The Certified Financial Counselor™ course is a 12-credit, three-month program that equips advisors with the knowledge, skills, and techniques needed to fulfill the role of a financial counselor. ​


Financial, tax and investment advising have undergone a significant change in the last several decades, evolving from a transactional and sales-oriented customer-broker relationship in the 1970s, to a profession requiring technical knowledge and a code of ethics in the 1980s and 1990s. In the past two decades, the burgeoning social science of behavioral economics further changed the nature of a financial professional's job requirements, making client relationships more collaborative, individualized, and personal, and requiring today’s professionals to possess counseling skills. ​


Until now, you did not need to know anything about the psychology of financial planning to be a CFP® professional. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, however, the psychology of financial planning will comprise seven percent of what you must know to hold the CFP® designation. ​​In 2021, the CFP Board updated its 2015 Practice Analysis Study and revised the principal knowledge topics a professional is required to master. A completely new topic of knowledge was added for psychology of financial planning. The CFP Board’s action represents an important change with repercussions for CPAs, CIMAs, and CFA professionals. ​


​This course is designed to complement CFP®, CFA®, CIMA®, and CPA knowledge requirements. ​


​To maintain the Certified Financial Counselor™ digital certificate, a one-credit class, “Applying Financial Psychology In Current Conditions,” must be completed annually.​


​Instructor Dr. Frank Murtha has taught behavioral finance at City University of New York, New York University and other universities. Dr. Murtha is co-founder of MarketPsych, developers of a behavioral finance assessment platform and acts as a consultant on behavioral finance.​


​The 12-credit course and digital certificate is free to A4A members. ​