Financial and Investment Advisor Certifications That Are Widely Recognized

The following certifications are widely recognized within the financial services advisory industry:

* Accredited Estate Planner (AEP)

* Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

* Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

* Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)

* Insurance Agents

> Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

> Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

* Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)

This short list of certifications was constructed using several sources. First, many other certifications require these certifications as a prerequisite. Second, when registering as an adviser with certain states, some of these certifications can substitute for passing various tests administered by the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (NASAA) Third, Form ADV, which is used by the SEC and most states to register advisors, explicitly lists many of these particular designations. Finally, these designations are mentioned more frequently in the financial planning literature and on financial and investment websites.

Accredited Estate Planner (AEP)

The AEP is conferred by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC). To obtain the AEP an applicant must:

* hold an attorney’s license, CPA, CLU, ChFC, CFP, or CTFA

* be professionally engaged in “estate planning activities,”

* have at least five years of directly relevant experience (or 15 years to exempt the educational requirements)

* take certain required courses from the The American College or take two “challenge exams”

> (See the ChFC and CLU listings below for more information on The American College.)

* have membership in an NAEPC council,

* submit references, and

* commit to the NAEPC code of ethics.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

The CFP is conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFPBS). To obtain the CFP designation, a candidate must have either five years of personal financial planning work experience or three years and a bachelors degree. He must pass a comprehensive examination. To take this examination, he must either complete a course of study offered by various educational organizations, or he must already hold a CPA, ChFC, CLU, or CFA designation or a Ph.D. in business or economics, Doctor of Business Administration, or an Attorney’s license. The CFPBS has an on-line consumer complaint and practitioner disciplinary process, and it supports on-line professional status checking and referrals.

According to the CFPBS, it is “a nonprofit regulatory organization (that) fosters professional standards in personal financial planning so that the public values, has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) and federally registered CFP (with flame logo), which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 43,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.” The CFPBS also “establishes and enforces education, examination, experience and ethics requirements for CFP® certificants.” (Footnote 1)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

“CFA Institute is composed of more than 70,000 individual voting members and 131 nonvoting member societies that believe in setting a higher standard for the investment profession. Individual members either hold the CFA designation or are active in the investment business and agree to abide by the CFA Institute ethical requirements.”

Formerly the Association for Investment Management and Research (AIMR), the CFA Institute confers the CFA designation. Successful candidates must pass three successive examinations requiring approximately 250 hours of preparation for each examination. A candidate must also have either four years of work experience or an undergraduate degree and three years of work experience.

The CFA Institute manages a professional conduct process including an investor complaint process and investors can enquire about the status of an advisor’s CFA credentials.

Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)

The CIC designation is conferred by the Investment Counsel Association of America, Inc. (ICAA). The ICAA “is a national not-for-profit association whose membership consists exclusively of federally registered investment adviser firms.” (Footnote 2) Candidates must have worked for an ICAA member firm and must hold the CFA designation.

Insurance Agents

+ Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

+ Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

The ChFC and CLU designations are conferred by The American College. To obtain either designation a candidate must complete eight courses and have three years of full-time personal finance or insurance experience. If a person has completed the CLU designation, then he could also obtain the ChFC designation by completing three additional courses. There is no complaint or disciplinary process for either designation.

The American College states that “founded in 1927 as The American College of Life Underwriters, the College has in recent decades broadened its instructional offerings to reflect the growing convergence of insurance and other financial services professions. A variety of designation, certificate, graduate-degree, and continuing education programs now complement its long-respected CLU designation.” (Footnote 3)

Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)

The PFS designation is conferred by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA established a PFS credential “for CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning.” To hold the PFS designation a person must:

* be an AICPA member

* hold a CPA that is issued by a state and is unrevoked

* earn points based upon experience and examination

* submit references and other proof of experience doing personal financial planning work.


1) Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFPBS) website 2) Investment Counsel Association of America, Inc. (ICAA) website 3) The American College website

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Everything You Need to Know About TIC – Reserves, Financials and Proforma

The TIC investment is one of great popularity, one that offers many advantages but which also holds many potential risks. In this investment, multiple qualified property owners come together in order to purchase a property or piece of real estate. Each of the co-owners involved here holds responsibility and is willing to assume the inherent risks and expenses that are associated with real estate investments in general.

TIC: Reserves, Financials, and Proforma

When it comes to TICs it is very important that any potential investor be aware of the TIC: reserves, financials, and proforma. One of the most important issues on TIC: reserves, financials, and proforma, is one that involves the rights of the tenants involved.

Each of the tenants in common property owner has all of the same rights as a single owner, and they share the same share of risk as well as net income or losses and tax benefits.


There are a few rules related to TIC: reserves, financials and proforma, three in particular which are: the Three-Commercial Property Rule, the Two Hundred Percent Rule, and the Ninety-Five Percent Exception.

The first, the Three-Commercial Property Rule allows the exchanger to identify up to a total of 3 potential replacement commercial properties within the acquisition period. The Two Hundred Percent Rule holds that if there are three or more commercial properties that are identified as replacement commercial properties then their aggregate market value cannot exceed that of 200% of the value of the commercial property sold.

Finally with the Ninety-Five Percent Exception, this is only used in the event that the first two rules do not apply, and in this situation the aggregate market value of all properties acquired in the exchange must comprise of at least 95% of the closing value of the commercial property relinquished.

There is also other important information regarding TIC: reserves, financials, and proforma that any potential investor should be aware of, and if you are considering this the best idea is for you to talk to your tax consultant. They will assess your current situation and help you to decide whether or not this is going to be a smart move for you to make.

You can also do a bit of research on your own, by using the Internet and reading up on TICs and similar investments. The more educated you are the better off you are going to be, and the more intelligent and rewarding financial decisions you are going to be able to make.

IVA and Bankruptcy Loan and Information!

Have you been finding it very difficult to deal with multiple debts and are considering going for bankruptcy? Before choosing this option, it is advisable you gather all the information about bankruptcy. Bankruptcy has serious implications. It has long term effects. Hence seeking prior information can help one deal with the situation well.

One can find IVA and bankruptcy loan and information from scores of experts. There are many financial experts offering this advice online too. These experts will help you figure out if you really need an IVA, or should consider going bankrupt.

If you are experiencing creditor pressure or fighting bankruptcy fears, you might need IVA.

What is an IVA?

IVA stands for Individual Voluntary Agreement. An IVA is a government backed, legally approved solution to your debt problems. Introduced as a part of the Insolvency Act of 1986, IVA is an agreement with your creditors which helps reduce your monthly payments, freeze interest rates and write off your debts in time (generally less than five years).

There are numerous advantages of an IVA:

o It will help you reduce monthly payments

o Freeze interest rates

o Avoid bankruptcy and legal action

o Wipes off debts to a large extent

A good IVA should:

o Must contain an honest declaration of your assets and estimation of future earnings

o Must yield high return to creditors

Online IVA & bankruptcy help can save a person from the unnecessary hassle of running around. A person can easily get IVA help online and make a quick decision. Online bankruptcy advice can also provide an insight into the serious implications f bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is ordered by a court and means that you are legally freed from your debts. However, the borrower will have to sell most of the possessions, including house and car, to help pay off as many debts as possible. Bankruptcy has a social stigma attached to it. You may be prevented from taking certain jobs as a result.

The greatest disadvantage of bankruptcy is that a borrower’s credit score is at stake. It may take many years to reestablish the credit score. Being declared bankrupt has long lasting consequences which can affect your life for many years. Hence, one should opt for this only if all other means have failed.

You may wonder if IVA’s make a better option?

An IVA is arranged by an Insolvency Practitioner who will negotiate with your creditors to allow you to pay off as much of your debt as possible, within a set time frame, which is normally five years. Any debt remaining after that time is then written off by the creditors.
Being relatively new, IVA’s don’t carry the social stigma of bankruptcy and do not entail handing over your possessions to the control of an official receiver if you are declared bankrupt.