Important Information and Disclosures for Our Clients
Important compliance, privacy and legal disclosures.
IMPORTANT CLIENT INFORMATION
The compliance documents below provide disclosures related to clients’ relationships with us, including information on conflicts of interests, compensation and fees, and other investment-related details. If you prefer to receive a paper copy of the disclosure documents, please contact your Beacon Pointe advisor or our Compliance Department at 949-718-1600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to read the contents of the compliance documents and contact your advisor if you have any questions.
Form ADV, Part 2B Brochure Supplements
Please select the office location from which your advisory team is based.
IMPORTANT AWARDS DISCLOSURES
100 Advisors to Watch (2023) – LeEric Daye, Senior Wealth Advisor, Waltham, MA, ranked #76. Participation is open to all firms and advisors. Nominees are required to have a minimum of seven years’ experience, $100m minimum AUM, and a clean regulatory record. Using data on assets, households, and production, we rank advisors on three categories: scale, growth, and professionalism.
Top 100 Institutional Consulting Teams (2023) – Ranked #64. Advisors who wish to be ranked complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their practice. Barron’s verifies that data with the advisors’ firms and with regulatory databases and then applies their rankings formula to the data to generate a ranking. The formula features three major categories of calculations: 1) assets, 2) revenue, and 3) quality of practice. In each of those categories, Barron’s does multiple subcalculations. Beacon Pointe paid no applicable fees to participate in the ranking process.
Top 100 RIA Firms (2018-2022) – 2022 ranked #16, 2021 ranked #21, 2020 ranked #30, 2019 ranked #20, and 2018 ranked #36. The ranking is based on assets managed by the firms, technology spending, staff diversity, succession planning, and other metrics. The number of firms included in the rankings was: 40 (2018), 50 (2019), and 100 2020-2022. Beacon Pointe paid no applicable fees to participate in the ranking process.
Top 100 Women Financial Advisors (2016-2018) – Shannon Eusey, ranked #2 2016, and #6 in 2017 & 2018. Advisors who wish to be ranked complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their practice. Barron’s verifies that data with the advisors’ firms and with regulatory databases and then applies their rankings formula to the data to generate a ranking. The formula features three major categories of calculations: 1) assets, 2) revenue, and 3) quality of practice. In each of those categories, Barron’s does multiple sub calculations. Beacon Pointe paid no applicable fees to participate in the ranking process.
Top 1200 Financial Advisors (2017-2018) – Shannon Eusey, ranked #18 in California. Rankings are organized by state and based on data provided by over 4,000 U.S. advisors. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance isn’t an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment-picking abilities.
Top 100 Independent Advisors (2012-2017) – Shannon Eusey ranked #21 2017, #16 2016, #20 2014, #13 2015, #6 in CA 2015. The ranking is based on the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms, and the quality of the advisors’ practices. Beacon Pointe paid no applicable fees to participate in the ranking process.
50 Growers Across America (2022 -2023) – ranked #1 in California 2023, Top 3 in California. Citywire uses historical Form ADV data compiled by Discovery Data, which is run through a layer of screens. They exclude RIAs that don’t include financial planning as one of their core services, as well as firms affiliated with broker-dealers and banks (firms whose advisors may be dually registered with a broker-dealer but maintain their own RIA entity are in bounds). Lastly, Citywire screens out firms that primarily function as back-end service providers for advisory teams.
IMPACT Trailblazer Award Winner (2014). Trailblazer IMPACT Award™ criteria: Firms must use Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) as a custodian and must have been in business for at least five years, have at least $25 million in assets under management, and be registered with the SEC. Schwab and an industry panel review general business metrics and essays submitted by the firms in making selections for the awards. The Trailblazer IMPACT Award recognizes an independent investment advisory firm for unique efforts to advance the industry, such as serving a new client segment, creating a new business model, offering education to the community, developing new talent, or advocating for the industry.
