OUR SERVICES FINANCIAL PLANNING Retirement Plans 401k Planning 403b Planning 457 Planning College Plans Estate Plans Money Management Deferred Compensation Plans Cash Balance Plans Profit Sharing Plans INVESTMENT ADVISORY Bonds Common Stock Brokerage Accounts Mutual Funds ETFs 529 Plans Government Securities IRA Plans Life Insurance Annuities CONNECT WITH US Why Do Credentials Matter in Financial Planning?Financial designations, like CFP® and CFA, are not required in order to claim a title of financial planner or adviser. A lack of designation indicates no requirements in experience, past or continuing education, certification exam, ethics, or enforcement of a code of conduct. On the other hand, not all designations are alike in the extent of their requirements. In choosing a financial adviser, it is crucial to understand his or her qualifications and certifications. To learn more about the financial designations you might find in the financial services industry, FINRA offers an online research tool here.Michael Dickerson, CFP®The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® designation is a globally recognized and respected credential, known for its focus on comprehensive planning to address all major financial considerations. The CFP Board oversees all education and certification requirements, and it maintains high standards with all of its certified professionals. See what it takes to be a CFP® here.Krisnakant Patel, CFAWhen it comes to investment management, the CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYST® designation is most prestigious. The CFA Institute's coursework is highly disciplined, and their tri-level certification exam is regarded as one of the most difficult professional exams to pass. A charterholder's expertise in analysis—from investment performance to historical and current market trends—brings valuable insight to comprehensive financial planning. Find investor resources from the CFA Institute here. Have a Question? Name Email Address Phone Question Thank you! Oops!