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At Ritter Daniher, all of our advisors are Certified Financial Planners. In addition, we are all registered financial advisors with NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. All NAPFA members are held to the highest levels of competency standards, believe that clients are best served by a comprehensive approach to financial planning, and are fee-only fiduciaries. Being fee-only means we do not sell financial products and we never make commissions. As a result, we offer unbiased advice, free of conflicts of interest. We are here for you – to serve you and look out for your best interests above our own. With such high standards, it is no surprise that more than half of those who inquire about joining NAPFA are denied admission when they initially apply.
In addition to NAPFA, all RDFA financial advisors are encouraged to participate in local, regional, and/or national study groups. These groups allow us to learn from trusted colleagues and industry peers, and to share knowledge that helps better the entire industry.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ CFP® and federally registered CFP (with flame design) marks (collectively, the “CFP® marks”) are professional certification marks granted in the United States by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”). The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of 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. Currently, more than 62,000 individuals have obtained CFP® certification in the United States. To attain the right to use the CFP® marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:
Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:
CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.
NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor:
Applicant must demonstrate the ability to take a comprehensive approach to financial planning by either submitting a sample comprehensive financial plan or participating in a peer review dialogue with a third-party Plan/Peer Reviewer.
The Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) designation demonstrates the advisor’s expertise and commitment to understanding mutual funds - to able to evaluate and compare financial measurements and benchmarks of the funds when constructing a portfolio.
Curriculum: Students are given 12 months to complete the program, but the vast majority of the enrollees complete the materials within a couple of months. There are four requirements for certification:
Examination Requirements: Each exam is a 60 minute, 50-question, computer-administered exam - a passing score of 70% is required for each exam. Exams can only be taken sequentially, and the student needs to be notified of a passing grade before sitting for the next exam.
Exams are taken online, with a proctor (disinterested third party). There is no additional exam fee; it is included in the cost of your course tuition. If a re-take is necessary, a $75 charge will apply.
Additional Requirements: To earn this designation, candidates must have at least 2,000 hours of work experience in the financial services industry or a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The designation will not be granted until the required minimum number of hours has been fulfilled or a bachelor's degree has been granted.
Continuing Education Requirements: Designees must report 30 hours of CE every 2 years directly to IBF. Designees have a wide range of topics and methods to choose from (e.g., attending seminars, reading books, completing other courses, teaching, writing articles, etc.). Also, each year designees must remit a $100 annual renewal fee.
The Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation is a professional credential offered by the American Bankers Association for financial professionals who offer fee-based services. To qualify for CTFA certification, individuals must meet specific levels of experience (depending on their level of education), pass a comprehensive exam, and agree to abide by a code of ethics.
Curriculum: To achieve the designation candidates must have a minimum of three years’ experience in wealth management along with the completion of a trust training program. Candidates can also have five years’ experience in wealth management along with a bachelor's degree or ten years’ experience in wealth management. Wealth management experience is defined as direct experience in the various facets of delivering financial planning and fiduciary services relating to trusts, estates, IRAs and individual asset management accounts. This experience further includes providing administrative, investment management, tax, legal and marketing services.
Examination Requirements: The CTFA exam covers Fiduciary & Trust Activities, Financial Planning, Tax Law & Planning, Investment Management, and Ethics in the following format:
Additional Requirements: Candidates must also sign a professional code of ethics. Continuing Education Requirements: To maintain the CTFA designation in good standing one must:
The Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU) designation is a professional credential for persons involved in the protection, accumulation, preservation, and distribution of the economic values of human life. The CLU program provides insights into the life insurance business, its importance to the economy, its operation and distribution systems, and its resurging importance for safe and secure investments.
Curriculum: Candidates must pass an examination for the following five required courses and three elective courses to earn the designation:
As a general rule, candidates should plan to spend 50-70 hours studying for each course. The program can be completed as quickly as a candidate desires, but most students complete their designation requirements within 15-24 months.
Examination Requirements: Each exam is a two-hour, 100-question, computer-administered exam.
Additional Requirements: Candidates must meet experience requirements and ethical standards, including three years of business experience immediately preceding the date of use of the designation; an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited educational institution qualifies as one year of business experience and, when using formal education as qualifying experience, the remaining two years must immediately precede the date of the award.
Continuing Education Requirements: Each designee who falls in one of the following categories must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years. If you do not fall into one of these categories, you are exempt from CE requirements:
AEP® (Accredited Estate Planner®) The AEP® designation is a graduate-level specialization in estate planning, obtained in addition to already recognized professional credentials within the various disciplines of estate planning who support the team concept of estate planning. It is awarded to estate planning professionals who meet stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character.
Two graduate-level courses administered by The American College or from another accredited graduate program as part of a master’s or doctoral degree unless applicant has 15 or more years’ experience as an estate planner.
Candidates must meet all of the following requirements:
NAEPC’s Code of Ethics is intended to align with those of the gateway professional designations required prior to earning the AEP®. View the NAEPC Code at http://www.naepc.org/codeofethics.web
Examination standards are those used by the accredited academic institution providing the graduate courses and include proctored, closed-book exams.
30 hours every 24 months, including 15 hours in estate planning. Recertification required annually.
Designation may be moved to “inactive” status if designee is found not to be in compliance with recertification requirements. The NAEPC Board determines annually the percentage of designation holders to be audited.
Courses to fulfill AEP®’s educational requirements are at a graduate level and must be taken through an accredited academic institution.
File a Complaint about a Designee:
Complaint procedure and form available online at http://www.naepc.org/aep_complaint.web
The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils awards the AEP®. NAEPC encourages programs to increase recognition and acceptance of estate planning as a specialty.
Certified Financial Paraplanner (RP) No longer offered or supported by issuing organization (College for Financial Planning).