Financial Planning's Highest Standard, the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) Credential, Implements New Rigor and Course Requirements

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The most robust and respected credential for financial planning professionals, the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation, will require a total of nine college-level courses for students starting the program on or after October 1, 2009. Already containing all of the educational elements of the generalist CFP® Certification plus two additional specialized electives, the revised curriculum adds the further requirement of a comprehensive case analysis course.

"ChFC® is the single strongest indication consumers have that a financial planner is well qualified to practice and exemplifies the highest standard of knowledge and trust," said Larry Barton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of The American College. "The new enhancement to the requirements for this designation continues to put more distance between this mark and other credentials in the field."

The premier ChFC® designation takes several years for the typical professional to earn, and it includes adherence to a strict code of ethics and requirements for continuing education throughout an advisor's career. Each of the nine courses involves 50 hours or more of study time and has a detailed, proctored examination. The comprehensive curriculum covers the full range of financial planning topics, including ethical considerations in creating a financial plan; insurance, tax, retirement and estate planning; investments; and case analysis. It also includes the option for additional study in the areas of macro economic environment, estate planning applications, financial decisions for retirement, and executive compensation.

According to Walt Woerheide, Ph.D., CFP®, the Dean of The American College and holder of the Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security Research, "Consumers are demanding more education and more practical knowledge from their advisors than ever before. As the benchmark by which other financial planning credentials are measured, ChFC® is raising the bar to lead the profession to a higher standard."

Established as a professional designation in 1982, the Chartered Financial Consultant® designation is conferred by The American College, a non-profit public educational institution with the highest level of academic accreditation and an 82-year history of raising professionalism in the financial services field. More than 45,000 financial planners have earned this leading credential since its inception and its popularity with the profession's best planners continues to grow with the number of designations awarded in 2008 up 18% over the prior year. Learn more at

The American College is dedicated to leadership in innovative training and development that helps financial services companies and their employees succeed. As a non-profit educational institution holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others for over 80 years. The American College's faculty represents some of the financial services industry's foremost thought leaders.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP (with flame logo)® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The marks CASL®, CAP®, ChFC®, CLF®, CLU®, REBC®, and RHU®, are the property of The American College and may be used by individuals who have successfully completed the initial and ongoing certification requirements for these designations.

Eric B. Gordon
Assistant Vice President of Communication
(610) 526-1450


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