The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation is an international professional certification offered by they CFA Institute to financial analysts.
To become a CFA®Charterholder candidates must pass each of 3 six-hour exams, possess a bachelor's degree and have 48 months of qualified professional work experience. CFA®Charterholders are also obligated to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards governing their professional conduct.
The CFA® is a qualification for finance and investment professionals, particularly in the fields of asset management and the research function covering stocks, bonds and their derivative assets. The program focuses on portfolio management and financial analysis, and provides generalist knowledge of other areas of corporate finance, securities valuation, and accounting.
Today, the CFA® Institute has more than 101,000 members around the world, including more than 89,000 CFA® Charterholders.
Most people think all financial planners are "certified," but this isn't true. Anyone can call himself a "financial planner." Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks, which represent a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism. The CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct require CFP® professionals to look out for your interests above their own.