of the following designations or licenses: CIMA®, CIMC®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC® or CPA license; acceptable regulatory history as evidenced by FINRA Form U-4 or other regulatory requirements; five years of professional client-centered experience in financial services or a related industry; and two letters of reference from an IWI member, professional supervisor, or currently licensed professional in financial services or a related industry. CPWA designees must complete a six-month pre-class educational component and a five-day classroom education program through The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. CPWA designees are required to adhere to IWI’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Rules and Guidelines for Use of the Marks. CPWA designees must report 40 hours of continuing education credits, including two ethics hours, every two years to maintain the certification. The designation is administered through Investments and Wealth Institute (IWI®).
Chartered Life Underwriter. Since 1927, the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) s has been the respected risk management credential for advisors. Designees have completed eight or more college-level courses representing an average study time of 400 hours. Topics for required courses include insurance and financial planning, life insurance law, estate planning, and planning for business owners and professionals. Elective courses include such advanced topics as income taxes, group benefits, retirement planning, and health insurance. CLU® designees must meet experience and continuing education requirements and must adhere to a high ethical standard. The mark is awarded by The American College, a non-profit educator with the top level of academic accreditation.