Financial Counseling CE Course And Certification

Financial Counseling CE Course And CertificationStephen. M. Horan, Ph.D., headed education programs at CFA Institute for 14 years before returning to academia at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, in early 2021. Here’s what he says about the Certified Financial Counselor CE Course and Certificate program.

Bedside Manner for Financial Advice

By Prof. Stephen M. Horan, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Financial planning and advice is a well understood practice. The bodies of knowledge from the CFP Board and CFA Institute outline well what practitioners need to know and tasks they need to perform to be competent professionals. They include healthy doses of behavioral finance. The CFA Program curriculum has applied behavioral finance principles for many years, and CFP Board now incorporates psychology into its program.

Less understood, but often spoken of, is our way of working with clients. How do we meet clients where they are? How can we employ effective techniques to help clients make choices that improve their fiscal fitness? If we were doctors, it would be called bedside manner. Since we are entrusted with the care of our clients’ wealth rather than their health, we might call it financial counseling or coaching.

Financial counseling is more than financial advice. Advising is prescriptive. Counseling is a process. Counseling has a stronger listening component than advising. The diagnosis extends beyond the financial situation to the human condition. Counseling also has a different end goal. The output of advice is telling people what they should do. The output of counseling is making them better, more confident financial decision-makers through guided discovery.

Fortunately, A4A has developed a pair of certificate programs as part of its CE Course offerings to help professionals who already hold professional designations, such as CFP®, CFA®, CIMA®, CPA and CPA/PFS®, to hone their bedside manner. The Certified Financial Counselor CE Course and Certificate is the more comprehensive of the two certificates. A 12-CE credit course that explores investor emotions and personalities, this course designed by psychologist Dr. Frank Murtha brings concepts together for specific strategies and techniques that can be applied to couples and mental health issues.

If you are looking for a more bite-sized version, the Investor Behavioral Coach Certificate is a four-CE credit component of the counseling certificate focusing on measuring investor personalities and applying those insights in today’s market environment. This course design allows you to earn one certificate on your way to another.

Either approach will do more than make you a better advisor. It will transform your role from advisor to counselor. That metamorphosis will produce richer client conversations and relationships and produce better results.