What is the Certified Financial Counselor™ (CFC™) digital certificate?

advisor certificationsDigital certificates are like SSL (secure socket layer) certificates on websites. Financial advisor professional accreditation organizations, such as the AICPA, CFA Institute and CFP Board are already issuing digital certificates to authenticate professionals. The digital certificate image is encrypted and validated by the Financial Counseling Institute (FCI).

 

CFP Board, AICPA,  and CFA Institute, all mint digital badges to validate their respective credential holders. The use of digital badges transforms branding for practitioners and clears up consumer confusion.    

 

According to FINRA’s database, the number of financial professional designations has swelled to more than 200! For financial consumers, it's a nightmare.

 

How do you know whether to trust a certified annuity specialist, certified mutual fund specialist versus a Certified Financial Planner®? A digitally validated badge on your website, social profiles, and emails is the solution.  Though use of digital badges is still in its infancy, FCI, powered by A4A,  keep professionals ahead of the emerging trend toward micro-credentials and digital certifications of CFP, CPA®, CFA®, CIMA®, and other financial advisors.      

 

Pay-to-play five-star advisor badges now run rampant and the major financial media outlets continue to publish advisor rankings that are not based on rigorous research or objective data. They sell reprints of an advisor's ranking to earn revenue and have little credibility.  In contrast, a digital badge validated by an accreditation body cuts through all marketing misinformation

 

Of the four comprehensive designations earned by financial advisors, the CPA and CFA designations have been around longest. AICPA was founded in 1887 and CFAs were first chartered in 1962. These two senior certifying bodies are integrated into the U.S. regulatory system.

 

Founded in the mid-1980s, Investment Wealth Institute and CFP Board are relative newcomers as accreditation bodies, but CFP Board certifies 88,726 practitioners, compared to about 10,000 CIMA certificants. In addition, CFP Board has bought mindshare by conducting a years-long advertising campaign on national TV.   

 

A4A awards digital badges based on a professional's CE attendance record and specialization. Attending the 12-credit Financial Counseling course, which is available on-demand, earns a CPA, CFA, CFP and CIMA professional license to display the Certified Financial Counselor badge on a website home page, social network profile and email signature.  

A Strategically Focused CE Curriculum

With classes approved for over a decade by the CFP Board, IWI, and NASBA, Advisors4Advisors CE classes are an optimal knowledge stream for CFP®, CIMA®, CPA, CPA/PFS®, CFA®, and other practitioners. It's not a grab bag of speakers willing to sponsor CE content. Nor is it a one-man CE course. It's a group of subject matter experts with amazing communication skills and a history of thought leadership that, together, give advisors a well-rounded knowledge system for running a professional practice ethically and intelligently.

CE Since October 2008

A4A CE classes for financial professionals began in October 2008, the week Lehman Bros. collapsed. Initially billed as “The Financial Crisis Webinar Series,” A4A connects advisors with authoritative sources on investing, tax, and financial planning, chosen by A4A Editor Andrew Gluck, a veteran financial reporter. A4A members get a stream of CE classes for an advisor who: 

  • holds a CFP®, CIMA®, CPA, CPA/PFS, CFA or other designation requiring CE annually 
  • values monthly CE classes by Fritz Meyer, Craig Israelsen, Bob Keebler, Frank Murtha, or Andrew Gluck
  • diversifies a core of client portfolios in low-expense funds
  • invests based on MPT and economic fundamentals
  • advises on tax and financial planning as well as investing
  • needs financial counseling skills
  • wants the Certified Financial Counselor™ designation 
  • is building a brand as a thought leader locally or in a niche
  • wants the facts when bad news breaks
  • wants CE aligned with a content marketing system
  • wants 24/7 access to CE on-demand
  • insists on objective evidenced-based tax and investment planning analysis

CFP CE Reviews

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CFPCFP
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"I guess this wasn't exactly what we expected. It was good information and did clarify some things we work on with clients."
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"The topic for today's webinar was less useful for me since I have only a few clients where the content would fit."
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"great refresher and update"
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"Good presentation."
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"Great! Always appreciate any brush-up in learning from Bob! Would be great to get a session on what tax-related info is in Build Back Better. ..."
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"Too fast. Covered too much ground that should be covered in several sessions. "
MEMBER REVIEWS 
Lynn Najman, CFP®
I’ve subscribed to A4A since its inception, and always find it intellectually stimulating and on point. It’s one of the few CE solutions out there that doesn’t waste my time by pushing product or talking down to me.

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Pete Deacon, CPA, CFP®
A4A has had a profound effect on my business. Since 2009, I’ve relied on the consistent messaging and updates to run my business successfully. Being able to present the information from Bob, Fritz, and Craig's ongoing CE webinars has been a significant benefit.

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Fredric Mayerson, MBA, PhD, CFP®
I've been a financial professional and professor of finance for 35 years and find Fritz Meyer and Robert Keebler to be among the most engaging, incredibly knowledgeable, and experienced presenters I’ve encountered. They deliver an extraordinary amount of information in an extremely interesting way — sequentially and developmentally, utilizing pedagogical tools and techniques that few possess.  A4A to is the most consistently excellent CE program available.  
Ron Roge, MS, CFP®
I’ve been attending A4A many years because the CE classes are outstanding, and my time is valuable. Though I have over 35 years of experience, I’m always learning something new on A4A. I attend fewer conferences now because the CE is generally not advanced. If you want to learn from the best, in a faster, easier, and less expensive way, I highly recommend A4A.

John R. Day, CPA/PFS®

I’ve been a member since 2011 and never miss the monthly webinars with Fritz Meyer. I appreciate Fritz’s independent views on the economy and markets and Bob Keebler keeps me updated on excellent tax planning ideas. A4A is a great value!

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Norman Politziner, CFP

I wouldn't miss a Fritz Meyer webinar unless my pants were on fire. I've relied on Andrew Gluck's knowledge systems --client communications and CE -- for two decades. It's simply the best solution for tax, financial, investment, and risk-management professionals.®   

Dan Hawley, CFP® 

A4A, for over a decade, has been a great resource for useful and accurate information and CE. A4A and Advisor Products are bargains for an advisory practice. 

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Kevin Brosious, MBA, CFP®, CPA/PFS®

I get CPA CE credit and CFP credit for the webinars.  But not only that, the A4A content is terrific