Professional Credentials

Individual Credentials

Have you ever wondered what all of those letters behind your advisor's name truly mean?

If you have ever had any dealings with financial professionals, no doubt you have encountered the dizzying array of designations that exist in the world. If you are like most of our clients, then you have no idea what most of them mean.

Professional designations are important for two reasons. First, they provide a way to establish minimum standards for financial professionals. Second, it allows you to know what sort of specialties and training the professionals you want to work with have. If you understand your professional's designations, you will know if they have the experience and training to help you.

Below you will find a description of the various credentials held by members of the RetireRight Pittsburgh team and the organization. Individual credentials are listed in each team members' biography.

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ designation comes with extensive training in financial planning, estate planning, insurance, investments, taxes, employee benefits and retirement planning, as well as in CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct, which are rigorously enforced. As CFP® professionals, we are required to uphold our certification through continuing education – something to consider with new financial instruments appearing regularly on the consumer market. In fact, the CFP® certification is the most recognized designation in the industry for personal financial planning. Only 17% of all financial advisors in the industry can claim this distinction.

Candidates for the RICP® designation must complete a minimum of three college-level courses and are required to pass a series of two-hours proctored exams.  They must also have three years of experience, meet stringent ethics requirements, and participate in The College's continuing education program.

The RICP® educational curricula is the most complete and comprehensive program available to professional financial advisors looking to help their clients create sustainable retirement income.  The rigorous three-course credential helps advisors master retirement income planning, a key focus area not fully covered in other professional designation programs.  From retirement portfolio management techniques and mitigation of plan risks to the proper use of annuities, employer-sponsored benefits and determining the best Social Security claiming age, the RICP® provided a wealth of practical information for advisors. 

Using the most current techniques, the RICP®s identify retirement income needs and objectives and evaluate a client's current situation relative to those goals.  Individuals who earn a RICP® can provide expert advice on a broad range of retirement topics including income needs and objectives, estate issues, and other risks to the retirement income planning, Social Security, health insurance and housing decisions, and income taxation.

A fiduciary is a financial advisor who is required by law and practice to act solely in the interests of and with undivided loyalty to their clients. A fiduciary's advice and recommendations must align with your specific objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance. When managing your assets, a fiduciary must strive for an optimal balance of risk and return. That person must exercise care, skill, diligence, and objectivity in evaluating, recommending, and reviewing investment options.

The AIFA® and AIF® designations are offered and maintained through fi360.

The PPC designation signifies an ability to employ best practices that help plan sponsors run successful and compliant practices and is awarded to those that complete a curriculum based on ERISA regulations and industry best practices as they pertain to the management of a qualified plan. PPC

Retirement Partners Group (RPG) is an exclusive network of highly experienced LPL Financial-affiliated advisors who focus primarily on advising retirement plans for small to large companies. Only a small percentage of LPL Financial advisors are qualified for membership in this elite group. Membership in RPG identifies advisors who have demonstrated significant achievement within the retirement plan arena and will provide them and their clients with resources and strategies for the ever more complex field of retirement plans. As a member of Retirement Partners Group we are among the industry's elite, committed to raising the level of retirement plan guidance through improved investment fiduciary stewardship, proactive participant communication and education, and unquestioned ethics and integrity.