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Our Credentials

We follow the highest standards

Why Our CFA Credential Matters

CFA charterholders are dedicated to lead the investment profession globally by setting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence.

Ethics

World economies and markets depend on widespread trust. It is this responsibility — the trust bestowed upon investment professionals — which makes the CFA Institute's ethical standards so important.

CFA charterholders promote high ethical standards and investor protection through professional codes of conduct, guidance, and outreach. The CFA Institute investigates allegations of ethical or professional misconduct and rigorously enforces the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Knowledge and Experience

A CFA charter holder must have four years of qualified investment work experience, pledge to adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct on an annual basis, and complete the CFA Program.

The CFA Program is organized into three levels, each culminating in a six-hour exam. The Program reflects a broad body of knowledge developed and continuously updated by active practitioners to ensure that charterholders possess knowledge grounded in the real world of today's global investment industry.

Recognition

Attaining the CFA certification has become the gold standard for investment managers. CFA charterholders are recognized as an elite global community of nearly 90,000 investment professionals committed to upholding the highest standards of investment education, ethics, and professional excellence.

Learn more at www.cfainstitute.org

 

Why Our CFP Credential Matters

Attaining CFP® certification is a highly respected professional achievement for those who provide advice and counsel to individual clients on a wide variety of financial matters.

Ethics

CFP® certificants are individuals who have voluntarily agreed to meet high standards of professionalism by adhering to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Financial Planning Practice Standards. Certificants' compliance with CFP Board's certification standards helps to ensure the integrity of the CFP® certification marks for the benefit of the public.

Knowledge and Experience

Every CFP® certificant has at least three years of industry experience and has passed a 10 hour comprehensive examination on subjects that include financial planning, insurance, income taxation, planning for retirement needs, investments and estate planning. CFP® certificants are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

Recognition

The CFP® certification has become the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. Consumers increasingly seek out professional financial planners who have invested the time and dedication to achieve the CFP® certification.

Learn more at www.cfp.net

 

Why Our PFS Credential Matters

The AICPA has established a credential for CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning (PFP). The PFS credential is granted exclusively to CPAs with considerable PFP experience who want to demonstrate their knowledge, skill, and experience by earning this exclusive credential.

Background

Clients need an enormous amount of trust to put their hard-earned assets into the hands of a credible financial advisor. When selecting an advisor, they will consider qualifications including financial planning expertise, experience, reputation, credentials, how the advisor is compensated, and the ability of the planner to remain objective while acting in the best interest of the client.

Consequently, the AICPA saw the need to develop a specialty credential in financial planning exclusively for CPAs, because in a competitive marketplace clients consider specialty credentials to be proof of knowledge and skill. The Personal Financial Specialist Credential (PFS) was created in 1987 for the sole purpose of distinguishing the skills and reputation of CPAs in the broader financial planning market; to set them apart from the "alphabet soup" of other financial planning.

Ethics

This designation can only be acquired by CPAs who are AICPA members (binding them to the Code of Professional Conduct).

Knowledge and Experience

A PFS Candidate must earn a minimum of 3,000 hours of financial planning business experience in addition to continuing education within the five year period preceding the date of the PFS application and a comprehensive and rigorous personal financial planning exam. There are nine areas that make up the PFS Body of Knowledge: Personal Financial Planning process, Income taxes, Insurance, Investments, Retirement, Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, Charitable Planning, and Special Needs.

Recognition

When compared to other financial planning credentials, the PFS is not the most widely known designation among consumers. Recognition of the PFS is increasing, however, as PFS is repeatedly being mentioned and recommended by personal finance reporters in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and others. Even without the highest brand recognition, PFS signifies a higher level of skill and knowledge and carries greater prestige to many. Only CPAs can become PFS Credential Holders.

 

Why Our CFS Designation Matters

Granted by the Institute of Business & Finance, the CFS® designation is a highly respected professional achievement for those who advise individual clients on their investments.

Knowledge and Experience

Every CFS® advisor has at least 2,000 hours of experience completed in the financial services industry prior to completing the CFS® course. CFS® candidates must complete a comprehensive advanced program of approximately 135 hours designed to educate the advisor on every aspect of modern portfolio theory (MPT), mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, UITs, EANs, CEFs, asset rebalancing and taxation. Three examinations must be passed in order to graduate.  Every CFS® advisor is required to regularly complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

Recognition

The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF), a non-profit organization that has been educating the financial services industry for 24 years, offers the CFS designation. IBF has no bias; it is not affiliated or influenced by any brokerage firm, insurance company, or product group. CFS materials are written by advisors for advisors with the individual investor in mind.

Learn more at http://icfs.com/consumers/why_advisor

 

Why Our BCE Designation Matters

Granted by the Institute of Business & Finance, the Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE) designation demonstrates the advisor's expertise and commitment to helping individuals plan for the passing of a loved one and their effective transfer of wealth – chiefly how to maximize passing one's wealth on to a spouse and future generations while mitigating estate taxes.

Knowledge and Experience

This accredited program is a 60-hour self-study program.  Designees must pass three ninety minute examinations within a one year period.  Designees must complete 15 hours of continuing education, reported once every year.

Recognition

The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF), a non-profit organization that has been educating the financial services industry for 24 years, offers the CFS designation. IBF has no bias; it is not affiliated or influenced by any brokerage firm, insurance company, or product group. CFS materials are written by advisors for advisors with the individual investor in mind.

Learn more at http://icfs.com/consumers/about