Designations

19 replies [Last post]
707SE's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-28

CFP, CLU or ChFC?
 
My firm is offering to pay for the entire CLU or ChFC course, but nothing for the CFP.
 
However the CFP course that they've partnered with is accelerated. Besides paying out of pocket, I'd also have to drive about 60 miles every friday to a major city to sit in the course for 4 hours. That would last for several weeks.
 
Based on my research the CLU and ChFC require the same five core courses in the CFP along with some additional electives. I'm leaning towards the ChFC designation but would like some thoughts and ideas on those who have an opinion on this topic. This article was informative but not really helpful.
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/07/different_designations.asp
 
 

troll's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-11-29

Why not both ChFC & CLU?

Mishigun's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-04-16

CFP was the brand of choice ten or fifteen years ago, it grows stronger every year. For myself, I wouldn't want to (cheapen) it with other designations, except one enhancement: CFA.

anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-09-29

I think that the CFP has actually gotten weaker.  People used to ask me about it.  Now, they almost never do.
This seems like a no-brainer to me.  Get the CLU/ChFC.  Your firm will pay for it.  If the subject of the CFP ever comes up, simply tell your prospect, "I elected to skip the CFP and get my CLU/ChFC instead.   The courses are identical, but the CLU/ChFC contains three additional classes."  With your CLU/ChFC, you can always sit for the CFP exam.

troll's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-11-29

BTW, that article doesn't give all the technical details correctly.  If you want to learn more about CLU/ChFC, you might as well get it straight from the source:
http://www.theamericancollege.edu/

707SE's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-28

Thanks Fellas!
Anon - you pretty much validated my idea although I'm likely to only pick one at this point as opposed to going for both. The ChFC is probably the winner

B0NEHEAD's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-03-21

My two cents for what its worth. I would go with what is most recognizable to the client. I don't know of any clients that have ever heard of the ChFC or the CLU. From their perspective it might as well one of those BS designations that cheesy annuity whores get after spending a couple of hours in a seminar. Ask your clients for their opinions, see which if any they have heard of. As for Icecold's remark, learning the material is very important, although you will forget 75% of it the day after you take the exam. The designation shows your clients that you are a professional and serious about your career. Good luck.

Conrad Dobler's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-11

Mishigun wrote:
CFP was the brand of choice ten or fifteen years ago, it grows stronger every year. For myself, I wouldn't want to (cheapen) it with other designations, except one enhancement: CFA.
 
I'm not a stock picker, so rather than the CFA I'd add the CIMA to my card.

san fran broker's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-02-25

Ummm... the CIMA is nowhere near as respected as the CFA.

Clients will probably see the CIMA as being a nonsense designation (I will admit that it deserves some respect).

Wealthier clients - people who've had contact with the institutional side of Wall Street - will recognize the CFA, as will anyone with an MBA. Those who know anything about it will respect it. That can't be said for a designation with an 80% pass rate and two weeks of training.

707SE's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-28

Great info guys! Thanks for the advice. One request - could you within your criticism of others give me your opinion or what you'd choose if in my situation? And why.
 
Thanks again guys - keep it comin!

troll's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-11-29

Guys,
 
CLIENTS DON'T KNOW THE ALPHABET SOUP OF DESIGNATIONS!!!
 
You might as well point them here:  http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx
 
If you're going to choose a designation, choose it for the following:
 - rigorous course offerings that relate to your DAY-TO-DAY interactions with clients
 - code of ethics that are not in conflict with your current position
 - a reasonable amount of continuing education.
 
Do clients know what a ChFC is?  no.
Do clients know what a CLU is?  probably not, but it's been around for over 80 years.
Do clients know what a CFP is?  Maybe.  Do they care?  probably not.
Do clients know what a CFA is?  No.
 
Do your professional referral sources know what those letters mean?  Maybe a little bit better than the general public does.
 
Here's another hint:  Get all the education you can and then keep it to yourself.  Because NOBODY cares!  It will NOT help you prospect.  It will NOT help you get a client.  It WILL help you find other opportunities to show your expertise and find other opportunities to help your clients.
 
It's all about what YOU will get out of it.
BTW, I tend to think that any designation that qualifies for a Series 65 state exemption for RIA status is a very good designation to attain.  These designations "unofficially" have a seal of endorsement from your STATE.  These designations are typically:  CFP, ChFC, CFA, CPA/PFS, CIC.  State Insurance Departments typically exempt license exams for CLU & LUTCF holders.  So, I'd pick a "state approved" designation for insurance or investment advice over a designation that doesn't do either.

troll's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-11-29

707SE wrote:Great info guys! Thanks for the advice. One request - could you within your criticism of others give me your opinion or what you'd choose if in my situation? And why.
 
Thanks again guys - keep it comin!

 
Your firm doesn't allow the CFP designation probably because of the recent code of ethics changes the CFP board recently enacted.
 
So CFP is gone.
 
Choosing between ChFC or CLU?  Well, you can get both, but which to get first?
 
Are you a planner or a life insurance agent?
 
