The minimum level of qualifications to be a financial adviser and advise clients under permission from the Financial Services Authority is set to increase on 1 January 2013.
However many financial advisers are either professional enough to want to go beyond that and have done so already or are on their way.
The Chartered Financial Planner title is a couple of rungs higher on the qualifications step ladder than even the new higher minimum level required of all financial advisers.
So should you insist on using a Chartered Financial Planner as your financial adviser? Well it really depends on the individual. Some financial advisers feel professionalism comes from being well qualified to do the job. Others feel they have enough experience and knowledge to be able to do the job without having to do exams to prove it. I guess as with any industry you get your good and bad guys. I wrote a blog recently about how to choose a good financial adviser which may help at this point.
However achieving the Chartered Financial Planner status is not easy. It takes a lot of commitment to the profession to achieve the academic success required. That should indicate to you that anyone who has achieved this level of qualification is pretty serious about what they do and care enough to want to do it very well.
In that sense it could be a good indication that the adviser is committed to doing a good job. But, is that the same as actually doing a good job? Not necessarily. Every adviser has their own way of dong things, different methods that they will recommend to help you get to where you want to be. In fact, if you forget Chartered Financial Planner for one minute then if what you really want is someone to help you plan your financial future then what you may really be looking for but did not realise is a Certified Financial Planner.
Either way the trick is to find someone that you can trust and feel has your best interests at heart.