Top 50 Fastest Growing RIAs– 2022 ranked #6, 2020 ranked #12. FA’s RIA survey is a ranking based on discretionary and non-discretionary assets under management at year end, percentage of growth in assets over the previous year, assets per client, percentage of growth in assets per client and percentage change in number of clients. To be eligible for the ranking, firms must be independent registered investment advisors and file their own ADV statement with the SEC and provide financial planning and related services to individual clients. Firms must have at least $500 million in assets under management as of 12/31 the previous year to be included in the print edition of Financial Advisor magazine’s annual RIA survey. Beacon Pointe paid no applicable fees to participate in the ranking process.
Top RIA Firms in America – (2014-2023) – Category $1billion+ in AUM. FA’s RIA survey is a ranking based on assets under management at year end of independent RIA firms that file their own ADV with the SEC. FA’s RIA ranking orders firms from largest to smallest, based on AUM reported to by firms that voluntarily complete and submit FA’s survey by the deadline. Beacon Pointe paid no applicable fees to participate in the ranking process.
Top 300 RIAs (2020, 2014-2016) – Research produced independently by Ignites Research, a division of Money-Media, Inc., on behalf of the Financial Times (FT), RIA firms applied for consideration, having met a minimum set of criteria. The FT 300 is based on data gathered from RIA firms, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflected each practice’s performance in six primary areas: assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, years in existence, credentials and online accessibility. Over 750 qualified firms applied for the award, 300 of which were selected (40%). This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of the practice’s future performance. Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 300.
401 Top Retirement Plan Advisers by State – (2020) – Michele Sarna, CA (2020). The Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Advisors is an independent listing produced annually by Ignites Research, a division of Money-Media, Inc., on behalf of the Financial Times (October 2020). The FT 401 is based on data gathered from advisors, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s status in six primary areas: DC plan assets under advisement (AUA), DC AUA growth rate, specialization in DC plans, years of experience, advanced industry credentials and compliance record. A total of 855 advisors applied for the award, of which 401 were selected (47%). This award is not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. Neither the advisors nor their parent firms pay a fee to the Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 401.
America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors (2020, 2021) – The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of: qualitative data, learned through surveys and interviews (in-person, telephone and virtual), so we can evaluate best practices, service and investing models, compliance records, etc.; as well as quantitative data, like revenue trends and assets under management. All advisors have a minimum of seven years’ experience. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings.
Best In State Wealth Advisors (2021) – The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria gained through telephone, virtual, and in-person due diligence interviews and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of seven years of experience, and the algorithm weights factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience, and those that encompass best practices in their approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings.
100 Fastest Growing RIAs Top (2013, 2016) – Top 12 – Forbes/RIA Channel annual ranking features wealth management firms by growth in assets. To be considered for the rankings, firms must be a registered investment adviser (RIA) with the SEC, provide wealth management services and serve individual clients as a primary focus.
Top 100 Wealth Managers (2015) – Data for the Top Wealth Managers list is compiled by our partners at RIA Database. Candidate firms qualify based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. This year we expanded the list to 100 firms and ranked them by assets under management for year-end 2014, reported as of March 31, 2015.
Members of the list must have managed at least 50% of their assets on behalf of retail clients, cannot run a broker-dealer (they can be affiliated with one), cannot be a bank (trust companies are permitted), and must be performing wealth management services. Firms cannot have any regulatory, civil or criminal disclosures.
The list looks beyond exclusively fee-only advisors because the RIA industry is evolving to incorporate more hybrid models as more reps break away from broker-dealers but carry along old business that includes some commission-based work.
Women to Watch – Shannon Eusey (2020) – InvestmentNews recognized Beacon Pointe’s, Shannon Eusey, as one of the 23 female financial advisers and industry executives who are elevating the financial advice industry in 2020. The ‘Women to Watch’ honorees were chosen by an InvestmentNews selection committee who went through hundreds of nominations to identify female leaders in the industry who have not only made a name for themselves in financial services but are also dedicated to their communities. InvestmentNews accepts nominations of professionals from all sides of the financial advisory industry, including registered investment advisers, registered representatives, financial planners, brokers, insurance agents, certified public accountants, bank trust officers, firm executives and those working for industry organizations. Nominations must be centered around measurable results for clients; one’s firm or employer; the industry; and industry-relevant community service. There are no fees for nominations.
