The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation requires 48 months of professional work experience, adherence to the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, and successful completion of three exam levels. The CFA designation is recognized as the gold standard of professional credentials within the global investment community by employers, investment professionals and investors.
The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) credential is a professional standard of choice, in part, due to the rigorous curriculum of study and real-world analytical skills required. In addition to ethical and professional standards of practice, Charterholders are examined on quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, asset classes, corporate finance, portfolio management and wealth planning. CFA Charterholders are held in high regard for their global investment perspective as well as their professional commitment to ethical behavior and standards of practice.
The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner designation is earned by meeting the education, examination, experience and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards.
A financial planner has earned the right to use the CFP® mark, when he or she has completed the following requirements:
Bachelor’s degree or attained certain professional designations or completed approved coursework
Passed a rigorous two-day, 10-hour CFP Certification Examination that covers the financial planning process and includes such topics as tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
Proven experience in the financial planning process.
Background check by the CFP Board and compliance with the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards
Once certified, CFP® practitioners must fulfill a continuing education requirement to stay up-to-date on planning strategies and financial trends.
The term “financial planner” is used by many financial professionals; therefore, the CFP® professional
designation is an important distinction between a planner who has earned the credential and one who has not.
Certified Private Wealth Advisor®
The Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification program is an advanced credential created specifically for wealth managers who work with high-net-worth clients, focusing on life-cycle of wealth: accumulation, preservation, and distribution. The 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 private wealth 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; have an acceptable regulatory history as evidenced by FINRA Form U-4 or other regulatory requirements; and have five years of professional client-centered experience in financial services or a related industry. CPWA® designees have completed a rigorous educational process that includes self-study requirements, an inclass education component, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination. CPWA® designees are required to adhere to IMCA’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 Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA).