What is a CFP® and CFA® certified professional?

When choosing the best financial advisor for you, it’s important to understand what each certification means. 

CFP® – Certified Financial Planner™

CFP® stands for Certified Financial Planner™. CFP® certificants are certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). CFP® certification is one of the most respected financial planning credentials available.


How does a CFP® qualify?

To become a CFP® certificant, a planner must complete an extensive education program and pass a comprehensive exam. The topics cover financial planning, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and risk management. Candidates must have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in finance (our advisors exceed this requirement by completing a Master’s degree or CFP® Board-Registered program).

CFP® certificants are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and commit to continuing education credits every year (30 hours/year on average).


Is a CFP® a fiduciary?

All CFP® certificants are fiduciaries, which means they must always act in their clients’ best interests. CFP® certificants are held to a higher standard than many other financial professionals because of their legal fiduciary duty.


What services do CFP® certificants offer?

CFP® certificants provide comprehensive financial planning services. They can help you plan for retirement, invest wisely, and reduce your taxes. As said above, CFP® certificants are also fiduciaries, which means they are legally required to adhere to high standards of ethical conduct to put their clients’ interests before their own.


How can a CFP® certificant help me?

Working with a CFP® certificants gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your finances are in good hands. The CFP® certification means your professional has a deep understanding of financial planning and how to create holistic plans that address all aspects of financial health.

CFA® – Chartered Financial Analyst

CFA® is an abbreviation for Chartered Financial Analyst, which is an esteemed global qualification in finance and investment conferred by the CFA Institute (previously known as AIMR).


    What is the process for obtaining the CFA Charter?

    To receive the CFA® charter, an individual must complete the CFA® Program and meet the required work experience criteria. The CFA Program is a three-part examination that assesses fundamental knowledge of investment tools, portfolio management, asset valuation, and wealth planning.

    Becoming a CFA® charterholder is a rigorous and selective process, with less than one in five candidates achieving the designation. The certification also requires four years of professional experience, in addition to successfully completing the CFA® Program exam and requires an average of 1,000+ hours of study.


    Does holding the CFA® title mean a person is a fiduciary?

    As per Standard III.A. of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, CFA charterholders and candidates must act in their clients’ best interests and prioritize them over their employer’s or their own interests. Therefore, a CFA® holder can be considered a fiduciary.


    How can obtaining the CFA® designation benefit someone?

    The CFA® designation is regarded as the pinnacle of professional growth in investment management, and it is recognized and valued by employers worldwide. This certification is beneficial for professionals working in various fields of the global finance industry, including portfolio management, analysis, private wealth management, and consulting.

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