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Professional Designations

Below is an explanation of professional designations used by Northwest Asset Management associates. Do not rely solely on a title or designation to determine whether a financial professional has the expertise that you need. The explanation below will help you understand what the designation means and what the financial professional did to obtain it.


The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® and federally registered professional certification marks (collectively, the “CFP® marks”) granted by the United States by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP® Board”).

 The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold a CFP® certification.

 To attain the right to use the CFP® designation, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:  

  • Education – Complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that CFP Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, and as of January 2007, attain a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a foreign university). CFP Board’s financial planning subject areas include insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning;  
  • Examination – Pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination. The examination includes case studies and Client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real world circumstances;  
  • Experience – Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience (or the equivalent, measured as 2,000 hours per year); and  
  • Ethics – Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.

 Individuals who become certified must complete ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks. This requires 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field; and renewal of an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP® professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP® professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their Clients.

 CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.

 Check Designation Status Online at www.cfp.net/verify-a-cfp-professional

Certified Private Wealth Advisor®

Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification is an advanced professional certification for advisors who serve high-net-worth clients. It’s designed for seasoned professionals who seek the latest, most advanced knowledge and techniques to address the sophisticated needs of clients with a minimum net worth of $5 million. Unlike credentials that focus specifically on investing or financial planning, the CPWA® certification program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach. 

The CPWA® Certification is designed to help financial leaders make a significant impact in their field. By attending, you will deepen your understanding of the wealth lifecycle – accumulation, preservation and distribution. You will be able to identify and analyze the unique challenges high-net-worth individuals face and be able to develop specific strategies to minimize taxes, monetize and protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth.

Learn how the CPWA® certification has increased certificants’ knowledge and skills as they work with high-net-worth clients and compare how the CPWA® certification stacks up against other well-respected industry designations.

Check Designation Status Online at https://secure.imca.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?site=IMCA&webcode=imcafindcpwa