Are Professional Designations Important? Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) Professional designations demonstrate dedication to the craft. It is like having a second full time job for 30-months demanding dozens of hours in class and hundreds of hours of devoted study and review. Some candidates painstakingly complete the educational components but are never able to pass the CFP® certification exam. Earning the CFP® certification, requires completion of university-level coursework from a CFP Board Registered Program, Southern Methodist University (SMU) in my case. The program includes intense study ointment these areas of financial planning: Professional Conduct and Regulation, General Principles of Financial Planning, Risk Management and Insurance Planning, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Retirement Savings and Income Planning, Estate Planning, Psychology of Financial Planning, Financial Plan Development. Mastery of the subject matter is needed to pass a course exam and must be retained to successfully pass the final certification exam. CFP® vs financial planner Ethical Standards Plan For a Bright Horizon CFP® Certificate Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled CFP Board's rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP®professional. CFP® Professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure recommendations are in your best interest. A CFP® must acquire several years of financial planning experience before beginning certification. Financial planning is a dynamic process. Your financial goals may evolve over the years due to shifts in your life circumstances. You should feel confident knowing that your CFP® professional, is committed to providing the highest standard of financial planning. Between 50-57% of applicants that sit for the comprehensive 2-day exam achieve a passing score. The CFP® exam is widely believed to be among the most difficult exams required for a career designation. Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ (AIF®) The purpose of the AIF® Designation is to assure that those responsible for managing or advising on investor assets have a fundamental understanding of the principles of fiduciary duty, the standards of conduct for acting as a fiduciary, and a process for carrying out fiduciary responsibility. I believe being designated as a fiduciary significantly raises the stakes due to higher professional mandates.Fi360 is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the AIF® Designation, making the designation part of an elite group of accredited designations recognized by FINRA. Private wealth management clients have begun to place higher value on those with the dedication to achieve and maintain professional designations.