A Who's Who Guide to Financial Advisers
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Consumers in need of a little professional financial advice have more choices than they may realize. Choice, though, can be a source of confusion.
"There are over 2,000 financial designations," says Joel Redmond, a certified financial planner based in Syracuse, N.Y.
|There are more than 2,000 financial designations, but fortunately, only three primary financial adviser fields consumers needs to know.|
Furthermore, these days, wealth management companies have integrated so many services into their business model that many in the industry have obtained the right to list more than one acronym after their name.
"Designations have become arrows in the quiver of a wealth management adviser," says Ben Stacy, senior vice president of Investment with HDS Wealth Solutions of Raymond James. Stacy adds that because of this integration, financial professionals may operate under a business model that's a bit different than their designations indicate, which can make it difficult for people to find the right adviser for their needs.To help you wade through the alphabet soup, we looked into what Redmond calls "the three most coveted designations" in their given worlds -- the Certified Financial Planner, Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst -- so consumers know what to expect when they see those three little letters after a pro's name. Certified Financial Planner
CFPs specialize in assessing whether a person can meet life goals through careful planning. They're generally sought out by consumers interested in making sure that they have enough money for retirement, are adequately insured and/or have their assets protected. "They're generalists, but with a very high level of expertise," says Toby Johnston, a CFP and a CPA with accounting firm Mohler, Nixon & Williams. He adds that those in the midst of a serious search for a financial adviser look for the CFP acronym since it's a good indicator that person is top tier. Redmond notes, though, that while financial planners do know a thing or two about investments, they're more apt to let you know whether you can afford to take risk rather than outline which specific investment risks you should take.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV