Are some better than others?
Todd L. Jones, CFP
Vice President, Financial Advisor
CapTrust Financial Advisors
8816 Six Forks Road, Suite 301
CapFinancial Partners, LLC. Member NASD/SIPC
A fountain of knowledge where students gather to drink
A strenuous effort to learn about things that bored
you when you were still young enough to profit from them.
One who knows more and more about less and less.
Knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your
Why Pursue Industry Designations?
The Alphabet Soup Of Financial Certifications
ACCREDITED ASSET MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST
ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY
ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY AUDITOR
ACCREDITED RETIRMENT PLAN CONSULTANT
ACREDITED RETIRMENT PLAN SPECIALIST
ACCREDITED WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISOR
BOARD CERTIFIED IN ASSET ALLOCATION
BOARD CERTIFIED IN SECURITIES
CHARTERED ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT ANALYST
CHARTERED ADVISOR IN PHILANTHROPY
CERTIFIED ANNUITY SPECIALIST
CHARTERED ADVISOR FOR SENIOR LIVING
CERTIFIED EMPLOYEE BENEFITS SPECIALIST
CHARTERED ESTATE PLANNING PRACTITIONER
CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYST
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
CERTIFIED FUND SPECIALIST
CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT
CERTIFIED HEDGE FUND SPECIALIST
CHARTERED INVESTMENT COUNSELOR
CERTIFIED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ANALYST
CHARTERED LIFE UNDERWRITER
CERTIFIED MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTMENT
CHARTERED MARKET TECHNICIAN
CHARTERED MUTUAL FUND COUNSELOR
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNT
CERTIFIED PENSION CONSULTANT
CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR
CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLAN SPECIALIST
CERTIFIED SENIOR CONSULTANT
CERTIFIED WEALTH STRATEGIST
FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PENSION ACTUARIES
FINANCIAL SERVICES SPECIALIST
LIFE UNDERWRITER TRAINING COUNCEL FELLOW
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN FINANCIAL SERVICE
PERSONAL FINANCIAL SPECIALIST
PLANSPONSOR RETIREMENT PROFESSIONAL
QUALIFIED 401(k) ADMINISTRATOR
QUALIFIED PENSION ADMINISTRATOR
QUALIFIED PENSION CONSULTANT
REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISOR
REGISTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT
REGISTERED HEALTH UNDERWRITER
Can the Public tell the Difference?
have passed an exam given by the NASD. This is not a
government organization. The primary exam (series 7) tests basic
knowledge about stocks, mutual funds, bonds, financial markets and
regulations. It does not prepare an individual to actually handle finances or
provide recommendations and tests only their technical understanding of
the areas mentioned.
Registered Investment Advisors
are licensed either by their State or by
the SEC. Rather than charging commissions, these advisors charge fees
for their time or for money management services. In most cases, they are
still required to pass the series 7 exam and file detailed information about
their background (form ADV).
Governance: Can the Public Tell the Difference?
The Importance of a Fiduciary Standard of Care
The knowledge and
application of a
fiduciary standard of
care by an
consultant can assist
plan sponsors with
participants in the
Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF):
Procedural & Fiduciary Expertise &
Accredited Retirement Plan Specialist (ARPS):
Plan Design & Technical Administration Expertise
Certified Financial Planner (CFP):
Comprehensive Financial Knowledge & Credibility
Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA):
Investment Manager Analysis
Certified Financial Analyst (CFA):
Securities Analysis/Valuation & Credibility
PlanSponsor Retirement Professional (PRP):
Industry Trends , Technical Expertise, &
Choose Designations That Help You
The Center for Fiduciary Studies' Accredited Investment Fiduciary Course
The Center for Fiduciary Studies was established as the first full
and research facility focused exclusively on investment fiduciary responsibility
and portfolio management. The Center provides training to help investment
fiduciaries and professionals understand the intersection between their
responsibilities and the investment process. The Center supports the AIF
day course to certify fiduciaries, accountants, attorneys, and senior
consultants to perform fiduciary responsibility/liability audits evaluating the 27
practices cited by regulatory mandate that constitute a prudent investment
process. This positions the financial advisor to speak authoritatively on
comprehensive, expert advice, citing the appropriate regulatory authority behind
prudent investment decisions.
Certified Financial Planners Standards Board's CFP Course
month program entailing 5
7 college courses and a 10
examination providing best in class training for advising a wide variety of
clients on several matters within the field of financial planning.
The CFP Designation is perhaps the best known designation by the general
public. It provides proof of mastery in topics including Investments, Income
Taxation, Retirement Planning, Insurance, and Estate Planning.
There are over 45,000 active Certified Financial Planner practitioners. The
CFP code of ethics heralds the principles of Integrity, Objectivity,
Competence, Fairness, Confidentiality, Professionalism, and Diligence.
SPARK Training Courses
SPARK was founded in 1989 as an inter
industry trade association of
investment managers and service providers, particularly in the
defined contribution plan market.
