AAMS professionals are uniquely qualified to identify opportunities in investments as well as insurance, tax, retirement, and estate planning, and make recommendations based on all aspects of a client’s total financial picture. Requirements include passing a final exam and signing a code of ethics commitment and declaration.
Individuals who hold the ADPA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing wealth transfers, federal taxation, retirement planning, and planning for financial and medical end-of-life needs for domestic partners. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.
The AIF® designation is awarded to professionals who have demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of fiduciary practices. AIF® designees must complete training and annual continuing professional education requirements and attest to a code of ethics.
Individuals who hold the AWMA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing wealth strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax reduction alternatives, and asset protection alternatives. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.
CASL® is a rigorous credential in the senior and retirement planning space, with curriculum that covers wealth accumulation, income distribution, and estate planning strategies for those preparing for or in retirement. Advisors taking this program commit between 250 and 300 hours of study and take about 18 months to complete the designation.
CEBS is the oldest and most respected professional designation in the employee benefits and compensation field. Requirements include completion of eight courses.
The CFA designation signifies a professional with an extensive economic and investing background and the ability to perform high-level analyses. CFAs often apply their rigorous training to roles as security analysts, portfolio managers, or investment advisors. Requirements include passing tests in economics, accounting, security analysis, and money management, administered by the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of the Association for Investment Management and Research; acquiring at least three years of investment-related experience; and meeting certain standards of professional conduct.
The CFP® professional designation is awarded to individuals who have met the requirements for education, examination, and experience established by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP® Board). To attain the right to use the certification marks "CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional" and "CFP® professional," individuals must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:
Education: Complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject area designated by the CFP® Board.
Examination: Pass the comprehensive CFP® certification examination.
Experience: Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning related experience; and
Ethics: Agree to be bound by the CFP® Board's Standards of Professional Conduct
In addition, in order to maintain certification, individuals must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics.
The ChFC financial planning designation for the insurance industry is awarded by the American College to financial planners and others in the financial services industry with in-depth knowledge of the skills needed to perform comprehensive financial planning for their clients. ChFC designees must meet experience requirements; pass exams on tax, insurance, finance, and investing; and have at least three years of experience in the financial industry.
The CLU designation is granted by the American College to individuals who have completed advanced courses and exams in several topics including insurance, investments, taxation, employee benefits, estate planning, accounting, management, and economics.
The CPA designation is a license awarded to individuals in the United States who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and have met additional education and experience requirements. CPAs are not only required to pass a professional exam, but they must also meet continuing professional education (CPE) requirements on an annual basis to maintain their license. CPAs are certified to provide a broad range of financial advisory services for their clients including tax compliance and advisory, as well as estate and financial planning.
The CRC designation is awarded to retirement professionals who complete a comprehensive program consisting of retirement planning, design, management and operations, investment management, compliance, and ethics. CRC candidates must also pass four examinations, have a minimum of two years' professional experience, and provide two professional references.
As part of the 1974 Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the EA designation was created to certify that the funding of employer-sponsored retirement plans is adequate to protect the benefits of participating employees. An EA is licensed by the Joint Board of the Department of Treasury and the Department of Labor to perform a variety of actuarial tasks that are required for pension plans. In order to become licensed, an actuary must pass a series of rigorous exams, complete several years of responsible experience in the pension actuarial field, and be recommended for the designation by other enrolled actuaries in good standing.
The FSA is the Society of Actuaries' highest designation, awarded to professionals who are recognized as experts in the modeling and management of financial risk. To attain the FSA designation, a professional must choose a specialty track (Finance/ERM, Investment, Individual Life & Annuities, Retirement Benefits, or Group & Health), complete e-learning courses and modules and other training, and pass a series of examinations.
The JD degree is granted by law schools to those who complete a three-year course of study of the law. The doctor designation is reflective of the fact that this type and length of postgraduate academic work is the equivalent of a doctoral degree.
The QKA credential is awarded by the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) to retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans. QKA designees may have experience and training in a variety of financial disciplines, must have a minimum of two years' experience in retirement plan-related matters, and must complete an examination series.
The RHU designation signifies that an individual working in the traditional health insurance marketplace or in the managed care industry has successfully completed a rigorous three-course program and is qualified to advise clients on their health insurance needs. RHU designees must also meet specified experience requirements, maintain ethical standards, and agree to comply with both The American College's Code of Ethics and Procedures and applicable continuing education requirements.
A professional designation for experienced financial professionals who wish to become experts in retirement income planning. A Retirement Income Certified Professional helps retirees and near-retirees develop a plan for managing and using the assets they have accumulated for retirement in order to live within a realistic budget and not run out of money prematurely.