Choosing a financial advisor can be rough. That’s especially true considering the alphabet soup that often follows their names. However, a Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) can be useful to an investor and their financial plan. Learn about this designation, its requirements, its exam, and why it matters.
Generally, those who earn the Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) designation are financial consultants. In other words, they are financial professionals who assist clients in developing personalized financial plans for important financial matters such as insurance, savings, retirement, and investments.
This designation is awarded to committed financial professionals or advisors who have exhibited improving their market reach. Ideally, they also meet high standards and strict requirements within the financial services industry.
This designation also denotes a higher level of professionalism and dedication to serving their clients. Ideally, a financial professional shows the designation to clients as evidence of their commitment to continuing education.
The International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) created the MRFC designation. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) awards it.MRFC Requirements
The Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) designation has a number of prerequisites. Candidates must have four years of professional experience within the financial services industry. That experience can include financial services. investment planning/securities, insurance planning, retirement planning, tax preparation, and estate planning.
They also must have all required licenses to practice in the financial planning profession. That xperience will be verified by checking state licensing and/or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licensing history. Without that verification, candidates must provide a detailed resume or CV. They’ll also provide contact information for their current supervisor or human resources personnel. The IARFC will verify a candidate’s experience by contacting the supervisor or HR personnel. Candidates. can also submit letters of recommendation verifying the experience.
Candidates can’t have “black marks” on their records, such as a revocation of any professional license or designation.
From an educational standpoint, candidates must either hold one of the following: a professional designation of AAMS, CFA, CFP, ChFC, CLU, CPA, EA, or LUTCF; a Series 65 license or Series 6 and a 63, a Series 6 and a 66, a Series 7 and a 63, or a Series 7 and a 66; a life insurance license; or a bachelor’s or graduate or advanced degree in business, economics, finance, or another related field.
MRFC candidates must also pass a certification exam and complete 40 hours of continuing education in the personal finance or professional practice management fields annually. Additionally, every two years, they must dedicate four of these continuing education hours to ethics. Candidates do not need to be a member of the IARFC to earn the MRFC designation.The MRFC Exam
To pass the exam and earn a Master Registered Financial Consultant certification, candidates must receive a score of 67% or higher. Proctors oversee the computer-based exam. It contains 125 questions, but scores just 100 of them. Applicants take the exam over three hours.
The exam covers a wide breadth of subject matter: the client engagement process, retirement planning, investments and financial products, distribution strategies, tax-advantaged retirement plans, wealth transfer planning, several different types of insurance (such as term, life, variable, long-term care, and permanent), annuities, education funding and planning, estate planning, plan development, data gathering, tax planning, investment planning, and professional conduct and practice management.
If candidates fail the exam, they can take it two additional times but must wait 30 days between test days. If they fail the exam three times, they must wait an entire calendar year to retake the exam. The required examination fee of $350, plus the application fee of $100. Additionally, the annual recertification fee is $350.The Bottom Line
The Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC) credential is awarded to experienced financial professionals who meet certain standards. Financial consultants who help clients develop personalized financial plans for insurance, retirement, savings, and investments typically pursue this designation.
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