Personal Financial Specialists Professional
or PFS Professional?
How does the PFS credential differ from other
financial planning credentials, such as the Certified Financial Planner
CPAs topped the list of most trusted financial advisors on three separate
independent reports – edging out Certified Financial Planners,
according to a recent survey issued by Amplitude Research, (January
2007). The PFS, unlike other credential programs, is awarded only to
select number of CPAs (Certified Public Accountant) who are members
in good standing with the AICPA. Accordingly, this Personal Financial
Planning Specialist designation (PFS) represents the highest professional
standards of any of the financial planning credentials available today
and sets the PFS holder apart from other CPA financial planners. Only
a CPA can be awarded the highest standard, the PFS (Personal Financial
Specialist designation). In order to obtain the CPA license and this
designation, (they must have at least 150 college credit hours with
at least 36 of them being in accounting or tax, they must pass a 19
hour 2 day exam and have met a stringent work experience requirement).
The PFS is the mark of excellence among those in the wealth management
profession and is the credential only issued to the most experienced
CPA Wealth & Financial Planners who have demonstrated their commitment
to using only best practices and standards in financial planning. The
CPA/PFS is the most respected and sought after designation in entire
financial planning and wealth management community and with out becoming
a trusted CPA, you will not get access to this level of knowledge.
Why Should I Choose a CPA/PFS?
All financial planners are not created equal. Many are
only stock brokers or insurance agents, calling themselves financial
advisors. You need to find a trusted fiduciary adviser to help you sort
through, the complex financial decisions, that you must make and develop
a sound strategy for a securing your retirement and financial future.
The PFS designation was established for only the CPAs who specialize
in individual personal financial planning and is awarded exclusively
to AICPA members who have demonstrated considerable experience and expertise
in the area of retirement and financial planning. As of today, the AICPA
has granted only 3,300 CPA/PFS designation to CPAs through out the world
who specialize in individual financial planning, out a total of 650,000
CPAs, and even less of these professionals have also obtained the Certified
Financial Planner License, (CFP®), as well as a specialized Master
of Science in Accounting – Tax Consulting Track, or have become
Registered Investment Advisors.
A CPA must meet certain requirements before being awarded the CPA/PFS
and meet re-credentialing requirements every three years in order to
maintain their status as the most trusted financial advisor.
You deserve only the best advice when planning for your retirement.
Working with a CPA/PFS, CFP®, MST Retirement Planner must be able
to assess your current financial situation, help you determine how to
focus on what’s most important to you, as well as, help you develop
and monitor your retirement accumulation and distribution plan. You
need someone you can trust and rely on to provide, objective, Fee-Only
competent advice, without the conflicts of commission and prizes—someone
who has built his entire reputation on these very qualities.
A CPA/PFS combines a century of trusted advice with today's cutting
edge financial strategies to help you assess your current financial
situation, define your financial needs and goals, and develop and monitor
a plan to meet your goals. A CPA is considered the most trusted of all
I am one of Only 3,300
CPAs Wealth & Financial Advisors in the World that have obtained
this highly sought after Personal Financial Planning (PFS) designation.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
or CFP® professional
CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day,
10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability
to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based
on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial
planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning,
estate planning, investment management and insurance. Most people think
that all financial planners are "certified" but this isn't
true. Anyone can call himself or herself a "financial planner,
financial advisor". Only those who have fulfilled the certification
and renewal requirements of CFP board can display the CFP certification
marks. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident
that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent
and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security
by allowing only those who meet the education, examination, experience
and ethics requirements the right to use the CFP certification marks.
