Michael Douglas

Michael is a Fiduciary

The fiduciary standard of care requires that a financial adviser act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice.

Certified Financial Planner™

A certified financial planner is a financial adviser who has earned a CFP certification. CFPs must complete rigorous training, pass a comprehensive exam and have thousands of hours of practical experience. The CFP Board of Standards administers and manages all initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The board is a nonprofit organization that sets and enforces CFP certification criteria. The board’s goal is to ensure that all CFPs have both a solid understanding of the ever-changing financial industry and an ethical commitment to advise in their clients’ best interest. In order to complete the certification, all candidates must meet requirements known as the “four E’s.” They include:

The CFP board requires all candidates to complete a college-level course on financial planning or a similar course approved by the board. CFPs also must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

All candidates must pass the CFP Certification Examination once they complete their coursework. With this exam, the board evaluates the candidate’s ability to apply their financial knowledge to a wide range of situations.

The board also requires either 6,000 hours of qualifying experience in the field or 4,000 hours of experience as an apprentice. The aim is to make sure that applicants have put their knowledge to plenty of practice in everyday situations.

CFP professionals must agree to uphold high standards for ethics and professional conduct as defined by the board. The standards emphasize integrity, fairness, professionalism and diligence when working with clients. All CFPs agree to fiduciary standards to act in their clients’ best interests.

Chartered Financial Consultant, ChFC®

A Chartered Financial Consultant is a professional designation representing the completion of a comprehensive course consisting of financial education, examinations and practical experience. Chartered Financial Consultant designations are granted by the American College upon completion of seven required courses and two elective courses. Those who earn the designation are understood to be knowledgeable in financial matters and to have the ability to provide sound advice.

In order to be considered for the program, the applicant must already have a minimum of three years working in the financial industry. In addition, it is recommended that applicants have a degree related to finance or business before applying.

The curriculum to earn this professional designation from the American College is made up of courses designed to include a range of financial planning duties and responsibilities. This includes practical application of the skills learned in real-life scenarios.

The training for a Chartered Financial Consultant includes lessons in understanding key elements of the financial planning world, such as retirement planning, estate planning, insurance, investments, and income taxes. There is also curriculum on how rules within those segments change in relation to small business planning, financial planning for households in the process of divorce, or for families who have special needs dependents.

Chartered Life Underwriter, CLU®

A chartered life underwriter (CLU) is a professional designation for individuals specializing in life insurance and estate planning. Individuals must complete five core courses and three elective courses, in addition to successfully passing eight 100-question, two-hour examinations in order to receive the designation. The required course titles include Fundamentals of Insurance Planning, Individual Life Insurance, Life Insurance Law, Fundamentals of Estate Planning and Planning for Business Owners and Professionals. Other course topics include financial planning, health insurance, income taxation, group benefits, investments and retirement planning.

The CLU designation is one of the oldest and most respected credentials in financial services, dating back to the late 1920’s. It represents a thorough understanding of a broad array of personal risk management and life insurance planning issues and stresses ethics, professionalism, and in-depth knowledge in the delivery of financial advice.

A CLU must adhere to The American College of Financial Services’ Code of Ethics, which includes the following professional pledge: “I shall, in light of all conditions surrounding those I serve, which I shall make every conscientious effort to ascertain and understand, render that service which, in the same circumstances, I would apply to myself.”

Series 7

The Series 7 is an exam and license that entitles the holder to sell all types of securities products with the exception of commodities and futures. Known formally as the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination, the Series 7 exam and its licensing is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The Series 7 exam is taken by U.S. stockbrokers to obtain a license to trade. The bulk of the Series 7 exam focuses on investment risk, taxation, equity and debt instruments, packaged securities, options, retirement plans, and interactions with clients.

Series 6

The Series 6 is a securities license entitling the holder to register as a company’s representative and sell mutual funds, variable annuities and insurance. Holders of the Series 6 license are not permitted to sell corporate or municipal securities, direct participation programs and options. With Series 6, an individual can purchase or sell mutual funds, variable life insurance, municipal fund securities, variable annuities and unit investment trusts.

Series 63

The Series 63 is a securities exam and license entitling the holder to solicit orders for any type of security in a particular state. Agents must acquire the Series 63 license, in addition to a Series 7 or Series 6 license, to sell securities. To obtain a Series 63 license, the applicant must pass an exam and possess knowledge of ethical practices and fiduciary obligations.

Series 66

The Series 66 is an exam and license that is meant to qualify individuals as investment advisor representatives or securities agents. The Series 66, also known as the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, covers topics relevant to providing investment advice and effecting securities transactions for clients.

Michael’s State Securities Licenses: 5/2019

E-mail: michael@battdouglas.com

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