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Financial Advisor

Sep 19, 2019 Managing your money isn’t easy. There are a lot of decisions you must make, and you’ll need to grapple with complicated issues like taxes, investing strategies and retirement income planning. Hiring a financial advisor can make things easier. The term "financial advisor" describes a broad group of professionals, though, so it can be tough to figure out exactly whom you want to hire. Before committing to paying someone to manage your money, you should know exactly what your options are, what services they provide and what kind of clientele they serve. If you’re looking for a financial advisor, you can find one today using SmartAsset’s Read More...

Dec 09, 2019 Passing the Series 86 exam — also known as the Research Analyst Qualification exam — is necessary for anyone who wants to work as research analyst for a broker-dealer member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Series 86 comprises the first portion of the two-part Series 86/87 exam. The test is designed to determine how well an entry-level representative can perform the job of research analyst. Read More...

Dec 08, 2019 Tax professionals designated as accredited tax preparers (ATP) can help ensure an individual's returns are up to the standards of the IRS. By passing an exam, the national ATP credential demonstrates a thorough understanding of the current tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns. Read More...

Dec 07, 2019 The divorce rate in the U.S. has declined since the 1980s, down from 50% to around 39%. However, you may need to prepare for it anyway. It can be financially devastating. Planning working with a financial advisor can minimize the impact. Follow these steps toward finance-minded divorce planning. Read More...

Dec 06, 2019 A Series 52 certification lets professionals trade municipal securities. Also known as the Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination, it's one of the first steps toward a career as a licensed municipal securities representative. Here's what the Series 52 covers and what its exam entails. Read More...

Dec 06, 2019 The Series 82 gives its holder the authority to conduct private securities transactions, among other activities. The exam is also known as the Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam. Private securities are investments only available for a select group of investors. Here's how it all works. Read More...

Dec 05, 2019 Financial professionals who plan on selling closed-ended funds, mutual funds, and variable products must follow a specific career path. They’ll take the Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Principal Qualification Examination (Series 26) and obtain the Series 26 license. Here's what that entails, and what it means if an advisor has this license. Read More...

Dec 05, 2019 Social Security benefits can be confusing, even for the most seasoned financial professional. But those advisors who have earned the  Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies certification are well-versed in the ins and outs of their Social Security. They can help their clients understand tax considerations, spousal benefits and other key strategies that will maximize their benefits.  Here’s what you should know about the certification and the steps financial professionals take to obtain it. Read More...

Dec 05, 2019 A Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS) is a financial professional who helps families prepare for the costs of college. These experts are able to help fill out financial aid forms and answer questions about 529 savings plans. Here's how professionals get the designation and what it does. Read More...

Dec 05, 2019 Financial professionals seeking to gain more knowledge and expertise might look to exams and licenses to complete for further education and skills. For some, taking the General Securities Principal Qualification Examination — or Series 24 exam — will be helpful. Here's what it does and who should take it. Read More...

Dec 05, 2019 If you're a socially conscious person, it can affect every aspect of your life, from the car you drive to where you shop. It can also impact which companies you choose to invest in, and many investors choose to pursue a socially responsible investing (SRI) strategy. If you’re looking for socially responsible investments, consider working with a Chartered SRI Counselor, which is an investment advisor focusing on these investing strategies . Here's what you need to know about the certification and requirements. Read More...

Nov 27, 2019 Millions of Americans retire each year and the financial services industry is trying hard to meet demand. To that end, many advisors have specialized by earning professional certifications that highlight their retirement planning expertise. A Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) is one of several types of advisors you might seek if you're stepping up your retirement plans. Understanding what this certification entails can help if you're seeking a financial advisor to assist you. Read More...

Nov 27, 2019 With millions of people living into their 70s, 80s and 90s, the costs of healthcare, long-term care, aides and nursing homes are straining finances in many families. In response to this chronic problem, the financial and insurance industries have created many specializations for professional advisors. One of these, the Certification for Long-Term Care (CLTC), focuses on the complexities and expenses of services for the aged. If you're making a plan for yourself or a loved one, you may want to engage an advisor with this certification. A consultation with  a financial advisor could be a first step in determining just how much specialized professional help you need. Read More...

Dec 03, 2019 Choosing a financial advisor can be rough. That's especially true considering the alphabet soup that often follows their names. However, a Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) can be useful to an investor and their financial plan. Learn about this designation, its requirements, its exam, and why it matters. Read More...

Dec 07, 2019 There are many credentials for financial professionals, and it can be difficult to distinguish one from another. A Certified Financial Fiduciary (CFF) is a relatively new certification that brokers, financial advisors,  insurance agents or other professional may acquire. A CFF indicates its holder is obligated to work in your best interests, but what does it tell you about their experience or knowledge? We'll explore that question here. If you're looking for a financial advisor, understanding just what that person's credentials really mean can make the choice easier.  Read More...

Nov 25, 2019 Selling a small business means income, and income means income taxes. But the way you structure the deal can make a major difference in how much of the sale price goes to taxes, and how much stays with you. Here's what you need to know about the tax implications of selling a small business. Read More...

Nov 25, 2019 Thinking about selling your business? There are several ways to calculate the selling price of a business — but not everyone agrees on what method is best. Here's a breakdown of the most popular options to determine the value of your enterprise. Read More...

Nov 22, 2019 Working with a financial advisor can be helpful if you need advice on creating a retirement savings plan, getting out of debt or reaching another financial goal. But they're working with your money and have to earn your trust.  As you search for an advisor, here are some hints for how to find a financial advisor you can trust. Read More...

Nov 22, 2019 A financial advisor can offer insight into what you should be doing with your money to reach your financial goals. They don't offer their advice for free, however. The typical advisor charges clients 1% of the assets they manage. Is it worth paying a financial advisor? Consider what you get for your money. Read More...

Nov 22, 2019 Several factors distinguish S Corp vs C Corp tax advantages. Choosing to become a C Corp or S Corp can have a sizable effect on a business’s future, growth, and investor base. There’s no easy answer to whether a C Corp or S Corp is the best choice. To pick wisely, entrepreneurs have to consider several interlocking variables. Read More...

Nov 23, 2019 If you have a limited liability company (LLC), electing to tax it an S corporation could be helpful. Numerous factors could help your decision. How do you treat your income? Will you use some of it as dividends? We'll take a look at some of the pros and cons of an LLC taxed as S corp and see if it's right for your business. Read More...

Nov 21, 2019 Working with a financial advisor is a good idea if you need help managing your investments or creating a financial plan for the future. But before you work with a financial advisor, it's important to understand how they get paid. Not only do you want to know how much you'll pay in fees, but you should also understand how other forms of payments could incentivize them to make certain recommendations. Here's a look at the different ways financial advisors earn money. Read More...

Nov 21, 2019 The world of finance is often challenging for many consumers. However, financial professionals who hold the Certified Financial Educator (CFEd) designation communicate complex financial ideas in simple, understandable terms. Read on to discover how a CFEd can help you better understand your financial situation. Read More...

Nov 21, 2019 Creating and sticking to a financial plan is challenging, if not impossible for many Americans. That's why some enlist a financial advisor or consultant to keep them on track. Some partner with a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) to do so. Read on to discover how an RFC can help you achieve your financial objectives. Read More...

Nov 19, 2019 A certified financial education instructor, or CFEI, has undergone advanced training in teaching money management skills to people from all walks of life. To earn a CFEI designation, candidates must demonstrate extensive knowledge of personal financial topics and competency in methods of classroom teaching. Read on to learn about what a CFEI does and what the certification process entails. Read More...

Nov 19, 2019 If you're a business owner, you'll most likely be facing many complicated decisions when it comes time to retire — after all, selling a business is a major life event. To help you navigate this complex transition, consider consulting a certified exit planning advisor (CEPA), an expert trained to help you align your goals and build transferable value into your company. Read More...

Nov 18, 2019 Retirement planning is a worthwhile effort at any stage of your career. But if you'll soon need to decide when to start drawing Social Security payments, having a plan is urgent. A National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) is a financial professional who may be especially useful if you need to know when to start, how much more you might draw if you wait, and how much of your retirement expenses these benefits will cover. We'll explore what the NSSA certification means and whether it's a certification you'll want your financial planner to possess. Read More...