Personal Financial (PFS) – Awarded from the American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to only the top financial
Personal Financial Specialist
Reference Certificate # 30722
Certified Financial Planner™ Board of Standards (CFP Board)
Certified Financial Planner® Designation
Reference Certificate # 105925
Texas State Board of Public Accountants
Certified Public Accountant
Reference License # 082587
Call (512) 305-7853
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Member Since 2001
Call (212) 596-6200
Financial Planning Association
Member Since 2002
Call (800) 322-4237
Member and proud supporter and member since 2005
The Financial Planning Association of Houston
Member Since 2002
Contact (713) 869-3665
Member Since 2006
Contact (916) 253-3334
Paladin Registry only admits financial professionals who meet its industry
leading standards for ethics, competence, investor-friendly business
practices, and sophisticated financial services. Two of our most important
admittance requirements are that advisors must be fiduciaries and they
must acknowledge this distinction in writing.
What's a Fiduciary?
The dictionary definition of a fiduciary is a person standing in a special
relationship of trust, confidence, or responsibility to another. Advisors
have critical responsibilities in regard to the financial futures of
consumer because their advice and services impact standards of living
during retirement and financial security late in life.
Whose Financial Interests Come First?
Fiduciary advisors are required to put your need to achieve financial
goals ahead of their need to produce personal income.
Higher Ethical Standards
Fiduciary advisors are held to higher ethical standards than non-fiduciary
Professionals who are admitted to the Registry must "acknowledge"
their fiduciary status in writing.
I Need A Financial Advisor?
Let's start with a more fundamental question: how much can I improve
my financial situation? You might be thinking, "I have a good salary,
I pay my bills on time, I know how to do my taxes, I have insurance...
I'm handling my finances pretty well; spending time and money on financial
planning is not worth it for me." Many people think this way, but
often it is because of a lack of awareness of financial opportunities
and best practices. Indeed, time spent devising and implementing a well-researched
and sound financial plan will likely yield:
More money for you and your family
Better preparation and flexibility for life changes
Increased protection against mistakes and unexpected circumstances
An investment in financial management provides peace of mind by ensuring
your best odds of permanent wealth and comfort. This planned approach
to success is the result of a multi-step process. You must:
Set achievable financial and personal goals
Assess your current financial health by examining your assets, liabilities,
income, insurance, taxes, investments and estate plan
Develop a realistic, comprehensive plan to meet your financial goals
by addressing financial weaknesses and building on financial strengths
Put your plan into action and monitor its progress
Revise your plan to accommodate changing goals, changing personal circumstances,
changing financial opportunities, and changing market and tax laws
The planning process requires skill, knowledge, diligence, and discipline,
but great reward makes it well worth the time and effort.
Can I do it on my own?
The question is, do you need professional help in order to design and
stick to an effective financial plan? To some degree, this depends on
your unique situation, but most will find that they are better off seeking
the information, expertise, experience, and discipline provided by a
Making quality financial decisions requires an ample commitment to learn
and research. While the Internet's easy access to information has helped
to make it feasible for individuals to independently manage their finances,
the magnitude of investment skills and information that you need can
be overwhelming. The financial world is filled with foreign concepts,
esoteric language, legal rules, and difficult methodologies. Whether
you want to develop a portfolio, plan for retirement, pay for college,
or reach any other major financial goal, there are professionals who
have spent their careers serving people with the same concern, and it
is a good idea to take advantage of their experience.
We are Here to Help!
If you have any problems or need assistance we are here to help you
find the professional to best achieve your financial goals. You can
always e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (703)
Afordable LIVE Advice You Can Trust
Get personalized unbiased answers to your financial questions. Connect
directly to independent prescreened financial advisors by phone and
email. Receive expert advice for a pre-quoted flat fee. It’s easy,
there’s never sales pressure and you’re always in control.
Professional Program Alumni
The Professional Program at Texas A&M University
PPA Group VIII
Contact (979) 845-8587
Texas A&M University
Masters of Science in Accounting - Tax & Consulting Track
Michael J. Fitzgerald, CPA/PFS, CFP®.
Texas A&M University
Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting
Contact National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)
Note: To verify this degree, visit the NSC website. Michael J. Fitzgerald,
CPA/PFS, CFP® attended school at the main campus in College Station,