It is one of the first organizations to bring together members of the
five major provider groups
banks, insurance companies, mutual
fund managers, third party administrators and benefit consultants.
Training is In
Class. Focus is on detailed aspects of plan design and
PlanSponosr Institute Designation
Training is provided in
class in New York.
A PRP designee gains access to:
A designee listing on PLANSPONSOR.com and in PLANSPONSOR magazine
along with the name of the sponsoring organization, if applicable;
Free access to PLANSPONSOR's "Plugged In" series of Web
presentations on current topics and regulatory developments;
Free subscriptions to PLANSPONSOR's NewsDash and AdvisorDash online
Free PLANSPONSOR magazine subscription for designee and selected plan
clients of the designee;
Automatic nomination for PLANSPONSOR's annual Retirement Plan Advisor
of the Year award; and
Free access to semiannual Web
based seminars on best practices for
The Investment Management Consultant's Association's CIMA Course
The Certified investment Management Analyst (CIMA) program focuses on
asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and
performance measurement. The program begins with a self
study Level 1
program with an exam. The Level 2 material and exam can be completed at
a one week class held at a leading business school or completed in the newly
week course at Wharton School of Business at the University of
Pennsylvania, which provides basic knowledge of the language, tools and
processes of investment management consulting with emphasis on
investment manager evaluation and portfolio construction.
CFA Institute’s Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Course
study course that requires one to pass three difficult
levels of examinations given in June of each year. (CFA Level I is now
offered in December as well.)
Each CFA examination is six hours. The CFA is the definitive certification
for financial analysis and for those who are interested in finance with
based application in investment management, research and advisory
There are 39,000 CFAs and 74,000 candidates enrolled in the CFA
are available to four groups of professionals: associated
professionals, administrators, consultants and actuaries.
The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is offered for retirement
plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans.
The Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) credential was created by
ASPPA to recognize professionals who are qualified to perform the
technical and administrative functions of qualified plan administration.
The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is conferred by ASPPA
to benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial ,
administration, insurance, and financial planning.
QKA, QPA, CPC
The CEBS Program
The CEBS Program offers the opportunity to earn designations in
three distinct areas of specialization. The Group Benefits Associate
(GBA), Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) and the Compensation
Management Specialist (CMS) form the core of the CEBS
The CEBS designation, which now carries an eight
requirement. In addition, the CEBS program accepts for exam
credit, work completed in a select number of other approved
Provides instant credibility among Human Resources personnel,
and potential access to centers of influence within the field of HR.
The Chartered Financial Consultant, Registered Employee
Benefits Consultant, and Chartered Life Underwriter programs
focus on comprehensive financial planning, employee benefits
and insurance strategies.
The ChFC designation requires eight courses. Students also must
meet specified experience requirements and agree to comply with
both The American College's Code of Ethics and applicable
continuing education requirements.
Study or In
Class through The American College in Bryn
Mawr, Pennsylvania. Exams are offered at ProMetric Exam
Centers across the country.
The CFS program is one of the first Mutual Fund Certifications in the
country. It is a 60
study program offered by the Institute of
Business and Finance. The final exam is given at Prometric Centers
which are located throughout the country. The exam is administered
by the NASD. Students must also complete an open
study. The CFS program is fully accredited and counts as four units
toward the MSFS graduate degree.
Studies, research reports, industry trends, new ideas and products,
sales presentations, and marketing tips are just some of the ongoing
benefits the CFS can access.
The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association® was
founded in 2002 and is the sponsoring body for the CAIA
designation. The designation certifies one’s mastery of the
concepts, tools and practices essential for understanding alternative
investments and promotes adherence to high standards of
The CAIA curriculum is designed to provide finance professionals
with a broad base of knowledge in traditional and modern alternative
investment vehicles, including real estate, private equity and
commodities, as well as hedge funds and managed futures.
The CAIA program has two levels. Level I focuses on the
fundamentals of both the traditional and alternative investment
markets, while Level II concentrates on advanced topics in
alternatives. Both incorporate issues of ethics and professional
(What’s In It For Me?)
Credentials count, but with several designations and a vast amount of
technical knowledge, an inexperienced consultant can easily lose sight
of the most important part of their job. In order to utilize your expertise
to help a client, you must first get hired & stay hired.
The more you know, the less you should have to say.
Always focus on your client & listen to their needs
Be able to show clients “what’s in it” for them.
The Favorite Designation
of Prospects & Clients
While the newest group of brokers were busily calling
potential customers to drum up business, the president of
the firm stopped to eavesdrop on one of them. He
listened as the young man talked eight consecutive
contacts into moving their stock portfolios to him.
The boss approached the young man and said, "I've been
listening in, and I must say I'm impressed with your ability.
Where did you learn so much about talking to investors?"
"Yale, sir," the young man answered.
Impressed, the boss said, "Oh, that's fine, just fine.
And what's your name?"
"Yackson," he replied.