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After all, you will be sharing an intimate part of your life with someone you typically haven’t known for long and probably don’t know very well.
Trustworthiness is an essential virtue for anyone you select as part of your income planning and retirement team. Advisor designations are one way you can determine if your professional financial guide embodies the qualities you need to achieve success in planning for retirement. You also want to have some assurances that your advisor is competent, well-educated, and client-centric.
Unfortunately, hundreds of professional designations, degrees, acronyms, and certifications are used by financial advisors, insurance agents, and tax professionals. While many of those, such as CPA and MBA, may be familiar to you, others are more obscure and difficult to evaluate. The plethora of designations can create confusion, primarily since designations and certifications often serve as differentiation and marketing tools.
I have picked out some of the financial and insurance industry designations you are most likely to run across when researching an advisor and a brief description of each.
However, be aware that just because your advisor candidate possesses one or more of these professional credentials or other credentials does not mean that they will be the best selection for your financial guidance team.
It’s best not to rely on a designation, degree, or certification alone when choosing an advisor. Instead, take the time to find out as much as you can about the person’s educational and professional background, check for any disciplinary or legal issues, and arrange for an in-person interview before engaging them. Below are 6 of the most commonly encountered financial advisor designations.
The Bottom Line:
Professional designations are useful in helping you evaluate a financial advisor. However, they are only one thing to consider. Diligent evaluation of an advisor’s background, education, and experience are also needed to find the best advisor for your team.
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