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The Best Designation for Advisors: CFP®, CFA, or CPA?

By Irene Huhulea February 28, 2020 Investopedia

You’re probably familiar with the debate over which designation can offer the most opportunities for financial professionals: Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). We’ve written about the merits of each one in the past, but with the changes happening in the financial services industry, we thought it was time to revisit the question.


To find out more about which designation(s) can be most helpful, we asked several experts to weigh in on what they see as the benefits of each and where the bulk of the opportunities lie for young professionals.



"If you want to be a financial planner, CFP® is the best one. People are more educated now—they want to know if you're a certified financial planner, how you charge, and everything that goes along with that. If you want to provide financial planning, you should be a CFP®. If you want to be an accountant as well, or a money manager, then a CFA and CPA could enhance that. But I think the CFP® is the primary designation people should be focusing on." — Scott Kahan, President and Senior Financial Planner at Financial Asset Management Corp


"A CFP® is the most affordable option specifically if you want to do client work and help people with their money. It's a very specialized and direct route to go. I also think that a CFA is a great designation if you want to do more of the detailed behind the scenes investment work." — Sophia Bera, Founder and Financial Planner at Gen Y Planning




By Irene Huhulea

February 28, 2020