What is a CFA® Charterholder?
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) credential is a professional designation awarded by the CFA Institute, an organization which seeks to advance ethics, integrity and professional standards of practice in the investment management industry. The CFA credential is one of the most respected designations in finance and is widely considered to be the gold standard in the field of investment analysis. After completing a series of enrollment requirements, a CFA candidate must successfully pass three six hour long exams in sequential order.
Most successful candidates take an average of four years to earn the designation, and log more than 1,000 hours of rigorous study. The passing rates for Levels 1 and 2 are typically below 50%, and fewer than 1 in 5 candidates who begin the program becomes a CFA charterholder.
The foundation of the CFA program is the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. The CFA Codes and Standards require CFA charterholders “to act with integrity, competence, diligence respect and in an ethical manner with the public, clients, and prospective clients”. In addition, a CFA charterholder has a duty of loyalty to their clients and “must act for the benefit of their clients and place their clients’ interests before their employer’s or their own interests”.
How does the CFA designation compare to the CFP designation?
A Certified Financial Planner, or CFP® is a professional who is qualified to coordinate all aspects of an individual’s financial situation, whether it be cash flow planning and budgeting, tax planning, retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, risk management or education funding. A CFP® focuses on the big picture, offers a comprehensive approach to financial advice and works with individuals and families.
The CFA program on the other hand involves a more rigorous and in-depth dive into the field of investment analysis and portfolio management, and prepares candidates for careers in either personal or institutional investment management. CFA charterholders are experts in the art and science of security analysis, quantitative methods, asset allocation, and portfolio management. Although they are not trained in comprehensive financial planning, CFA charterholders have the ability to work effectively with tax and estate planning experts to offer a more holistic approach to wealth management.
Todd Schanel has been a CFA charterholder since 2005. He uses the training and knowledge gained from the CFA program in his role as Director of Investment Management at Core Wealth Management. Todd is also a CFP®, making him uniquely qualified to integrate his investment knowledge into the firm’s comprehensive financial planning process. And most importantly, Todd is fully committed to the strict ethical and fiduciary requirements of the both the CFA and CFP® programs.