Financial Designations

What do the letters after an advisor’s name mean?

This guide will explain.

Use it to help choose an advisor to work with. But remember: it’s only a starting point. There are other elements to consider.

Certified Financial Planner, CFP®

  • CFP-designated advisors specialize in financial planning.

Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS™)

  • CHS-designated advisors are knowledgeable about a wide range of health insurance products.

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®

  • CDFA-resignated advisors are trained to deal with the financial issues of divorce and separation.

Chartered Life Underwriter, CLU®

  • CLU-designated advisors specialize in income replacement, risk management, estate planning, and wealth transfer.

Chartered Financial Consultant, CH.F.C

  • CH.F.C-designated advisors are experts in retirement planning and capital accumulation strategies.

Chartered Investment Management, CIM®

  • CIM-designated advisors can offer advice on structuring a stock portfolio.

Chartered Financial Analyst®, CFA®

  • CFA-designated advisors have investment analysis and portfolio management skills.

Chartered Accountant (CA)Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified General Accountant (CGA) are all considered to be a Chartered Professional Accountant, CPA now.

  • CPA-designated advisors provide accounting expertise including revenue and tax auditing, policy planning and financial analytics.

Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute, FCSI®

  • FCSI-designated advisors are financial services professionals who already hold some other designation and have met exacting standards for industry experience and advanced education.

Professional Financial Advisor (PFA™)

  • The Professional Financial Advisor (PFA) designation focuses on practice development, technical knowledge and compliance & ethics to help newer advisors get a successful head start while also empowering existing advisors to fine-tune the primary building blocks of their business.

Registered Financial Planner, R.F.P

  • R.F.P-designated advisors specialize in financial planning.

Financial Planner (Pl. Fin.)  

  • This designation has been designed to meet the unique provincial requirements in Quebec.

For more information on financial designations, see the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada’s (IIROC) site on understanding financial certifications.