Alphabet Soup: Deciphering Acronyms for Your Best-Fit Bartlett Advisor

The financial world is full of acronyms. AUM, 401K, FINRA, IRA, RIA, SEC—the list goes on. And there’s a whole separate list for the various types of certification wealth management professionals can obtain to further develop and differentiate their skills as advisors and planners.

Last month, when Bartlett Wealth Advisor and Principal Jason Katz became a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), it signaled a chance to help our clients better understand the diverse certifications Bartlett advisors have earned over the years, as well as the related benefits and implications, depending on where clients are in their individual financial journey.

ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor)

The ADPA is well versed in the factors and circumstances facing unmarried couples as they manage their assets. They have proven ability to apply complex fiduciary concepts to real-life situations involving wealth transfer, federal taxation, retirement planning, and medical/end-of-life needs for domestic partners.

ADPAs at Bartlett: Laura Humphrey

CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst)

CAIA certification is awarded to advisors with a deep understanding of the models and methods used in valuation of nontraditional asset classes, having completed rigorous curriculum and examinations on topics related to real estate, commodities, hedge funds, private equity, structured products, and risk management.

CAIAs at Bartlett: Kyle Pohlman

CEPA (Certified Exit Planning Advisor)

Smart business owners rely on CEPA-certified wealth managers to evaluate their personal and professional goals, calculate their business value, and help them choose the right time to step away from their company and ensure its success into the future. Advisors earn this designation after undergoing rigorous MBA-style training to blend planning, strategy, and high-level concepts in simple solutions to help owners grow their business to the point of transferability.

CEPAs at Bartlett: Jason Katz

CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst)

Offered by the CFA Institute, the CFA designation indicates that a candidate has successfully completed three stringent and standardized tests designed to assess knowledge in accounting, ethics, economics, portfolio management, and securities analysis, among other areas, while demonstrating competence and integrity. In addition to other criteria, the candidate must also have at least four years of qualified work experience. CFA charter holders commonly provide research and ratings on various types of investments.

CFAs at Bartlett: Bob Dearborn, Brian Antenucci, Mike Cambron, Jim Hagerty, Mickey Herst, Terry Kelly, Jim Lewis, Krista Linn, Jim Miller, Kyle Pohlman, Aliya Riddle, Chris Robbins, Ken Schlachter, Troy Snider, Matthew Stith, Woody Uible

CFP® (Certified Financial Planner)

Clients place a considerable amount of trust in CFPs—and for good reason. These Certified Financial Planners work with individuals and groups to help them understand all perspectives of their total wealth picture and make the best possible financial decisions. The designation is administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. and is bestowed upon candidates who have undergone testing and demonstrated competency in more than 100 topic areas including investments, taxes, insurance, retirement planning, and estate planning. In addition to 4,000 hours of qualifying work experience under an “apprentice” model, CFPs must pass the certification exam and agree to adhere to the CFP Board’s code of ethics.

CFPs at Bartlett: Laura Humphrey, Jason Katz, Simon Lawson, Holly Mazzocca, Catherine Miller, Lori Poole, Michael Vassar

CIC (Chartered Investment Counselor)

The CIC designation was designed to recognize the responsibility of fiduciary investors to give professional, continuous, and unbiased investment advice and to serve clients from a standpoint of experience, ability, and integrity. In addition to successful completion of the CFA program and adherence to nationally recognized standards for wealth management, CIC designees must demonstrate significant experience in investment counseling and portfolio management.

CICs at Bartlett: Bob Dearborn

CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

One of the most common designations acquired by wealth management professionals, the CPA denotes a person who has completed a college-level accounting program; passed the Uniform CPA Examination; and possesses a specific amount of on-the-job experience—typically no less than one year. Upon becoming a CPA, these professionals can specialize in a wide range of topics and services including corporate finance, estate planning, financial accounting, tax preparation, information technology, venture capital, and more.

CPAs at Bartlett: Jason Katz, Tom Steele

It’s easy to get confused amid the dozens of acronyms used to differentiate people and processes in the financial planning realm, but understanding the meaning behind these simple letters can help you decide which Bartlett wealth planning professional can best meet your needs at your individual stage of life. As always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Bartlett team member.