Alphabet Soup

CPA, JD, MSFS, MSM, CLU, ChFC, CFP, RFC, CFA, ChHC, RHU, FSS, RICP, CASL, CAP, REBC RIA and the list goes on. It’s no wonder you (and me) are confused. So, what designation should you look for when looking to work with an agent or professional advisor? It all depends on what you are looking to accomplish.

Let’s review some of the more commonly recognized designations.

CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter: If you are dealing with life insurance and related products such as long-term care insurance, disability insurance or annuities, this is the one to look for. A CLU has completed a series of eight college-level courses requiring 16 hours of exams covering topics such as risk management and estate planning. A CLU is an insurance specialist.

CFP – Certified Financial Planner: This specialist is trained in comprehensive financial planning, which requires a series of seven exams.

ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant: This is similar to a CFP with training in overall financial planning. This designation requires the same course work as the CFP plus two electives such as executive compensation or macroeconomics.

LUTCF– Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow: This certification, which requires the completion of six courses, combines essential product knowledge with basic planning concepts.

RHU – Registered Health Underwriter: The RHU requires the completion of four courses on group and individual health insurance. This designation is the premier credential in the health insurance market. If you have questions about health insurance, the RHU is the professional with the expertise.

If you would like to learn more about these and other professional designations, go to The American College.

If you are looking for an agent or advisor to help you, you can start here, with LIFE’s Agent Locator. Everyone listed is a member of their professional organization, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

by Marvin H. Feldman

Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, is president of the Feldman Financial Group in Palm Harbor, Fla., and president and CEO of Life Happens. He is a 41-year Million Dollar Round Table member and was the 2002 president. He is a 33-year member of the MDRT Top of the Table and a past Top of the Table chairman. He also is the recipient of the 2011 John Newton Russell award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the insurance industry.

  1. Thank you for your blog it was very helpful to us. The way you turned the life insurance categories into an alphabet soup was very creative. We agree on what you are talking about. Thank you for the amazing blog and the information I have gained from it.

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