Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Differentiating Yourself through Designations

By Nick Bates, Vice President of Annuity Sales

With the stock market having hit new highs recently and the uncertainty of new regulations, clients and financial professionals (FPs) are feeling a kind of paralysis in our current financial environment. Not many clients want to make changes to their portfolios after seeing above-average returns during the longest bull market they have ever seen. Also, FPs are unsure how to move their business forward amidst regulatory unknowns. So we are left with the question, what do we do?

Furthering education in your profession is always a good idea, be it through a designation or a securities license. So why not use the extra time you may have to achieve a designation or license? Some popular FP designations and licenses include:

The CFP® designation is for FPs that have completed courses in all areas of financial planning. These FPs have completed courses on over 100 topics, including stocks, bonds, taxes, insurance, retirement planning, and estate planning.

ChFC®: Chartered Financial Consultant®
FPs that have achieved the ChFC® designation have shown an immense and in-depth knowledge of financial planning.

CLU®: Chartered Life Underwriter®
Those who hold this designation work mostly as insurance agents. The designation covers the fundamentals of life and health insurance, pension planning, insurance law, income taxation, investments, financial and estate planning, and group benefits.

FINRA Series 6
A candidate who passes the Series 6 exam is qualified for the solicitation, purchase, and/or sale of certain securities products. Some of these products include:
•    Mutual funds (closed-end funds on the initial offering only)
•    Variable annuities
•    Variable life insurance
•    Unit investment trusts (UITs)
•    Municipal fund securities

FINRA Series 7
A candidate who passes the Series 7 exam is qualified for the solicitation, purchase, and/or sale of all securities products, including corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, and variable contracts.
Some of the covered activities and products include:
•    Mutual funds
•    Money market funds
•    Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
•    Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
•    Sale of municipal securities

Most of the above designations require class work along with passing a standardized test. If you are interested in furthering your education with any financial designations or FINRA licenses, please don’t hesitate to give Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange a call. We have successfully helped point a number of FPs toward educational material for them to obtain additional designations and FINRA licenses.

Nick Bates | Vice President of Annuity Sales
Ann Arbor Annuity Exchange
Ph: 800.321.3924 x121 | Dir: 734.786.6121

Designed for Financial Professionals.