Alphabet Soup

There is an alphabet soup of designations that financial professionals may obtain. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. Many people believe that all financial planners are certified, but this isn’t true.

What is a CFP®? 
Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can use the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation.

CFP® Certification Requirements:
 – CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board.

Examination – CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive, two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management, and insurance.

Experience – CFP® professionals must have a minimum of three years of experience in the financial planning process prior to earn the right to use the CFP® designation. As a result, CFP® practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial planning knowledge.

Ethics – As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients, and employers. The CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each candidate for CFP® certification must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to his or her professional or business conduct.

What Is a CLU?
The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation is the professional credential for persons involved in the protection, accumulation, preservation, and distribution of the economic values of human life. The CLU program provides insights into the life insurance business, its importance to the economy, its operation and distribution systems, and its resurging importance for safe and secure investments. Candidates must meet prescribed ethical, experiential, and educational mandates to earn the designation.

What does CLTC stand for? 
CLTC stands for Certified in Long-Term Care, a designation granted by the Corporation For Long-Term Care Certification. CLTC graduates have completed a rigorous multidisciplinary course that focuses on the profession of long-term care. The program is recognized by state regulators, through the granting of continuing education credits, as having provided essential information necessary to the appropriate sale of long-term care insurance.