You've probably seen the myriad of letters following financial professionals' names and wondered what they all mean and if they are important. I wanted to take some time and break down my designations for you, what they mean, and why I chose to pursue them.
Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF)
The first designation is the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) which I’ve held since 1998. It is issued by The American College and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) jointly confer the LUTCF designation. I chose this designation to learn more about the proper use of life insurance products to aid my clients.
Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®)
The next designation is Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®), which I’ve held since 2001. This designation is issued by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC). To receive this designation, the candidate must meet all the following requirements:
- Undergraduate or graduate degree (I have both a BS from Jacksonville University ‘92 and an MBA from the University of North Florida ‘94).
The licensing requirements include the following:
- If operating on a commission basis, must meet licensing requirements for securities and life and health insurance; if operating strictly as fee-only and not licensed, then must be registered as an investment adviser. I can operate as either or both as my client’s needs dictate, not one or the other, thus further benefiting my clients.
Financial Planning Practitioner
I now have four years of full-time experience as a financial planning practitioner. With this experience comes the Continuing Education Requirements of forty hours per year keeping me up-to-date on industry knowledge in this area.
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®)
My most recent designation is the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), which I obtained in 2022 from The American College of Financial Services. A ChFC believes that advanced financial planning is for every client and every need: that’s the credo of the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation. The ChFC® program covers a must-have list of requirements for financial advisors, from knowledge of tax and retirement planning to special needs advising, wealth management, insurance, and more. This designation empowers me for greater success in the financial services industry with a wide variety of specialized knowledge, including:
- The basics of financial planning and risk management
- Income tax strategies for individuals, small businesses, corporations, and more
- Retirement planning, investing, and estate planning strategies for success
- Special needs planning, gift planning and inheritance, insurance, and more
Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®)
The Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®) credential — developed by some of the nation’s leading advisors and retirement plan experts — demonstrates knowledge, expertise, and commitment to working with retirement plans.
Plan advisors who earn their CPFA® demonstrate the expertise required to act as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities. This designation is earned through the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA).
Behavior Impacts Financial Decisions
To better understand how behavior impacts financial decisions, I have been working within a program on human behavioral science, your Financial DNA, as it relates to how people make their personal financial decisions, so I can better understand how each unique individual needs the analysis presented to them in their terms, not mine. I’ve been using this work since 2012, so well over a decade of experience with it. Many hours of coursework, workshops, training, and use. There is no industry-recognized “degree” in this, but we feel it’s important to present the history of the topic.
Looking Ahead: Always Learning
I also have completed all of the coursework for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation, and I look forward to sitting for the comprehensive Board Final Exam in the near future. Though many consider it “the gold standard” in the financial planning industry, perhaps with the ChFC being a close competitor in the field, it is important to note as I’ve seen countless CFPs claim this makes them a qualified portfolio manager. FACT- there is ONLY ONE “investments” course in the entire program. ONE.
As you can see, education, continued growth, and personal betterment to best serve my client is always on the top of my mind. It all boils down to being able to serve you in the best way possible. I am here to help--make an appointment today.