Designation and Certification Glossary






AWMA® Accredited Wealth Management Advisor 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.
CAIA® Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) is a professional designation granted by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association to candidates who have completed Level I and Level II examinations. The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association has established the designation of CAIA to certify that the holders have met the association’s educational standard for specialists in the area of alternative investments. The alternative investments that a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst is trained to assess include hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, funds of funds, derivatives, and real estate investments.
CDFA® Certified Divorce Financial Analyst The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA®) is the premier national organization dedicated to the certification, education and promotion of the use of financial professionals in the divorce arena. Acknowledges and supports the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within its professional organization.
CFA® Chartered Financial Analyst A chartered financial analyst (CFA) is a globally-recognized professional designation given by the CFA Institute, (formerly the AIMR (Association for Investment Management and Research)), that measures and certifies the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Candidates are required to pass three levels of exams covering areas, such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management, and security analysis.
CFEd® Certified Financial Educator The CFE Certified Financial Educator® or CFEd®, is a FINRA recognized designation that is registered and offered through the Heartland Institute of Financial Education, a 501(c) (3) national nonprofit. This prestigious and one of a kind designation is awarded to individual professional practitioners who have knowledge in the field of financial services as well as Experience in the area of teaching or instructing adult learners.
CFP® Certified Financial Planner Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a formal recognition of expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement saving. Owned and awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., the designation is awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial exams, then continue ongoing annual education programs to sustain their skills and certification.
CMFC® Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) is a professional designation for mutual fund advisers. It was previously awarded by the College for Financial Planning, now part of Kaplan, to financial services professionals who completed a study program and passed an exam covering mutual fund topics.
CPWA® Certified Private Wealth Advisor


An advanced credential created specifically for wealth managers who work with high-net-worth individuals, focusing on the life cycle of wealth: accumulation, preservation, and distribution. Candidates who earn the certification understand how to develop specific strategies to minimize taxes, monetize and protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth.
CTFA® Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor The Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) is a professional designation offered by the American Bankers Association (ABA), which provides training and knowledge in taxes, investments, financial planning, trusts, and estates. Previously called the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor certification, the ABA replaced “Financial” in the title with the word “Fiduciary” in 2020.The CTFA credential is appropriate for professionals who have a career in banking, brokering, financial planning, taxation, or trust administration.
EA® Enrolled Agent, IRS An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
FPQP® Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional A Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP) has a proven expertise in 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.
GFP® Global Financial Planning Formed in 2020, the Global Financial Planning Institute exists to provide education, community, tools and ongoing research for financial planners, wealth managers, private bankers, CPA/accountants, and other advanced financial professionals working with international and cross-border clients in the US and Americans abroad.
RMA® Retirement Management Advisor The RMA® program addresses real-time retiree challenges and is constructed to help advisors navigate the specific needs of those managing retirement income plans so that they can drive better outcomes.​ Designed for times like these, our faculty bring relevant client challenges of today to the table. They share techniques and provide you with innovative approaches to keep your clients on track with their retirement promises.