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.
Master Registered Financial Consultant: The Basics
Generally, those who earn the Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) designation are financial consultants. In other words, they are financial professionals who assist clients in developing personalized financial plans for important financial matters such as insurance, savings, retirement, and investments.
This designation is awarded to committed financial professionals or advisors who have exhibited improving their market reach. Ideally, they also meet high standards and strict requirements within the financial services industry.
This designation also denotes a higher level of professionalism and dedication to serving their clients. Ideally, a financial professional shows the designation to clients as evidence of their commitment to continuing education.
The International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) created the MRFC designation. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) awards it.
The Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) designation has a number of prerequisites. Candidates must have four years of professional experience within the financial services industry. That experience can include financial services. investment planning/securities, insurance planning, retirement planning, tax preparation, and estate planning.
They also must have all required licenses to practice in the financial planning profession. That experience will be verified by checking state licensing and/or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licensing history. Without that verification, candidates must provide a detailed resume or CV. They’ll also provide contact information for their current supervisor or human resources personnel. The IARFC will verify a candidate’s experience by contacting the supervisor or HR personnel. Candidates. can also submit letters of recommendation verifying the experience.
Candidates can’t have “black marks” on their records, such as a revocation of any professional license or designation.
From an educational standpoint, candidates must either hold one of the following: a professional designation of AAMS, CFA, CFP, ChFC, CLU, CPA, EA, or LUTCF; a Series 65 license or Series 6 and a 63, a Series 6 and a 66, a Series 7 and a 63, or a Series 7 and a 66; a life insurance license; or a bachelor’s or graduate or advanced degree in business, economics, finance, or another related field.
MRFC candidates must also pass a certification exam and complete 40 hours of continuing education in the personal finance or professional practice management fields annually. Additionally, every two years, they must dedicate four of these continuing education hours to ethics. Candidates do not need to be a member of the IARFC to earn the MRFC designation.
The MRFC Exam
To pass the exam and earn a Master Registered Financial Consultant certification, candidates must receive a score of 67% or higher. Proctors oversee the computer-based exam. It contains 125 questions, but scores just 100 of them. Applicants take the exam over three hours.
The exam covers a wide breadth of subject matter: the client engagement process, retirement planning, investments and financial products, distribution strategies, tax-advantaged retirement plans, wealth transfer planning, several different types of insurance (such as term, life, variable, long-term care, and permanent), annuities, education funding and planning, estate planning, plan development, data gathering, tax planning, investment planning, and professional conduct and practice management.
If candidates fail the exam, they can take it two additional times but must wait 30 days between test days. If they fail the exam three times, they must wait an entire calendar year to retake the exam. The required examination fee of $600, plus the application fee of $100. Additionally, the annual recertification fee is $600.
The Bottom Line
The Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) credential is awarded to experienced financial professionals who meet certain standards. Financial consultants who help clients develop personalized financial plans for insurance, retirement, savings, and investments typically pursue this designation.
- Even if you aren’t sure if a Master Registered Financial Consultant can help you with your portfolio, you may want to consider talking to a financial advisor. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Do you know how much investment risk you can tolerate? What will taxes and inflation take out of your investment plan? How much does your investment need to grow if it’s going to reach your goals? SmartAsset’s investing guide can help you answer some of your initial investing questions while getting your plan on track.
- Keeping track of that alphabet soup of financial certifications isn’t easy. A financial advisor can have a pile of acronyms behind their name and still not be the right persons for your financial needs. SmartAsset compiled a list of the Top 10 financial certifications just to give you some idea of what those letters mean for you and your finances.
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