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Our Designations

PlanVest Financial advisors hold one or more of the following industry-recognized professional financial credentials.  Knowledge and education is just another way that the financial advisors at PlanVest Financial set themselves apart.


 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ or CFP®

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER or CFP® professional is an individual who has earned the CFP® mark of distinction and has met the requirements of: education, examination, experience and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

Financial professionals who have earned the right to use the CFP® mark have met the following requirements: 

  • Education: Individuals must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college; and complete an education program at a college or university whose curriculum is registered with the CFP Board.     
  • Examination: Individuals must pass a rigorous 6-hour CFP® Certification Examination administered by the CFP Board.  The Examination is designed to assess the advisor’s ability to integrate and apply a broad base of financial planning knowledge in the context of real life financial planning situations. The exam covers the financial planning process and includes such topics as tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management, and insurance. 
  • Experience: Candidates for CFP® certification must prove they have at least three years' experience in the financial planning process before being authorized to use the CFP® marks.      
  • Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, that requires a CFP® professional to act in their clients’ best interests.

Certified financial planners demonstrate and support a professional commitment to continuing education and a client-centered financial planning process.  Every two years, practitioners must complete a minimum 30 hours of continuing education, including 2 hours of ethics, to stay current with developments in the financial planning profession and better serve clients. 

Learn more about the CFP Board of Standards


 Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant or ChFEBC℠


The ChFEBC designation is held by a limited group of Financial Advisors, CPAs, Attorneys, and certain employees of the Federal Government, who have successfully completed an intensive education course and passed a rigorous examination covering a wide array of federal government employee benefits.

Our ChFEBC℠ Advisors are uniquely qualified to serve Federal Employees based on an extensive knowledge of:

  • CSRS and FERS Annuities (federal pensions)
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
  • Survivorship and Spousal Benefits
  • Pension Maximization and Retirement Income
  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Social Security
  • Lifetime Income Strategies
  • Private Pension Offerings
  • Spousal Retirement Income Solutions
  • Federal Employees serviced include: CSRS, FERS, CSRS Offset, FERS Transferees, Fire Fighters, Air Traffic Controllers, Federal Law Enforcement, Secret Service, Postal Employees and others. 

ChFEBC℠ professionals also continually educate themselves on the annual changes in federal benefits so that they may be recertified at the start of each calendar year; plus, they must complete required continuing education of 10 hours every two years.  They also have to pass a background check to see that they maintain good ethical standing and valid SEC and FINRA registrations.

Learn more about the ChFEBC℠


 Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ or CRPC®

Individuals who hold the CRPC® designation have completed a course of study encompassing pre-and post-retirement needs, asset management, estate planning and the entire retirement planning process using models and techniques from real client situations. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

All designees have agreed to adhere to Standards of Professional Conduct and are subject to a disciplinary process.

Designees renew their designation every two-years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

Learn more about the CRPC® 


Chartered Retirement Planning Specialist℠ or CRPS®

Individuals who hold the CRPS® designation have completed a course of study encompassing design, installation, maintenance and administration of retirement plans. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

All designees have agreed to adhere to Standards of Professional Conduct and are subject to a disciplinary process.

Designees renew their designation every two-years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

Learn more about the CRPS® 


 Accredited Asset Management Specialist - AAMS®

The AAMS® is a professional designation awarded by the College for Financial Planning to financial professionals who successfully complete an intensive program, pass an exam and agree to comply with a code of ethics.

The program covers the asset management process; investors, policy and change; risk, return and investment performance; asset allocation and selection; investment strategies; taxation of investment products; investment opportunities for individual retirement; investment considerations for small business owners; executive compensation and benefit plans; insurance products for investment clients; estate planning; and regulatory and ethical issues.

Every two years, AAMS® professionals must complete 16 hours of continuing education and pay a fee to continue using the designation. The AAMS® program is developed in conjunction with some of the nation's top investment firms. Applicants study case studies based on real-life scenarios designed to prepare them to be effective in the real world and build lasting relationships with clients.


Learn more about the AAMS®  


Certified Divorce Financial Analyst or CDFA

A CDFA professional is a financial professional skilled at analyzing data and providing expertise on the financial issues of divorce. The role of the CDFA professional is to assist the client and his or her attorney to understand how the decisions he or she makes today will impact the client’s financial future. A CDFA can take on many roles in the divorce process:

Financial Expertise and Strategy

CDFA professionals provide the client and attorney with data analysis that shows the financial effect of any given settlement. They become part of the divorce team and provide support on financial issues such as:

  • Understanding the short-term and long-term effects of dividing property.
  • Analyzing pensions and retirement plans.
  • Determining if the client can afford the marital home, and if not, what he or she can afford.
  • Recognizing the tax consequences of different settlement proposals.

Data Collection and Analysis

Much of a CDFA professional’s role is to collect the client’s financial data and perform an analysis. CDFAs can help manage a client’s expectations of their financial future by presenting different scenarios and talking through the client’s budget and expenses. CDFAs are trained to:

  • Collect financial and expense data.
  • Help clients identify their future financial goals.
  • Develop a budget.
  • Set retirement objectives.
  • Determine how much risk they are willing to take with their investments.
  • Identify what kind of lifestyle they want.

Expert Presenter and Litigation Support

In some cases, CDFA professionals are called upon to act as expert witnesses in court or in mediation proceedings.

To retain the CDFA designation, practitioners must complete 15 divorce-related hours of continuing education every two years.

Learn more about the CDFA 


Accredited Investment Fiduciary or AIF®

An investment fiduciary is someone who is managing the assets of another person and therefore stands in a special relationship of trust, confidence, and/or legal responsibility.  Advisors who have earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation are able to immediately show that they are interested in and working towards the best interests of their clients.

The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® or AIF® designation represents a thorough knowledge of and ability to apply the fiduciary Practices.  fi360’s Prudent Practices™ comprise a step-by-step investment process that fosters an investment strategy that is being properly developed, implemented, and monitored according to both legal and ethical obligations.

Those who earn the AIF® mark successfully complete a specialized program on investment fiduciary standards of care and subsequently passed a comprehensive examination. Upon completion, AIF® professionals should:

  • Have a sound investment management process grounded in industry best practices
  • Absorb the Prudent Practices and how to apply them
  • Understand the basis for, and benefits of, fiduciary standards of excellence
  • Identify when an individual or organization may be deemed to have fiduciary status
  • Identify the legal standards that require fiduciaries to prudently manage investment decisions

AIF® designees must accrue a minimum of six hours of continuing education annually.

Learn more about the AIF®