40 Under 40 Financial Advisors (2017-2021) – Kate Pettee (2021), Brandt Kuhn (2019), Karen Sarten (2017) – Each year InvestmentNews’ editorial team reviews 1000 nominations to create a list of 40 outstanding financial advisers, or industry professionals supporting advisers, who are 39 or younger. Honorees are judged on their accomplishments, contribution to the industry, leadership, and promise. There are no fees for nominations.
National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA):
NAPA Top DC Advisor Teams (2021-2023) – Established in 2017, nominees had to be individual advisor team/offices with a defined contribution book of business, in a single physical location. To be considered, firms had to submit responses to an application form, including information about their practices, notably their defined contribution (DC) assets under advisement. The list is created and conducted by the National Association of Plan Advisors, an affiliate organization of the American Retirement Association, a non-profit association. Ranked by assets under advisement, all teams are in a single physical location and based on self-reported assets as of 12/31 the previous year. No fee is charged to participate.
Top Places to Work in OC (2014) A Top Workplaces award is a seal of success given by completing an employee survey. You can submit surveys for your own firm or another firm. There is no application fee, nor are any fees solicited or accepted. Award winners are recognized in a special edition of the partner publication and receive an online profile on TopWorkplaces.com.
Orange County Business Journal:
OCBJ Excellence in Entrepreneurship (2023) – Shannon Eusey, CEO. The Orange County Business Journal recognizes individuals who have established successful business ventures. Individuals are either nominated or can self-nominate. Nominees must consent to participate in the awards program. All sections of the nomination form must be completed for completion by OCBJ’s Selection Committee.
OCBJ Top Financial Advisors (2015)
OCBJ 100 Fastest Growing Companies (2021) – The Orange County Business Journal divides the list into three categories: large companies reporting more than $100 million in annual sales; midsize companies with sales between $10 million to $100 million; and small companies with sales under $10 million. The companies on the midsize list reported the highest two-year growth, 70%, followed by smallest companies list, 61%, and 55% among the biggest companies. Rankings are based on revenue growth reported between June 30, 2019, and June 30, 2021. Companies needed to post two-year growth of 15% or more to qualify for the list.
OCBJ 500 (2021) Finance Category – Shannon Eusey – Awards were chosen by the OCBJ editorial team. There is no nomination/application fee to be on the OCBJ 500 Influential Companies, nor are any fees solicited or accepted in exchange for consideration as a finalist or winner.
Top Retirement Plan Adviser (2022-2023) – Michele Sarna, Beacon Pointe Advisors (Palm Desert, CA). This designation recognizes the top retirement plan advisers in the industry based on quantitative measures. To be listed, advisers had to have a minimum requirement of 50 plan clients or retirement plan assets under advisement of $400 million or more. After meeting the minimum plan or asset count, advisers are highlighted if they have what was designated as a special focus in any particular plan type. This means, 150 or more 401(k) plan clients, or 10 or more 403(b), 457, nonqualified, DB, cash balance, SEP, SIMPLE or MEP/PEP plan clients.
CEO of the Year (2023) – Shannon Eusey, CEO. There are three types of nominations for the RIA Intel Awards: Nominations by peers, nominations by other industry participants, and self-nominations. Nominations for the same firm or individual in multiple categories are accepted. You can nominate yourself and/or your firm. You can nominate others in your firm or outside your firm. For more information. There is no nomination/application fee for the RIA Intel Awards, nor are any fees solicited or accepted in exchange for consideration as a finalist or winner.
RIA Growth Leader of the Year (2022) – Awards were chosen by RIA Intel’s editorial team. There is no nomination/application fee for the RIA Intel Awards, nor are any fees solicited or accepted in exchange for consideration as a finalist or winner.
