What is a Registered Financial Consultant?


Registered Financial Consultant
The Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) is a professional designation awarded by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) http://www.iarfc.org/profile.asp?nId=2508 to those financial advisors who can meet the high standards of education, experience and integrity that are required of all its members. The IARFC is an organization of proven financial professionals formed to foster public confidence in the financial planning profession, to help financial advisors exchange planning techniques, and to give deserved recognition to those practitioners who are truly qualified and committed to professional education.
Originally established in 1984 as the association for Registered Financial Planners, the organization was renamed and rechartered in 1994. The IARFC is the only financial planning professional association that required its members to meet seven stringent requirements: education, examination, experience, licensing, business integrity, adherence to a strict code of ethics, and maintenance of proficiency with a minimum of 40-hours per year of continuing education in the field of financial planning. The IARFC is convinced that extensive on-going professional education is required for any advisor to serve the public effectively.
While serving a number of needs for its members (sponsoring learning seminars, providing a clearinghouse for industry information, and distributing updates on tax laws and legislation affecting financial planning), the primary purpose of the IARFC is to provide the public with a pool of well-qualified practitioners from which to choose a personal advisor. The IARFC accomplishes this by limiting the RFC designation only to those applicants who meet its high standards of qualification. It removes the designation from anyone who fails to maintain proficiency through substantial continuing education, or who betrays the public trust by failing to live up to its Code of Ethics or by having a professional license revoked or suspended for any reason.
Minimum Requirements for Registered Financial Consultants
1. Applicants must have a minimum of four years experience as a full-time practitioner in the field of financial planning.
2. Applicant must have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in financial planning or services with strong emphasis on subjects relating to economic, accounting, business, statistics, finance, and similar studies; or have earned one of the following professional degrees or designation: AAMS, CFA, CFP, ChFC, CLU, CPA, EA, JD or completed a CFP equivalent or IARFC approved curriculum at an accredited college or university.
3. The educational curriculum must have included a stringent examination process. If not, an experienced candidate must pass an RFC challenge examination.
4. Applicants must have met the licensing requirements for securities and life and health insurance; or an applicant who is a fee-only planner and is not licensed must submit information on the applicant’s Registered Investment Advisor affiliation.
5. Applicant must have a sound record of business integrity with no suspensions or revocation of any professional licenses.
6. Applicant must subscribe and adhere to the RFC Code of Ethics.
7. All members must agree to devote a minimum of 40-hours per year of continuing education in the field of personal finance and professional practice management.