Broker Check

WHY CHOOSE A Certified Financial Planner® OR

Certified Wealth Strategist®?


What does it matter? 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 327,600 Financial Advisors in 2022. 

Less than one third of them (about 30%) are Certified Financial Planners.

Fewer than one percent of all Financial Advisors are Certified Wealth Strategists.

To gain a better understanding of why, read on... 

Why you should choose a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional:

Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Anyone can use the title “financial planner.” Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP® certification trademarks which represent a high level of competency, ethics, and professionalism. And because they are held to a fiduciary standard of care when providing financial planning services, a CFP® professional is required to act in your best interest.

Experience

CFP® professionals complete several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification trademarks. This hands-on experience guarantees that CFP® professionals have practical financial planning knowledge, so you can count on them to help you create a realistic financial plan that fits your individual needs.

Education

Unlike many financial advisors, CFP professionals must develop their theoretical and practical 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 professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Exam, which tests their abilities to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations.  The exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.  This comprehensive exam ensures that a CFP professional is highly qualified to develop a plan for your finances.  

Ethics

When it comes to ethics and professional responsibility, CFP® professionals are held to the highest of standards. They are obliged to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence as outlined in CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standard of Conduct.   The Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary”—acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients. CFP® professionals are subject to CFP Board sanctions if they violate these standards.

Enforcement

CFP Board’s rigorous enforcement of its Standards of Professional Conduct— including releasing disciplinary information to the public—distinguishes the CFP® certification from the many other designations in the financial services industry. Everyone who seeks CFP® certification is subject to a background check, and those whose past conduct falls short of CFP Board’s ethical and practice standards can be barred from becoming certified. After attaining certification, a CFP® professional who violates CFP Board’s ethical and practice standards becomes subject to disciplinary action up to the permanent revocation of certification. Through diligent enforcement of its ethical and practice standards, CFP Board provides you with the confidence that your CFP® professional is both competent and ethical.

 



Why you should choose a Certified Wealth Strategist® (CWS®) designee:

Every Wealth Strategist:

  • Understands and uncovers the key wealth issues high net-worth clients face
  • Understands their clients’ situation, future, feelings, and family dynamics – the big picture of where they need to be – and helps to reconcile any gaps
  • Places these issues in the context of a wealth management strategy
  • Forms reasonable and logical opinions for addressing each set of issues and for bringing in appropriate resources
  • Acts as an emotional counselor, relying on a disciplined process to achieve client goals

A Certified Wealth Strategist®:

  • Has the knowledge and skill sets needed to work with more complex client issues and better serve the high-net-worth market
  • Is well versed in the finite number of key issues that must be addressed with affluent and high-net-worth clients
  • Has the competence to identify issues 
  • Provides ideas, suggestions, and alternatives for addressing your specific issues

A Certified Wealth Strategist® strives to help clients:

  • Create and grow wealth
  • Protect and preserve their wealth
  • Plan for the distribution of their wealth during life in the most tax-advantaged way
  • Plan for the distribution of their wealth at death in the most tax-advantaged way