RIA of the Year (More than $1 Billion AUM) – Finalist (2023) – There are three types of nominations for the RIA Intel Awards: Nominations by peers, nominations by other industry participants, and self-nominations. Nominations for the same firm or individual in multiple categories are accepted. You can nominate yourself and/or your firm. You can nominate others in your firm or outside your firm. For more information. There is no nomination/application fee for the RIA Intel Awards, nor are any fees solicited or accepted in exchange for consideration as a finalist or winner.
Best Financial Advisory Firms List (2023) – USA Today created Statista, an independent market research and data firm. Statista considered more than 32,000 Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) firms. The top 500 firms include the most frequently recommended and best rated by the survey participants. In addition to survey results, Statista also included metrics relating to assets under management over the short and longer term, and recommendations from clients and peers in its final analysis.
Working Mother Magazine & SHOOK Research:
Top Wealth Advisor Moms (2020) – Working Mother Magazine & SHOOK Research’s Top Wealth Advisor Moms ranking awarded in 2020. This ranking was determined based on an evaluation process conducted by SHOOK Research LLC (the research company) in partnership with Working Mother Magazine (the publisher) during the period from 3/31/19 – 3/31/20. Beacon Pointe did not pay a fee to SHOOK Research LLC to obtain or use the ranking. This ranking is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor qualitatively, a major component of a ranking algorithm that includes client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, and quantitative criteria, including assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research LLC and this ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience. This ranking is not indicative of the Wealth Advisor’s future performance.
WealthManagement.com Top 100 RIAs (2015) – WealthManagement.com’s “Top 100 RIAs of 2015” ranking was assembled using data from Meridian-IQ (in which Penton Media has a stake). Advisory firms are ranked by total assets under management. To land on the list, firms had to have a focus on financial and retirement planning for individual and high-net-worth clients. And institutional clients do not make up a substantial portion of their business. Finally, none of these firms are owned by a bank, broker/dealer or investment company.
WealthManagement.com Industry Awards:
Thought Leader of the Year Finalist (2020)
CEO & CMO of the Year Finalist (2022)
M&A Leader of the Year (2022)
Wealthmanagement.com Industry awards acknowledges and celebrates the companies, individuals and organizations who demonstrate outstanding achievement in support of financial advisor success. Finalists are determined through submissions. A panel of judges made up of top names in the industry choose the finalists and will determine the winners, which each year recognizes the firms and individuals who are bringing new innovations to market that make a real difference to the daily activities of financial advisors.
50 Women Changing the World – Shannon Eusey (2020) – Shannon Eusey names one of 50 Women Changing the World in 2020 by Worth Magazine. For all the social and economic progress women have made in recent years, the battle for professional equality is far from over. But in fields ranging from finance to aeronautics to art history, they are pushing forward in exciting and important ways. You can submit nominations for yourself or another person. There is no nomination/application fee, nor are any fees solicited or accepted in exchange for consideration as a finalist or winner.
CERTIFICATIONS AND DESIGNATIONS
Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®)
The AAMS® is conferred by the College for Financial Planning to investment professionals who complete its 12-module AAMS® Professional Education Program, pass an examination, commit to a code of ethics, and agree to pursue continuing education. Continued use of the AAMS® designation is subject to ongoing renewal requirements. Every two (2) years the designee must renew their right to continue using the AAMS® designation by completing 16 hours of continuing education and reaffirming to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct.
Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA®)
Individuals who hold the APMA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing client assessment and suitability, risk/return, investment objectives, bond and equity portfolios, modern portfolio theory, and investor psychology. Students have hands-on practice in analyzing investment policy statements, building portfolios, and making asset allocation decisions including sell, hold, and buy decisions within a client’s portfolio. The program is designed for 80-100 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year of enrollment. To maintain the APMA® designation, individuals are required every two years to complete 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirm adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct, and comply with self-disclosure requirements.
Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA®)
The Accredited Wealth Management Advisor, or AWMA® program, is issued by the College for Financial Planning – a Kaplan Company. The program is designated for advisors who want to better address the unique needs of high-net-worth clients. The program’s one-of-a-kind curriculum contains sections dedicated to behavioral finance, working with small business owners, and succession/exit planning. Individuals who hold the AWMA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing wealth strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax reduction alternatives, and asset protection alternatives. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®)
The designation is issued by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. The candidate is required to develop their theoretical and practical understanding and knowledge of the financial aspects of divorce by completing a comprehensive course of study. The candidate must also have two years minimum experience in a financial or legal capacity. The candidate must complete a four-part exam and demonstrate the practical application of this knowledge. Continuing education of 30 hours every two years is required to maintain the designation.
Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS®)
The CEBS designation is overseen by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and is for professionals who handle benefits for companies but want to be able to plan and negotiate packages. Candidates must complete eight courses either online or in a class setting. All students must pass an exam following completion of each of the eight courses.
Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®)
The CEPA designation is awarded by the Exit Planning Institute. The candidate must complete a five‐day MBA-style program that concludes with a proctored exam. Candidates must also meet all the following requirements:
- Five years of full‐time or equivalent experience working directly with business owners as a financial advisor, attorney, CPA, business broker, investment banker, commercial lender, estate planner, insurance professional, business consultant, or in a related capacity
- Undergraduate degree from a qualifying institution; if no qualifying degree candidate must submit additional professional work experience (two years of relevant professional experience may be substituted for each year of required undergraduate studies)
- Continuing Education: To retain the CEPA designation the designee must obtain 40 hours of Continuing Education (“CE”) every three years and remain in good standing with Exit Planning Institute
Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)
The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (collectively, the “CFP® marks”) are professional certification marks granted in the United States by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP® Board”). The CFP® certification is voluntary; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. The CFP® is recognized in the United States and several other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients. CFP® certificate holders are bound by the CFP® Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.
To earn the credential, each CFP® candidate must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university and three years of full-time personal financial planning experience. In addition, candidates must take the CFP® Certification examination and complete a CFP® -board registered program or hold an accepted designation, degree, or license. Every two years, CFP ® certificate holders must complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education.
Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®)
The CFS® designation is made available through the Institute of Business & Finance (“IBF”). Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or 2,000 hours of financial services work experience. The CFS program consists of 6 modules: (1) Regulation, Structure, Expenses, and Titling; (2) Management and Fund Selection, Risk Management, Equities, Fixed-Income & Hybrids; (3) Tax-Free Bonds, Money Market, Specialty Categories, and Time Value Analysis; (4) Asset Categories, Market Indicators, CEFs, ETFs, and REITs; (5) Risk, Timing the Market, When to Sell, and Taxation; (6) Basics of Asset Allocation, The Efficient Frontier, Optimal Asset Allocation, Core-Satellite Strategy, Modern Portfolio Theory (“MPT”). 30 hours of continuing education are required every 2 years to maintain this designation.
Certified Investment Management Analyst (“CIMA”)
The CIMA designation is issued by the Investments and Wealth Institute (formerly IMCA). To earn each certification, each CIMA candidate must complete a self-study program, attend a one-week classroom education program provided by an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (“AACSB”) accredited university business school, pass an online examination after self-study and an online comprehensive certification examination after meeting all requirements of a registered classroom education program and also complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
Certified Investment Management Consultant (CIMC)
As of December 2003, new CIMC certifications are no longer granted. When the designation was issued, its content focused on investment consulting. Current CIMC designees can maintain the designation through the Investments & Wealth Institute. CIMC designees are required to adhere to The Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility, Rules and Guidelines for Use of the Marks, and have an acceptable regulatory history as evidenced by FINRA Form U-4 or other regulatory requirements. CIMC designees must report 40 hours of continuing education credits, including two ethics hours, every two years to maintain the designation.
Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®)
The Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA®) credential is issued by the National Association of Plan Advisors. The CPFA® was developed by some of the nation’s leading advisors and retirement plan experts and demonstrates those with knowledge, expertise, and commitment to working with retirement plans. Financial advisors who earn their CPFA® designation demonstrate the expertise required to act as a plan fiduciary or help 401(k) plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities.
Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®)
The CPWA® designation is issued by the Investments and Wealth Institute (formerly IMCA). The CPWA® designation signifies that an individual has met initial and ongoing experience, ethical, education, and examination requirements for the professional designation, which is centered on management topics and strategies for high-net-worth clients. Prerequisites for the CPWA® designation are a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or one of the following designations or licenses: CIMA®, RMA®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC® or CPA license; acceptable regulatory history as evidenced by FINRA Form U-4 or other regulatory requirements; five years of professional client-centered experience in financial services or a related industry; and complete a comprehensive background check. CPWA® designees must complete a six-month pre-class educational component and a five-day classroom education program through The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. CPWA® designees are required to adhere to the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility and the appropriate use of certification marks. CPWA® designees must report 40 hours of continuing education credits, including two ethics hours, every two years to maintain the certification.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
CPAs are licensed and regulated by their state boards of accountancy. While state laws and regulations vary, the education, experience and testing requirements for licensure as a CPA generally include minimum college education (typically 150 credit hours with at least a baccalaureate degree and a concentration in accounting), minimum experience levels (most states require at least one year of experience providing services that involve the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills, all of which must be achieved under the supervision of or verification by a CPA), and successful passage of the Uniform CPA Examination. To maintain a CPA license, states generally require the completion of 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each year (or 80 hours over a two-year period or 120 hours over a three-year period). Additionally, all American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) members are required to follow a rigorous Code of Professional Conduct which requires that they act with integrity, objectivity, due care, competence, fully disclose any conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict exists), maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the client any commission or referral fees, and serve the public interest when providing financial services.
Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC®)
The CRC® certification is offered by the International Foundation of Retirement Education (“inFRE”) and obtained by passing completing a 200-question certification examination. The CRC® certification is a professional development program that enables financial professionals to address the challenges facing today’s retirees. The CRC® program was developed over two years of original research and analysis by a team of 100 highly respected retirement practitioners in partnership with the academic guidance of the Center for Financial Responsibility at Texas Tech University. Prerequisites for this designation include a bachelor’s degree, two years of professional experience, and passing a background check. This certification requires 15 hours of continuing education every year.
Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS®)
The Certified Wealth Strategist® (“CWS®”) is a professional certification issued by the Cannon Financial Institute. It is based on an established set of industry-wide competencies that cover concepts, rules, regulations, laws, and standard operating procedures for professionals working in the affluent and high-net-worth retail market segments.
To earn the credential, each CWS® candidate must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university and three years of industry experience or five years of industry experience. In addition, candidates must take the CWS® certification examination and complete Cannon’s Certified Wealth Strategist® program of study. Finally, every two years, CWS® certificate holders must complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education.
Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®)
Issued by The American College of Financial Services, The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) professional designation is designated to those who have completed the CAP® program. The CAP® Program provides the knowledge and tools needed to help clients articulate and advance their highest aspirations for self, family, and society. Individuals can apply the best tax strategies, tools, and techniques for philanthropic goals, and understand client or donor goals for self, family members, and/or society. Additionally, individuals can advise wealthy families and family offices on important financial matters, including business exit planning, estate planning, and legacy planning.
Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
Founded in 2002, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association® is the international leader in alternative investment education and provider of the CAIA designation, the alternative industry benchmark. The Association grants the CAIA charter to industry practitioners upon the successful completion of a rigorous two-level qualifying exam.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
The Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) designation is sponsored by the CFA Institute. To earn a CFA charter, candidates must have four years of qualified investment work experience, become a member of the CFA Institute, pledge to adhere to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct on an annual basis, apply for membership to a local CFA member society, and complete the CFA Program. The CFA Program is organized into three levels, each culminating in a six-hour exam. The three proctored course exams correspond to three 250-hour self-study levels. Completing the Program takes most candidates between two and five years.
