Unfortunately, there are no standardized requirements for someone to call himself or herself a financial advisor. You will find a huge disparity in the backgrounds and qualifications of people who provide financial advice. This can make choosing the right financial advisor for you confusing and challenging.
At Pillar, you will be working with professionals with college degrees, respected financial designations and significant experience in providing financial advice to a wide variety of individuals and institutions.
Here are some certification definitions that you may find useful in determining an advisor’s qualifications.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
The CPA credential is bestowed upon individuals with an appropriate bachelor’s degree, has passed the rigorous CPA exam and met the minimum experience requirement (generally 2 years). In addition, CPAs are required to uphold a code of ethics and complete a minimum amount of continuing professional education each year.
Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
The PFS designation is granted by the American Institute of Certified public Accountants (AICPA). Applicants must first earn the CPA designation and demonstrate knowledge and experience in personal financial planning through examinations and/or certification.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
The CFA is a professional credential offered through the CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals. It requires the passing of a rigorous 3 part examination and appropriate experience in the analysis of investments. CFA charter holders are required to uphold a code of ethics.