Nov 19, 2019 If you're a frequent flyer, odds are you want to make your life as easy as possible when you have to jet off somewhere. But not all cities are equally equipped to facilitate your next adventure to the friendly skies. From the number of airports in a given area to the total number of nonstop destinations you can reach from a city, there are a range of factors that determine which cities are best for people who fly on a regular basis. Keep in mind that it can be helpful to work with a financial advisor if you spend a large chunk of your income on travel to help with budgeting and financial management. Read More...

Nov 17, 2019 When looking for a financial advisor, make sure you ask how they're compensated. Some earn a commission, while others might be fee-only or fee-based. And then there are advisors who charge a percentage of your investment. When choosing an advisor who works off commissions, there are several factors at play that you should be aware of. Read More...

Nov 16, 2019 Excise taxes apply to specific goods and services. Businesses that make or sell chosen goods and services collect most of these taxes. As a consumer, you generally won’t get a bill for excise tax. But if you purchase a taxed good or service you’ll pay it nonetheless, as businesses include cost of the tax in the prices they charge. Read More...

Nov 15, 2019 Long before investing disruptors E-Trade and Betterment came on the scene, there was Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. A maverick since its inception in 1973, Charles Schwab brokerage cut its fees by half when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deregulated the securities industries. Today, the company is a full-service brokerage and investment advisor. It continues to innovate, offering online access, 24-hour client support, no-commission online U.S. stock trades - and most recently, the ability to trade fractions of stocks. Investor’s Business Daily named Charles Schwab, which has 12 million brokerage customers, the “#1 Broker Overall” in its 2019 survey. Also in 2019, StockBrokers.com named the brokerage firm “Best in Class Overall,” and Fortune ranked the brokerage firm #1… Read More...

Nov 15, 2019 When you need financial advice, an investment advisory is one pace you can turn. Generally speaking, an investment advisory is a firm that helps its clients with developing an investment plan to grow wealth strategically. Here's how investment advisory firms operate and what you can expect when working with one. Read More...

Nov 15, 2019 If you need help managing your money, you might be considering a financial planner. In a nutshell, a financial planner helps individuals create customized plans for meeting their financial goals. A financial planner is one type of financial advisor. If you're considering working with one, here are the most important things to know. Read More...

Nov 14, 2019 An Accredited Wealth Management Advisor is a wealth manager specializing in high-net worth clients. It's a designation bestowed upon experienced advisors working with high-net-worth clients. Also, it's or for advisors with broad financial knowledge who wish to specialize in high-net-worth clients. Here's how it works. Read More...

Nov 13, 2019 An investment professional who supervises municipal securities trading for a securities firm or bank dealer needs a Series 53 license. The Series 53 exam, also called the Municipal Securities Principal Qualification Examination, evaluates the knowledge and expertise of a municipal securities principal. Read on to learn more Read More...

Nov 12, 2019 No matter where you are in your career, sooner or later you'll be approaching retirement . While you should start saving now for your post-working life, consulting with a certified retirement financial advisor (CRFA) could be one move toward making sure you achieve your monetary goals. If you see the acronym “CRFA” after a financial pro's name, you're getting someone who has experience and education in advising clients on investing , taxes and other financial matters related to retirement planning. Read More...

Dec 02, 2019 A certified fund specialist (CFS) is a financial services professional who has acquired advanced expertise in choosing and managing mutual funds. The certification is typically obtained by those already working in the financial industry, including accountants, investment bankers, brokers, money managers and certified financial planners. Learn more about the qualifications for earning a CFS credential and how working with one can up your… Read More...

Dec 02, 2019 Medicaid isn’t the easiest federal program to navigate. A Certified Medicaid Planner (CMP) can help. A CMP has expert-level experience with Medicaid program and can help people navigate both current and new Medicaid rules. If you need help navigating Medicare, learn what it is and why one might be a good fit for you. Read More...

Nov 08, 2019 The Series 9 and Series 10 exams assess the attributes a general securities sales supervisor needs for their job. They are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). They're also prerequisites for becoming a brokerage branch manager. Here's how you take them and what you can do once you pass. Read More...