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®)
The ChFC® designation has been a mark of excellence for financial planners for almost thirty years and currently requires more courses than any other financial planning credential. The curriculum covers extensive education and application training in all aspects of financial planning, income taxation, investments, and estate and retirement planning. To attain the right to use the ChFC® marks, take a proctored exam for each course of study, have 3 years of full-time, relevant business experience within the five years preceding the awarding of the designation, and complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®)
The CLU designation is conferred by The American College. To earn the credential, each CLU candidate must take a proctored exam for each course of study, have 3 years of full-time business experience within the five years preceding the awarding of the designation, and complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®)
The CRPC® designation is a retirement planning credential awarded by the College for Financial Planning® to individuals who meet its educational, examination, and ethical requirements. To earn a CRPC® designation, candidates are required to have completed the CRPC® Designation Program, a self-taught educational program focused on various pre- and post-retirement needs of individuals. Recipients are further required to have successfully passed a multiple-choice examination addressing a range of retirement-related matters, such as estate planning and asset management. On an ongoing basis, CRPC® designees are also required to affirm their adherence to the applicable Code of Ethics and complete at least 16 hours of continuing education every two years.
Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS®)
The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS®) is a credential for those who create, implement, and maintain retirement plans for businesses. Unlike most other professional financial planning and advisory professional designations, the CRPS® focuses on wholesale and business clients. It is awarded by the College for Financial Planning to individuals who pass an exam demonstrating their expertise. Every two years, CRPS® professionals must complete 16 hours of continuing education and pay a nominal fee to continue using the designation.
Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC®)
The CSRIC® program is a designation program for financial professionals issued by the College for Financial Planning. It is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education Regional Accredited Agencies, The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Individuals with this professional designation have completed study and coursework in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing (SRI). It provides financial advisors and investment professionals with information about the history, definitions, trends, portfolio construction principles, fiduciary responsibilities, and best practices for sustainable investments. The CSRIC® Professional Education Program is a 3-semester credit graduate-level course. Students spend approximately 90-135 hours in course-related activities to study and prepare adequately for the course examination. In addition, all CSRIC®s are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education credits every two years.
Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP®)
The Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP®) designation program is offered by Kaplan Financial Education. It is a launch pad for a career in the financial services profession and a great way to increase the insight and knowledge of those who have been working in the profession. It is designed for new professionals entering the financial services industry, as well as frontline employees and support staff with some industry experience looking to deepen their foundational knowledge.
Individuals enrolled in the FPQP® designation program will complete the following courses: The Financial Planning Process, Business Ownership, Cash Management, and the Use of Debt, The Time Value of Money, Insurance Basics and Property Insurance, Life and Health Insurance, Investment Basics and Strategies, Retirement Planning, Tax Implications of Financial Decisions, Estate Planning Basics, Case Study and Master Index. Upon completion of the FPQP®, graduates receive an exemption from course FP511 in the College’s CFP® certification education program. For those who currently hold a professional designation from the College, completion of a new professional designation fulfills CE hours as part of the renewal of the current designation.
Investment Advisor Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®)
The Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional designation is designed for compliance professionals who have completed the NRS Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional Program (IACCP), co-sponsored by the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), and certified their knowledge of investment advisory regulatory obligations, and offers additional competency in trading, regulatory mandates and other current regulatory priorities.
Professional Plan Consultant (PPC®)
A Professional Plan Consultant™ (PPC®) is a service provider professional that has gone through courses and learned the framework for managing a successful and compliant 401(k) plan. As a professional who has received the official PPC® Designation, the service provider has an in-depth knowledge of ERISA requirements for employer-sponsored retirement plans and the ability to carry out plan services. A PPC™ has studied the evolving role of the retirement plan advisor, how to define plan success, fiduciary roles and responsibilities, investment selection and monitoring, service provider due diligence, participant communications, plan administration issues, and how to implement a prudent decision-making process.
Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC)
Issued by the National Association of Plan Advisors, plan advisors who earn the QPFC demonstrate the expertise required to act as plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities.
Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®)
The Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) is a service provider professional trained to understand how to structure an effective retirement income plan, how to mitigate risks to the plan, and how to create a sustainable stream of income to last throughout a client’s retirement years.
SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)
The SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) credential is for individuals who perform general HR and HR-related duties at work; or for those pursuing a career in Human Resource Management. SHRM certification is the only HR certification offered by the world’s largest HR membership organization.