One day, Sam encounters a client who has a complicated situation. But he finds it difficult to figure out the best solution for his client because of lack of expertise. Since he cannot offer the best option, his client has sustained substantial losses. Therefore, he has lost a client.

How can a financial professional avoid such instances to occur again? Equip yourself with enough learnings to acknowledge numerous situations and guide the clients through these correctly. By doing so, your income and credibility will benefit.

The following are three different designations enabling a professional to handle almost any situation.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)

The designation is offered by the Certified Financial Planner® Board of Standards based in Washington, DC. Considered the most widely recognized credential in the field nowadays, it has received a significant amount of media exposure. Individuals in the tax, legal or investment profession, as well as who desire to provide fee-based financial planning, pursue this designation. Insurance agents with CFP® mark can give comprehensive financial plans for clients and present how their several insurance needs suit into plans.

The curriculum for CFP® has five key courses covering the following topics: education planning, estate planning, ethics and the financial planning process, insurance planning, investment planning, retirement planning, and tax planning. In this material, there are around 106 conceptual topics linked to financial planning. Students must pass a 10-hour board examination upon completing all the coursework successfully. And after passing the exam, they must pass a background check and pay an entrance fee before getting their certifications.

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®)

Being the most reputable insurance designation in the industry, the CLU® was created in 1927 by the American College in Pennsylvania. Agents who desire to master specialization in life insurance for business or estate planning pursue this designation.

The CLU®’s curriculum encompasses five mandated courses: Fundamentals of Estate Planning, Fundamentals of Insurance Planning, Individual Life Insurance, Individual Life Insurance, and Planning for Business Owners and Professionals. It also has three elective courses an individual can choose from the following: Estate Planning Applications, Financial Planning: Process and Environment, Group Benefits, Income Taxation, Individual Health Insurance, Investments, and Planning for Retirement Needs.

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®)

In 1982, the ChFC® was introduced as an alternative to the CFP® mark. This designation has the same core curriculum as the CFP® with two or three additional elective courses focusing on several aspects of personal financial planning. However, the mark does not oblige candidates to pass a board examination.

Individuals aiming to gain in-depth knowledge of both financial planning and insurance, but do not want to take a lengthy board exam, take the ChFC® and CLU® marks because of the number of courses overlapping both the CFP® and ChFC®.