Important Information About the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) Designation: The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification represents proven expertise within the financial planning profession. Those with the CFP® designation have demonstrated competency in all areas of finance related to financial planning. Candidates for the CFP® designation must pass a certification exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. that focuses on more than 100 topics of concern to the financial planning field, such as retirement, estate and investment planning. In addition to passing the CFP® certification exam, candidates must also complete qualifying work experience (three years of full-time or equivalent part-time experience in the financial planning field) and agree to adhere to the CFP Board's code of ethics and professional responsibility and financial planning standards. In addition, a CFP® must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Important Information About the Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠ (AAMS®) Designation: The Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠ or AAMS® provides the advisor with a logical progression of topics, enabling them to think in terms of clients’ total financial situations, not just their investments. At the conclusion of the studies, the candidate’s ability to identify opportunities and employ strategies is enhanced not only with regard to investments, but also related to planning for insurance, tax, retirement, and estate issues. There is no prerequisite. The candidate must complete a self-study course consisting of 12 modules, requiring 100-120 hours. The candidate must also pass a final exam (online, closed-book, proctored). The candidate is required to complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years.
1The 2019 Top 50 Independent Advisory Firm Ranking issued by Barron’s is qualitative and quantitative, including assets managed, the size and experience of teams, and the regulatory records of the advisors and firms. Firms elect to participate but do not pay to be included in the ranking. Investor experience and returns are not considered. The 2018 ranking refers to Edelman Financial Services, LLC, which combined its advisory business in its entirety with Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA) in November 2018. For the same survey, FEA received a precombination ranking of 12th.
2InvestmentNews ranking and status for 2019. For independence methodology and ranking, see InvestmentNews Center.
3The Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers is an independent listing produced annually by the Financial Times (June 2019). The FT 300 is based on data gathered from RIA firms, regulatory disclosures and the FT’s research. The listing reflected each practice’s performance in six primary areas: assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, years in existence, credentials and online accessibility. This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of the practice’s future performance. Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to the Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 300.
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