If you're doing more planning &/or investments, then I'd choose ChFC.
If you're primarily a life insurance agent, then I'd choose CLU.
 
If you're NEW, I'd ask about LUTCF.  Those are SALES-ORIENTED classes that will help you enhance your prospecting and selling skills.

Takingnames's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-11-09

Good advice all, yet it appears from my view that the CFP propaganda urges clients to look for the CFP and people do ask. Further, some firms allow certain windows to open for people who have it versus people who don't.
 
If the firm won't pay for it, why not open a 529 for yourself, be the beneficiary and pay for it yourself. No one is worth investing in more than you are.
 
That's my .02 contribution for you
Kicking A and Taking Names

troll's picture
Offline
Joined: 2004-11-29

Takingnames wrote:
If the firm won't pay for it, why not open a 529 for yourself, be the beneficiary and pay for it yourself.
 
What's the point of this?  Tax deferral on your growth for tax-free withdrawal later?
 
A tax deduction for education is a better use of those funds - and you can study now instead of waiting.
 
Just take the courses at an accredited institution - like The American College or College for Financial Planning.

707SE's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-02-28

Ominous, <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Great points all around. I completely agree with letting the state be a guide in determining which designations are worth pursuing. It helps weed out the useless and unworthy.
 
A couple things I want to respond to though.
#1. Any designation I pursue has very little, relatively speaking (5-10%?) to do with prospecting because as you mentioned - the general public likely knows little about what the designation represents. Most likely I'd use it to leverage relationships with referral partners/sources such as CPA's and other professionals. I'd expect them to recognize it as an indication of competency and high ethical standards. I would not expect clients to come flocking in just because of a designation on the biz card.
 
#2. It's important to note that my firm does allow/support/encourage the CFP. A colleague of mine asked our Complex Manager why the firm would pay for the ChFC/CLU but not the CFP. They told us that covering the cost of the CFP courses would exclude some FA's based on the CFP eligibility requirements. They went on to say that while the ChFC and CLU are equally revered designations with equally stringent curriculum, the eligibility requirements are not as exclusive.
 

Conrad Dobler's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-11

san fran broker wrote:Ummm... the CIMA is nowhere near as respected as the CFA. Clients will probably see the CIMA as being a nonsense designation (I will admit that it deserves some respect). Wealthier clients - people who've had contact with the institutional side of Wall Street - will recognize the CFA, as will anyone with an MBA. Those who know anything about it will respect it. That can't be said for a designation with an 80% pass rate and two weeks of training.
 
The two designations are as different as night and day. Pursue the CFA if you’re a stock picker or want to be an analyst. It would also be a great course of instruction if you’re an RIA.  It's a great program and well respected.
Anyone involved with large trusts, endowments, Taft-Hartley Funds or defined benefit plans will recognize the CIMA designation, and that means most any client that‘s ever been a senior executive or served on a corporate board. If you take a consultative approach, especially if you employ third party managers, it’s a designation that will be right up your alley. I assume you’re not referring to the CIMA when you mentioned a designation with an 80% pass rate and two weeks of training, as that bears no resemblance to the real process.
BTW, hang a CIMA designation certificate on your wall from Wharton and see if your clients recognize it.

http://www.imca.org/main/do/CIMA_Home
 

BSinger82's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-09-01

707SE wrote:
Ominous, <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Great points all around. I completely agree with letting the state be a guide in determining which designations are worth pursuing. It helps weed out the useless and unworthy.
 
A couple things I want to respond to though.
#1. Any designation I pursue has very little, relatively speaking (5-10%?) to do with prospecting because as you mentioned - the general public likely knows little about what the designation represents. Most likely I'd use it to leverage relationships with referral partners/sources such as CPA's and other professionals. I'd expect them to recognize it as an indication of competency and high ethical standards. I would not expect clients to come flocking in just because of a designation on the biz card.
 
#2. It's important to note that my firm does allow/support/encourage the CFP. A colleague of mine asked our Complex Manager why the firm would pay for the ChFC/CLU but not the CFP. They told us that covering the cost of the CFP courses would exclude some FA's based on the CFP eligibility requirements. They went on to say that while the ChFC and CLU are equally revered designations with equally stringent curriculum, the eligibility requirements are not as exclusive.
 

They might be talking about the Bachelor's degree requirement.

madpablito's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-08-02

The ChFC qualifies you to take the CFP examination. The CLU is Life Insurance Oriented, so you will learn to sell Life Insurace and make a good living on it. The ChFC is more focused on financial Planning and Investments.

Gordon Ramsey's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-07-10

madpablito wrote:The ChFC qualifies you to take the CFP examination. The CLU is Life Insurance Oriented, so you will learn to sell Life Insurace and make a good living on it. The ChFC is more focused on financial Planning and Investments.

 
So will the CLU.
 
The CLU will never help you sell anything.  It will help you use life insurance in the appropriate situations.

Please or Register to post comments.

Industry Newsletters
Investment Category Sponsor Links

 

Careers Category Sponsor Links

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×