Broker Check

What is an RIA?

A Registered Investment Advisor is "any entity who, for fee-based compensation, engages in the business of advising others".

  • May do personal financial planning, manage portfolios or both under their license as a fiduciary
  • Registers either with their state or the SEC by filing Form ADV and meeting other requirements
  • Evaluates client's needs and risk tolerance, and advises on appropriate investments
  • Monitors client's portfolio. Regular performance reports may be provided
  • May provide other wealth management services, such as retirement, trust, tax, charitable giving, estate and financial planning services
  • Uses a broker/dealer and/or bank to custody assets and to settle and/or to execute trades

What is a CFP®?

The CFP® marks represent a Certified Financial Planner designation. An individual who has earned these marks has met the education, examination, experience and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (CFP Board).

  • Education: There are three ways to meet the CFP® certification education requirement: 1) completing an education program at a college or university whose curriculum is registered with the CFP Board; or 2) submitting a transcript of previous financial planning-related course work to the CFP Board for review and credit; or 3) showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees.
  • Examination: Candidates for the CFP® certification must pass a rigorous two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination administered by the CFP Board that covers the financial planning process and includes such topics as tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance
  • Experience: Candidates for CFP® certification must prove they have experience in the financial planning process before being authorized to use the CFP® marks.
  • Ethics: Candidates for CFP® certification have their backgrounds checked by the CFP Board, and must also disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.

What is a CLU?

The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation is the 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.

Why select a CLU?

Since the first examinations were held in 1928, only a select group, fewer than five percent of those in the field, have qualified to earn this designation*. Each CLU must pass a comprehensive curriculum of ten college level courses, have extensive experience in the industry, and preserve the integrity of the designation by subscribing to a strict code of professional ethics.

*Sourced from

What is a ChFC®?

The Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) focuses on the comprehensive financial planning process as an organized way to collect and analyze information concerning a client's total financial situation. They help their clients identify specific financial goals; and to formulate, implement and monitor a comprehensive plan to work towards those goals. Every ChFC® candidate must have at least three years of industry experience and successfully pass 10 college-level courses from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.

What is an AIF®?

To encourage the widespread adoption and use of fiduciary standards, the Center for Fiduciary Studies™ confers a highly respected industry designation--Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®).

Above all else, the fiduciary standard is intended to ensure that people who are charged with a role in managing other peoples’ money follow prudent investment practices and are therefore worthy of the trust placed in them.

To receive the designation, qualified investment professionals must:

  • demonstrate experience in the field
  • undergo a rigorous fiduciary education and training
  • pass an examination that gauges their full understanding of the Practices and how to apply them with individual and institutional clients.
  • show understanding of distinct practical applications
  • work on continuing education so as to insure updated knowledge about the profession
  • abide by a strict code of ethics.

Designees are also trained to evaluate the fiduciary practices of investment stewards, such as 401(k) and defined benefit plan sponsors, as well as those responsible for managing endowment and foundation assets.

What is an AAMS®?

The Accredited Asset Management Specialistâ„  or AAMS® Program is a professional designation program for financial professionals. The program provides advisors with a strong fundamental financial knowledge with an additional focus on asset management.

Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) is a professional designation awarded by the College for Financial Planning (CFP) to financial professionals who successfully complete a self-study program, pass an exam, and agree to comply with a code of ethics.