Certified Financial Planner - a new standard for financial advisors

Marc

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The school of Professional finance (UCD and Institute of Bankers) has recently introduced a graduate diploma in financial planning and for more complex advice one should seek out an adviser with the Grad Dip qualification.

The ultimate benchmark of the competence of a financial planner is the internationally recognised CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER qualification which will be available in Ireland in the coming weeks. See http://www.fpsb.ie/ for more details.

These qualifications demonstrate that the adviser has been tested both academically at level 9 masters and in a practical examination which tests their ability to interpret and apply solutions across all aspects of personal financial planning including taxation, insurance, investment, retirement planning and to apply this in an ethical and professional manner.

For matters of estate planning and trusts the relevant specialist qualification is TEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner). www.step.ie

Brendan and I spoke recently about setting up a list of advisers with higher levels of specialist qualifications and I am in the process of compiling the same if any AAM advisers would like to submit their CV to either myself or Brendan by private message.

I would suggest an independent AAM committee should confirm the validity of the claims made by the advisers and maintain a list of independently verified advisers.

Marc Westlake CFP, Grad Dip, DIP , QFA (Ireland) Dip PFS (UK)
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
member of :
Chartered insurance institute (UK)
Personal finance society (UK)
Life insurance association(Ireland)
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Ireland)
 

Brendan Burgess

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It is important to distinguish this from the QFA which is a very widely held qualification which is not sufficient on its own to provide advice.
 

Marc

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Brendan,

We would suggest that simply listing an advisers qualifications in itself is an inadequate guide to the service an adviser offers.

We recommend that all advisers should set out in detail their value proposition for example:


Marc Westlake is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and has worked as an Independent Financial Planning Consultant since 1994 a specialist in Portfolio Management, Pensions and Tax and Estate Planning, he moved to Ireland from the UK in January 2008.

Marc has a Bachelors Degree in Economics, Politics and American Studies from Leeds and Pennsylvania State Universities.

He is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute (www.cii.co.uk) and Personal Finance Society in the UK having been awarded the Diploma in Financial Planning.
In Ireland, Marc is a member of the Life Insurance Association (www.lia.ie) holding the QFA diploma.

Marc is also a member of the prestigious Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners in Ireland (www.step.ie) and works closely with Estate Planning Lawyers in Ireland to assist clients in managing their wealth transfer to the next generation.

In 2011, Marc was awarded the post-graduate Diploma in Financial Planning from the Institute of Bankers/UCD

I assist a select group of investors in Ireland to make prudent decisions with their money.

I achieve this through a consultative process providing clarity about their financial goals and what is important to them. I also provide insights into how markets work and how the decisions that investor’s make can affect their investment returns over time.

I apply a Fiduciary standard of care in my dealings with my clients ensuring that my recommendations are in their best interests and meet the standards of the internationally recognised Financial Planning Standards Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional conduct applicable to Certified Financial Planners.

One of my guiding principles is to act in the best interests of my clients, earning and maintaining trust by doing what I say I am going to do. I follow this principle by adhering to a core philosophy that forms the foundation for all the portfolios that I manage.

Some advisers think that their job is to make some kind of investment forecast and try to protect their clients from risk by moving them in and out of markets. This is a tactical asset allocation or market timing strategy and I don't believe that this is possible to do consistently because I don't have a crystal ball. Numerous studies support this view.

I believe that the role of a professional adviser acting in a fiduciary capacity is to help clients to make prudent decisions with their money matching their portfolio to their long term financial goals and focusing on risk and return.
 
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Marc

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A Chartered Financial Planner is a UK qualification awarded by the Chartered Insurance Institute and is equivalent to a Chartered Accountant or Solicitor and represents the gold standard for financial advice in the UK.

A Certified Financial Planner is an international qualification which is awarded by local bodies known as the Financial Planning Standards Board.

It is difficult to compare the two qualifications as both require high levels of academic achievement at a post-graduate level.

For reference the award of the Certified Financial Planner qualification is equivalent to 30 credits towards the Chartered Financial Planner qualification which requires a total of 290 credits to pass.

Marc Westlake
Chartered and Certified Financial Planner
 

Marc

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Brendan,

Yes, Eamon and I are both founder members of the Society of Financial Planners in Ireland. http://sfpi.ie/

We had a conference in Cork on Thursday with around 30 Professional Financial Planners in attendance.

It is our intention to publish a register of Financial Advisers who are BOTH

Independent as defined by the Central Bank of Ireland and
Certified Financial Planners


As soon as we have more on the register, I will update this post.
 

Marc

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A CFA is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

They do different jobs, so I guess it depends what you are looking for
 
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Brendan Burgess

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A CFA is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

CFA Ireland is the Irish professional body for those engaged in investment analysis and portfolio management.
These tend to be employed by stockbrokers and investment funds in the analysis of companies. They are not usually involved in providing advice directly to consumers on a fee basis. Where they do provide "advice", they work for stockbrokers where they are compromised by their obligation to earn commission from encouraging you to trade as often as possible.
 

Titan

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I will be interested in seeing this list when it gets put up.

I have been thinking of getting advice from an Independent Adviser for a while so hopefully this will help me to find someone who can give me some investment advice
 

SBarrett

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I will be interested in seeing this list when it gets put up.

I have been thinking of getting advice from an Independent Adviser for a while so hopefully this will help me to find someone who can give me some investment advice
Titan


You can always ask the adviser if he'll do the work for a fee instead of a commission. Any adviser worth his salt will have no problem in charging you a fee.

That is what the Central Bank consider independent, someone who will offer a fee or commission as payment.


Steven
www.bluewaterfp.ie
 

SBarrett

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From today, I am now a Certified Financial Planner.

Lots of work in doing the graduate diploma in financial planning but really enjoyed it and learnt a huge amount from it. I definitely recommend it to any advisor who wants to improve their skills in advising clients.


Steven

www.bluewaterfp.ie
 
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