Money Monday: How to evaluate a financial advisor’s credentials


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Last week, local Money Expert Stephen Schiestel explained the five questions that you should ask a financial advisor. Today, he’s here for you with the best way to evaluate an advisor’s experience and credentials.

“When looking at credentials, it’s important to be aware that there can be well over 100 different credentials that can be earned,” said Schiestel.

The first credential you should examine would be the CFP, or the Certified Financial Planner credential.

“Those who obtain the CFP [credential] are really looking at doing coloristic, comprehensive financial planning. So in order to do that, they have to complete what is known as the four Es of the CFP,” said Schiestel.

The four Es are: Acting in an ethical manner, completing the education requirements, pass a comprehensive examination, and have the correct amount of experience as a financial planner – years minimum

The second major credential would be the CFA, or the Charter Financial Analysis credential.

CFAs are focused primarily on the investment portion of a portfolio.

CFAs specialize in valuing investments, trading them, pricing them and placing them in the correct potfolios.

The third type of credential is the CPA, or the Certified Public Accountant.

CPAs focus on the accounting aspect of financial advising. They help people with their taxes, or help small businesses with accounting statements.

The fourth kind of major credential is the JD, or a law degree.

A JD focuses on estate planning or advising in legal/financial matters.

Take a look at Schiestel’s full advice in the video above.

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