Chartered financial consultants are accounting and economic professionals who have completed a comprehensive program that involved formal education, practical experience, and detailed exams in order to be recognized as highly skilled in their fields of expertise. Developed and operated by the American College of Bryn Mawr, ChFCs are trained to provide advice and service related to insurance, taxes, estate planning, and retirement planning, among other things. The successful applicant to the chartered financial consultant program will exhibit a great deal of dedication and expertise, and be prepared to undergo a great deal of scrutiny before achieving the status.
There are several essential elements that any applicant must possess in order to be considered for inclusion in the program. First, the potential chartered financial consultant will need to possess a minimum of three years of experience in some aspect of the financial industry. Along with practical work experience, a successful candidate for the chartered financial consultant program will find the process much easier when he or she has obtained some sort of degree that is related to finance and investing. Prior formal education is not necessarily a prerequisite, but it will help to make the actual examinations much easier to understand and complete. Often, it is recommended that the applicant possess at least a two-year degree before making an application.
The final examination before the status of chartered financial consultant is granted will be highly detailed. Sections of the exam will address such important aspects as insurance, investment, and tax planning, as well as general estate planning and day to day financial matters, such as budgeting. Generally a ChFC is understood to have a well rounded understanding of financial matters, and is able to relate the creation of a responsible fiscal condition as part of achieving that condition. Many people who want a full service consultant will automatically look for a professional that has earned the status of a chartered financial consultant.