What is a "Chartered Financial Consultant" (ChFC)?

A Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) is an adviser who holds an accreditation from The American College of Financial Services and has successfully completed an examination covering all areas of financial planning, including income tax, insurance, investment, and estate planning. He must have a minimum of 3 years' experience in the financial industry.

What is a "Chartered Investment Counselor" (CIC)?

To be a Chartered Investment Counselor, one must first be accredited as a Certified Financial Analyst. Candidates must study more advanced concepts in portfolio management, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and provide character references.

What is The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), and why is it an important resource when choosing a financial planner?

NAPFA is the nation's leading organization dedicated to the advancement of fee-only financial planning. This means financial planners who have earned a registration with NAPFA cannot charge clients a commission, and must go through rigorous examinations and continuing education.

Why else are the NAPFA standards so high?

NAPFA also believes it is on the leading edge of standards of education, training, and methods of practice. With these standards, NAPFA can help move people away from debt-crazed, undisciplined, and retirement-poor conditions that beset millions of Americans.

What is a conflict of interest in financial planning?

A conflict of interest occurs when a financial planner may benefit financially from the investment choices he offers you, because those choices may be subjective and biased. Bias occurs when a commissioned financial planner limits the choices offered to you and steers you toward only those financial investments that help him earn commissions.

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