Nov 08, 2019 A headache wrapped in a lot of bother, attached to a hefty price tag. For many people, that’s what switching financial advisors seems like - and so they put it off, indefinitely. But replacing your advisor doesn’t have to be a big hassle or come with high costs. We spoke to two financial advisors who have been on both sides of client transfers. Here’s their take on the break-up process and how to make it short and sweet. Read More...

Nov 04, 2019 More than a decade after the Great Recession, the United States has seen a mixed record of recovery. Despite record-breaking highs in the stock market and an unemployment rate that has fallen every year since 2009, other economic indicators show that the U.S. economy remains weak in critical areas. Most notably, median worker wage gains have remained far lower than a booming job market would suggest. Inflation likewise remains low, suggesting that consumers don’t have enough purchasing power to drive up prices. Read More...

Nov 04, 2019 Thousands of people reach retirement age every day, and millions more will turn 65 in the next decade. Many of them, even those who have funded a comfortable retirement, have neglected an estate plan. A Certified Estate Planner (CEP) helps people address this oversight. They create long-term plans for money and assets and ensure their clients' directives are clear. Read below to find out more about what CEPs know and whether you'd like your financial planner to carry this certification. Read More...

Nov 04, 2019 Financial institutions and businesses are expanding their operations to a truly global scale, but that scale comes with increased risk. How do banks avoid becoming vehicles for money laundering when they access new markets? What rules govern how they do business and move capital? Detecting bad actors and maintaining industry standards is increasingly difficult, which is why Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (CAMS) are valuable. We'll explore how financial professionals use this certification and why it can be an excellent professional asset. … Read More...

Nov 01, 2019 The Accredited Estate Planner designation is a professional credential for individuals who specialize in estate planning services. You might work with someone who holds an AEP® designation if you need help creating or fine-tuning an estate plan or a succession plan for your business. This guide offers an overview of what an accredited estate planner is, who they serve and what services they provide. Read More...

Oct 31, 2019 If giving back is part of your financial plan, you may consider working with a chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP). A CAP has the necessary knowledge and expertise to help you createa plan for philanthropic giving. Here's a closer look at what chartered advisors in philanthropy do and how to become one. Read More...

Oct 31, 2019 Because registered investment advisor firms (RIAs) have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients' best interests, they are subject to scrutiny and regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This means RIAs are required to disclose certain financial and business details to their clients — essentially, information investors would want to know about. Read More...

Oct 30, 2019 Do you ever wonder who’s behind the trading desk, helping your financial firm find the best investment mix? In many cases, you’ll find a Chartered Market Technician (CMT). Read on to discover how Chartered Market Technicians achieve their designation and how they play a crucial role in managing your wealth. Read More...

Nov 12, 2019 A Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS) is a professional who has attained a higher level of education and training in financial planning. As the name suggests, they specialize in working with high net-worth clients — typically those who have at least $1 million in liquid assets. But a CWS's expertise goes beyond just offering a client financial advice. If you choose to work with a financial advisor with the CWS designation, you're also getting someone highly skilled at nurturing client relationships. In short: It's a certificate that signifies that an advisor… Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 As one of the most highly regarded compliance certifications, the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) designation helps professionals increase their skills as well as knowledge of industry regulations. Read on to discover the importance of the CRCP and how it influences the companies you may do business with. Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 Need help planning for retirement? Partnering with a Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) can help you find the answers you seek. Since QPFCs have extensive retirement planning training, they can help guide you through the process. Read on to discover how a QPFC can help you with your retirement obstacles. Read More...

Oct 29, 2019 The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is a twelve-member body that sets and implements monetary policy for the Federal Reserve System. It does this through what it calls open market operations - encouraging lenders to raise or lower interest rates by buying and selling securities from banks. In doing so, it controls economic growth, specifically with respect to two key indicators: the inflation and unemployment rates. Read More...

Oct 26, 2019 Being a sole proprietor or independent contractor can simplify your finances. However, it's important to understand how your business structure affects your taxes. There are tax laws that sole proprietors need to know. This guide explains how to prepare, file, and pay taxes when you run a business alone. Read More...

