Step 4 - How can I crush it in my career?

Getting a foot in the door is one thing. Getting where you want to go is another. Just 3 or 4 little letters behind your name can make all the difference. Financial designations prove that you have the right stuff. And to clients, you can prove you are ready to do business.

Women of Letters

There are benefits to having credentials after your name. Here’s a guide that will help you sort out what the designations really mean.

CFP® = Certified Financial Planner

This is one of the most recognized credentials in financial planning. You get certified through the CFP board for five courses covering insurance, estate, retirement, education, tax, and investment planning. To get the designation, you’re also tested on ethics and the financial planning process.

Did you know that you can go through a CFP program online? Here’s a list of 20 schools.
How can you be a better advisor? Learn more about certifications and degrees from The American College of Financial Services.
Interested in attending Western Michigan University’s Sanford Center for Financial Planning?
CIMA® = Certified Investment Management Analyst

One way to take your career to the next level is with the CIMA® designation. You’ll get tested in technical and portfolio construction by the Investments and Wealth Institute. There are only 3 registered programs in the U.S. (and one in Australia).

Interested in becoming a Certified Investment Management Analyst? Here’s what it takes.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Yale School of Management
CFA® = Chartered Financial Analyst

Do you like a challenge? The CFA® is considered to be one of the most difficult and prestigious credentials you can get in the field. To earn the designation, you’ll need to take three years of courses that will take you deep into the nuances of investment management – including things like portfolio theory and financial accounting.

Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (aka CFA) is a high distinction. Learn how to get certified.
Need help getting ready for the CFA exam? Start here to find the right resource.
AAMS = Accredited Asset Management Specialist

Get more career cred with this designation from the College for Financial Planning (CFP). You’ll go through a self-study program, pass an exam, and agree to comply with a code of ethics. The credentials are good for two years before you need to renew.