Top Financial Certifications to Know Before You Hire a Financial Advisor or Coach

A financial certification is a professional designation administered and awarded by a credentialing organization to individuals who meet certain prerequisites, complete required coursework, pass examinations and agree to uphold ethical standards.

A financial certification is not the same as a license or registration requirement like those for financial advisors overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Financial Certifications List

Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS)

An Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) is a designation for financial professionals who specialize in asset management and investments.

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)

An Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is a financial professional who teaches their clients sound financial principles so they can achieve their short and long-term financial goals.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) An Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) is legally obligated to always act in the best interests of their clients. They offer recommendations based on each client’s unique goals rather than prioritizing commissions, kickbacks and referral fees that solely benefit them.

Certified Credit Counselor (CCC) A Certified Credit Counselor (CCC) takes a holistic approach to credit counseling and is well-versed in banking and credit fundamentals to help clients eliminate debt and improve credit scores.

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) help people going through a divorce (and their lawyers) understand how their financial decisions will impact their future finances.

Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) is a unique designation for financial professionals who advise business owners on how to successfully sell or transition their business, a strategy referred to as ‘exit planning’.

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