Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)
The CFP marks represent a Certified Financial Planning designation. To earn these marks, an individual must meet education, examination, experience, and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (CFP Board). While anyone can call himself or herself a “financial planner”, only those who have fulfilled the certification requirements can display the CFP® marks.
This requirement can be achieved in one of three ways:
- Completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university
approved by the CFP board
- Submitting a transcript review or previous financial planning-related course work to the CFP Board for review
- Showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees
Candidates must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10– hour examination which tests knowledge of the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
Candidates must have a minimum of three years experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks.
Candidates agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Candidates submit to a background check and must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation requires a candidate to demonstrate their knowledge of Generally Accepted Account Principles (GAAP) by passing the Uniform CPA Exam, meeting high educational standards and completing a state specified amount of experience. The CPA designation allows an individual to advise in a variety of accounting related matters, including: income taxes, tax preparation, financial planning, and estate planning.
Certified Investment Management Analyst
CIMA professionals integrate a complex body of investment knowledge, ethically contributing to prudent investment decisions by providing objective advice and guidance to individual investors and institutional investors. The CIMA certification program is the only credential designed specifically for financial professionals who want to attain a level of competency as an advanced investment consultant.
Certified Private Wealth Advisor
The CPWA marks identify those individuals who have met the experience requirements and have successfully completed coursework in advanced wealth management strategies and applied concepts. CPWA designation holders learn sophisticated estate, tax and investment strategies to minimize taxes, monetize and protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth. The CPWA designation is the only advanced designation designed for financial advisors who work with high-net-worth clients on the life cycle of wealth.