Those letters behind an investment professional's name are financial designations earned through education and often long and complex examinations. You can see why investment professionals display their designations proudly.
Decoding the designations
There are more than 50 professional designations that an investment professional can earn. While they aren't a guarantee of investing skill, they're a mark of an educated professional.
Here are some of the most common:
- CFP, Certified Financial Planner − Someone trained in insurance, investments, taxes, retirement planning, estate planning and the financial planning process
- CFA, Chartered Financial Analyst − Someone who is proficient in portfolio management and investment analysis
- ChFC, Chartered Financial Consultant − Someone trained to effectively apply a comprehensive financial planning process to their clients’ needs
- CIMA, Certified Investment Management Analyst − Someone with training to select investments, managing risk and measuring portfolio return
- CPA, Certified Professional Accountant − An accountant who has met further education, statutory and licensing requirements
- CLU, Charted Life Underwriter − Someone knowledgeable about the life insurance needs of individuals, business owners and professionals, including income replacement, estate planning and wealth transfer