Use of Professional Designations

The use of improper and/or misleading professional designations and credentials is unlawful in some states, may violate FINRA rules and should be avoided.  In all cases before using a professional designation or credential, you must have actually received or earned the designation/credential from an accredited university, college or professional society.  The use of non-existent or self-conferred designations is prohibited, as are designations that imply a level of education, experience or training that you don’t have.  Designations such as the CSA CIMC, ChFC, or others help demonstrate your commitment to client and professional development.  In addition, certain states have implemented regulations prohibiting the use of certain professional designations.  You should verify that there is no state prohibition before considering a professional designation.

Here is a list of pre-approved designations:

  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)
  • Certified Investment Management Consultant (CIMC)
  • Certified Fund Specialist (CFS)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS)
  • Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS)
  • Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC)
  • Certified Financial Educator (CFEd)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CRC)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)