At Aspirion Wealth, we offer personalised financial advice delivered in plain English with a focus on what is really important to you.

What is a Chartered Financial Planner?


I was speaking to someone last week about my Linkedin profile and they asked me why I referred to myself as a ‘Chartered Financial Planner’ instead of a Financial Adviser. It made me realise that, although in our industry, the distinction is clear – it isn’t anywhere near as clear to clients (or prospective clients).

Being a Chartered Financial Planner is something to be extremely proud of in Financial Services, and something that many Financial Advisers aspire to achieve. However, if client’s don’t understand what this means, and therefore don't see the value in this, then what’s the point?

So – what does it mean then?

A Chartered Financial Planner is a qualification for professional financial advisers awarded by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) which has been in existence for over 100 years.

In order to become qualified to be a financial adviser, you have to achieve ‘level 4’ as a minimum standard, whereas a Chartered Financial Planner has to achieve 'level 6'. This means passing approximately 14 exams (depending on the amount of credits each qualification carries) in various aspects of financial services and related subjects, including advanced modules in certain specialist areas. In addition to examinations, advisers are required to be members of the Personal Finance Society, maintain a sufficient level of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year, and have a minimum amount of relevant industry experience.

By definition therefore, holders of the Chartered Financial Planner qualification are among the most experienced and most qualified advisers in the profession and, in the UK, it is a widely accepted ‘gold standard’ within the profession.

Do clients really care?

I, myself, have been a Chartered Financial Planner since 2017 but, quite honestly, haven’t really promoted this fact apart from changing my email signature, changing how I sign off letters and reports, and changing my job title on Social Media. This has most likely come from my strong belief that the relationship I have with my clients is very much based on trust and on being able to explain things in terms which are digestible and understandable - and not necessarily on bombarding them with ‘everything that I know’ and 'boring them' with how I have got to where I am today.

However, I realise that I have been doing myself a dis-service. I worked extremely hard to gain this title, and the knowledge that comes with it. At the very least, I should be making it clear to my clients, and to prospective clients, how this differentiates me from others – and ultimately how this additional knowledge gained can benefit them when looking holistically at their financial planning needs.

Going forward, I am going to embed this into my initial meetings, and my existing client reviews, so that clients can be even more aware of the added value of working with a Chartered Financial Planner in order to assist them with achieving their financial goals. I would urge anyone else who either holds this title, or any other advanced level of knowledge or experience that differentiates you from others in your industry, to shout it from the rooftops and be proud of what you have achieved!

You can learn more about what it takes to become a Chartered Financial Planner by visiting - CII Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

By Nameer Al-Asadi; APFS; Cert CII(MP) – Chartered Financial Planner

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