Oct 28, 2019 Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is one of many certifications and designations that financial professionals can earn. The AFC indicates that a professional values sound financial principles and is trained to teach people their worth. Here’s what it takes to get this designation, how it differs from other popular designations, and which clients it serves best. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 If you’re overwhelmed by retirement planning, it’s wise to partner with an expert who puts your interests first. Working with a financial professional like a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) can help you to find resources you'll need when planning for your golden years. Read on to discover how CPFAs can support you through the retirement planning process. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 As you age, it can be difficult to know what decisions are best for your health, finances, or estate planning. That’s why it’s important to make those decisions with someone you trust. A Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) can help ensure your affairs are handled appropriately. Read on to discover how a CSA can help you address your needs as you age. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 A high net-worth individual is faced with many complex financial decisions. Luckily, there are financial professionals who can address those financial concerns. A Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) is trained to tend to the needs of high net worth individuals. Read on to discover how a CPWA can help you with your financial situation. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 Maintaining a home office for your business can yield a benefit at tax time if you're able to claim a deduction for your expenses. The IRS lays out the rules for deducting home office costs in Publication 587. There's a common myth about this deduction triggering an audit. But that shouldn't stop you from claiming it if you're eligible. Here's more on how this deduction works and what it covers. Read More...

Dec 02, 2019 The Series 3, also known as the National Commodities Futures Examination, is a licensing exam for financial professionals who wish to sell commodity futures contracts. The Series 3 allows a financial professional to sell both commodity futures contracts and options on commodity futures contracts. Those who take the Series 3 could also be stockbrokers, but they'd have to take another exam. Learn more about the Series 3, the people who administer it, and to how to best prepare for the exam. Read More...

Dec 02, 2019 The Series 79 exam, also known as the Investment Banking Representative Exam, is taken by many financial professionals, including investment bankers. Those who pass the exam ability can advise clients about debt and equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, financial restructuring and more. Learn how to best prepare for the exam, what's required to take it, and what a Series 79 designation means. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 A Fellow of the Secure Retirement Institute (FSRI) is well versed in what it takes to retire in a sustainable way. As a result, their knowledge covers a broad range of retirement topics, from investment management to customer experience. To learn more about the FSRI certification, the people who hold it, and their roles in retirement planning, read on. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 A Fraternal Insurance Counselor Fellow (FICF) is a specially trained insurance professional and member of a national network of counselors. But in order to get the FICF designation, you have to already have a Fraternal Insurance Counselor (FIC) designation. Keep reading to learn more about these certifications. Read More...

Oct 24, 2019 A Certified Financial Transitionist (CeFT) is trained to help clients navigate through major life events and the financial transitions that accompany them. The CeFT is the industry's first designation specifically geared toward financial change and transition. The certification is offered by the Financial Transitionist Institute, which is the training and certification division of the Sudden Money Institute. Here's how it works. Read More...

Oct 24, 2019 . The Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) is a 10-course training program that focuses on industry-specific education in the insurance and finance industries. The FLMI also addresses insurance and financial concepts beyond the average consumer's knowledge threshold and provides a greater understanding of the insurance industry in general. Here's a glimpse at how FLMI helps professionals address insurance, regulations,  the insurance industry, and the business skills necessary to do their jobs. Read More...

Oct 28, 2019 Growing a business is hard work, but even successful business owners must consider how all that work will end and when an exit strategy will begin. It can be a difficult process and many business owners, still hard at work, may feel it's unnecessary. But without a clear exit plan, it may be difficult to sell the business at maximum profit, take it public or transfer ownership to a designated successor. This is why hiring a Certified Exit Planner (CExP) appeals to many business owners. Finding the right CExP can take time, but if you own a business it can be useful to start by engaging a financial advisor with knowledge of this specialization. Read More...

Dec 02, 2019 For many people, investing isn't just about smart financial decisions. They also want to allocate their resources in a way that is consistent with their personal values or religious principles. Many may prefer financial advice from a professional who shares those values. For those of the Christian faith, connecting with a CKA, or Certified Kingdom Advisor, may help bring financial and spiritual values into alignment. The SmartAsset matching tool can help a search for the advisor who meets your needs. Read More...

Dec 02, 2019 Retirement planning is one aspect of personal finance that every advisor should know well. Correspondingly, there are dozens of professional certifications advisors can add to their bona fides and expertise. One of these is Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®). The title sounds on the money, but what does a CRC do and how can one help you plan retirement? We'll explore this credential and why it can be a professional advantage in the financial advisory field. You can use the information if you're ready to find a financial advisor who can help you through the steps of retirement planning. Read More...

Oct 24, 2019 Disposable income is a key concept in budgeting, as it refers to the income that's leftover after you pay taxes. It's sometimes known as your net pay. Note that this is distinctly different from discretionary income, which is what remains after you subtract taxes and other necessary costs. Disposable income is also used as an indicator to determine the state of the overall economy. If you have questions about how to build a budget, try consulting with a financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 28, 2019 Giving to charity can be doubly rewarding. It helps other people, and it makes you feel like you’re doing something good. As a bonus, it can get you a deduction on your taxes, something a  financial advisor can help you navigate. With all that in mind, SmartAsset uncovered the places in the U.S. where people are the most charitable. Read More...

Oct 23, 2019 Discretionary income is a term commonly mentioned in conjunction with budgeting and student loans.  Essentially, it's the amount of money you can spend or save after you take care of all necessary expenses and income taxes. Discretionary income usually changes on an annual basis based on contributing factors that are both in and out of your control. So regardless of whether you're getting together your annual budget or applying for a student loan, learning about discretionary income is important. If you have questions, speak with a financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Oct 21, 2019 If you’ve ever forgotten to cash a check or left old retirement accounts behind with a job, that money might have wound up in the care of the state government. After a certain period of time, usually five years, states become the owner of accounts and property that has gone unclaimed or abandoned. This is known as escheatment - the process by which abandoned assets get turned over to the state. Read More...

Oct 17, 2019 The Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation distinguishes financial advisors and other retirement professionals as experts in helping clients prepare for retirement. To become a CRPC, these individuals must meet several qualifications, undergo hours of training and take an examination. Once a CRPC has their certification in hand, there are continuing education requirements that help keep their knowledge up to date. To find a financial advisor in your area that specializes in retirement planning, you can use SmartAsset's advisor matching tool. Read More...

Oct 09, 2019 When setting a budget, it's important to differentiate between what you need and what you want. Indeed, many budgeting systems ask you to assign percentages to your needs and wants. For instance, the 50/30/20 budget popularized by Elizabeth Warren recommends putting 50% of your budget to "needs" and 30% to "wants." But what actually constitutes a need or a want? Before you start building a budget, it's crucial to understand what really fits into each of these categories, and to honestly and objectively evaluate your spending habits. You might also find it helpful to Read More...

Oct 09, 2019 Advancing into old age brings to the forefront a variety of lifestyle and  financial considerations, including the possibility of transitioning to a full-time nursing home. Whether you are thinking about nursing home care for yourself or for a parent or loved one, there are many factors to weigh and expenses to navigate. You want to make sure, after all, that the facility you choose will be comfortable, clean, well-run and affordable. Read More...

Oct 02, 2019 If you are a federal employee, you may want to work with a Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant (ChFEBC) to help you address your financial concerns. ChFEBCs are financial professionals that are knowledgeable of changes to federal benefits and associated programs. They also have extensive knowledge about FERS, CSRS, and special provisions. Read on to discover how a ChFEBC can help you address your financial affairs as a government employee. Read More...

Sep 27, 2019 Registered financial advisors use custodians to house and protect their clients’ assets. Often, financial advisors offer multiple custodian options to their clients. This allows them to expand their services, investment options, and diversification of assets. By offering multiple custodians, your financial advisor can match you with one that fits your financial needs. Read on to discover how to choose the right custodian for you. Read More...

Sep 26, 2019 Retirement, illness, disputes with a partner or even lack of interest can make business owners dream of selling. All of the above legitimate reasons to sell, but even owners who aren't thinking of selling may want to plan for the unexpected. Therefore, that planning ideally should start when the business is founded. An exit strategy is an important part of any business plan. However, it’s never too late or early to make preparations for selling your business. Read More...

Sep 26, 2019 The Certified Fixed Income Practitioner designation indicates expertise in all things regarding fixed-income securities. If you are a financial professional. who wants to help people invest in bonds and other somewhat sheltered assets, this can further your career. The CFIP designation also demonstrates a desire to learn and follow ethical standards. Let's look at how the designation works and how professionals can obtain it. Read More...

Sep 25, 2019 Let’s start with some good news. It is not as bad as you’ve heard. The divorce rate is high, but it still requires a lot of variables for a couple to actually get divorced. Still, “probably won’t happen” doesn’t mean your marriage is on stable ground. If your marriage does end badly, chances are you’ll need help. That’s where a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst comes in. Read More...

Oct 02, 2019 There are three types of treasuries with which you’re likely familiar. The first, the United States Treasury, collects your income taxes every year. This isn't that kind of treasury. Scrooge McDuck or Smaug, last of the Great Dragons, control the second type of treasury. This isn't that, either. No, this is a story about corporate treasuries and the professionals who master them. Fewer dragons, but far more opportunity for career advancement. Read More...

Sep 20, 2019 More than half of Americans have invested in a stock-related mutual fund. Most invest through their retirement accounts, often with little direction beyond selecting a 401k fund. But stocks are just one way to grow your money. An increasingly number of investors are exploring alternative investments. There is money to be made here, and arguably the best person to explain that is the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst. Read More...

Sep 20, 2019 A Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) has a proven expertise in the arena of financial planning, which helps them better advise their clients. They are different than most paraplanners because the average paraplanner rarely has a formal certification. Paraplanners are part of a financial planning team and often do most tasks associated with financial planning services. However, they do not usually take the lead in terms of client relationships. Read More...

Sep 18, 2019 An investment's performance could mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and a few more years of work. Therefore, it's vital for financial planners and investment managers to accurately assess investment performance for their clients. A Certificate in Investment Performance Management (CIPM) can tell clients that a financial professional has the expertise they're looking for. Learn what a CIPM does and how they qualify.  Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 There’s no shortage of required licensing exams for financial professionals. From the Series 63 and Series 65 to Series 7, there are many different exams required for various roles within the financial services industry. Financial professionals who pass the Series 6 exam are licensed to sell certain securities and insurance products. Here's a breakdown of what the exam entails and why the license matters. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 The Series 65, also known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, is a test and license required of most financial professionals. If you're interested in becoming a financial professional, it's just one of the many licenses you may need to succeed in the industry. Read on to learn more about the Series 65, from its issuing body to certification requirements, plus what types of financial professionals it licenses. Read More...

Sep 18, 2019 Certified Risk Managers (CRMs) are financial professionals with training in risk management, which comes in handy when helping clients chart a financial future. The CRM designation is one of the most important designations for risk managers working in the finance, insurance, accounting and legal fields. The CRM designation isn't required for a risk management career, but it can make risk managers more marketable to employers, especially in fields like insurance and finance. Here's how to become a CRM, why it may be important and how it stacks up against other certifications. Read More...

Sep 18, 2019 Your friend wants to borrow $20, so you take a minute to think about it. What happened the last time he borrowed money from you? You might see that 20 bucks again, but even odds say you don’t. So you agree to lend him the money on the condition that he pays you back $25. This is financial risk management in action. Professionals who want to get particularly good at it pursue a Financial Risk Manager certification. Read More...

Sep 17, 2019 Almost no one will know what it means if your business card has a “CPCU” after your name. The “almost” is key here though. Almost no one will understand what CPCU means, but your colleagues will. Future employers will. Business partners and (if lucky enough) investors in any firm you open will. The chartered property casualty underwriter (CPCU) certification is a mouthful, but it’s a big deal in the insurance world. Here’s why. What Is A Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter? The CPCU is a certification offered by The Institutes. It is a credential for the insurance industryRead More...

Sep 17, 2019 Whether you keep the books at a small office or review files for the IRS, accounting is a wide field with many professions in it. At the top of this field sits the CPA. Certified Public Accountants are accounting professionals who have passed both the privately issued CPA exam and public licensing requirements. If you need someone to look at your money, they’re the cream of the crop. Here’s what you need to know about the CPA. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 The Chartered Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation conveys an insurance professional's expertise in one of seven different insurance topic areas. It's a valuable certification if you are an agent, sales manager or work with insurance agents often. Here's how to get a CIC certification, how it differs from other certifications and how to know if it's the right move for your career. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) certification helps Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) demonstrate an expertise in all aspects of wealth management. A PFS is someone with a CPA who also offers financial planning services. There are many requirements before getting the PFS designation beyond having a CPA and taking an exam. Professionals with the PFS designation may work for consulting or accounting firms, or run their own firm. Read on to learn what it takes to become a PFS, the benefits of holding the certification and the difference between a PFS and other types of financial professionals. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Thinking of becoming a licensed financial professional? You'll likely have to take one - or several - licensing exams. The Series 63 exam focuses on a financial professional's ethical and fiduciary obligations. Read on to learn who should hold a Series 63 license and what the exam entails. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 Living in a community property state may not make a difference to you if you're single, but it might if you're married or planning to be soon. Community property states handle the division of assets and debts in a marriage differently than equitable distribution states. While you may plan to live happily ever after with your spouse, it's important to understand how you could be affected by the property division laws in your state if divorce becomes a reality. Read More...

Sep 24, 2019 A Certified Management Accountant is an accounting professional specializing in financial management and reporting for organizations. The CMA certification establishes that someone is expert in financial accounting and strategic business management. As a result, the CMA focuses on business decision-making as opposed to audit, tax, or general accounting. Here's how they're certified and what they do. Read More...

Sep 13, 2019 Financial advice comes, mostly, in a sea of acronyms. There is the CPA (Certified Public Accountant), the CFP (Certified Financial Planner), the CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) and more. Each certification marks a slightly different specialty in financial advice and management. That field also includes the ChFC: the Chartered Financial Consultant. They often do good work. Here’s how. What Is A Chartered Financial Consultant? The Chartered Financial… Read More...

Sep 12, 2019 Whether working through your retirement years is an aspiration or a necessity, it doesn’t hurt to have some help with financial planning when considering that aspect of your future. As you set your goals, you might be interested in the fact that there are certain cities in which the senior participation in the labor force has grown more than in others in recent years. Read More...

Sep 11, 2019 When working with a financial advisor to manage your money, it's important to know whether they're required to uphold a fiduciary duty to their clients. Being a fiduciary means advisors are obligated to act in the best interests of the investors they serve. When a breach of that duty happens, it's important to understand what rights you have and how to protect yourself financially. Read More...

Sep 10, 2019 If you’re in a position to need this article, congratulations. We'll try to contact Lamborghini to target you with banner ads. If you’re not, but have decided to read this article anyway, welcome to the 99.98%. Don’t feel too badly, though. This is just an illustration of wealth among U.S. investors. There’s comfortable, there’s rich… and then there’s family office rich. What Is A Family Office? A family office is a one-stop financial shop for the extremely wealthy. They serve as wealth management and financial advisors for high net worth clients typically focused only on the category known as “ultra high net worth.” (This is generally defined as anyone with $30 million or more to invest. A… Read More...

Oct 18, 2019 Here’s the situation: You would like to invest your savings or retirement account. However, not wanting to trust your money to eTrade and luck, you hire an investment advisor who steers your money into mutual funds. Did this advisor gave you good advice? Or does he simply get a commission for each new investor he brings into the fund? This is the question of fiduciary duty, and it is essential to getting good financial advice. The certification of Accredited Investment Fiduciary tries to address this. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 Chartered financial analyst (CFA) is a designation bestowed by the CFA Institute on financial professionals who are competent and knowledgeable financial analysts. Those who want to earn their CFA certification must first past a rigorous, three-part exam encompassing economics, ethics, money management and a number of other financial topics. Many financial advisors hold the CFA designation. Read More...

Aug 30, 2019 Universal basic income (UBI) is a program often proposed by futurists and progressive politicians. It would provide a basic allowance for everyone in the city, state or country and could make a big impact on your budget. But how would it work exactly? Here's a guide to universal basic income including places that have already tried it, plus pros and cons of the plan and more. Read More...

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