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The top 3 designations for Financial Advisers


There are more than 100 professional designations in the financial planning industry, but only a few of them truly indicate a professional’s ability to do real broadbased financial planning. All of those fancy letters after a planner’s name may be significant, or they may just be a way of making the advisor sound more competent than he or she really is.

NAPFA suggests looking for financial advisors who have one or more of the following:

• Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)

• Personal Financial Specialist (CPA/PFS) – granted to CPAs who meet necessary requirements

• Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – granted to CFAs who pass 3 rigorous exams over several years.


NAPFA accepts both the CFP and CPA/PFS credentials as meeting its requirement for a broad based education in financial planning.

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