(3 Minute Read)
Financial professionals know that licensure and credentials are critical. Memberships in organizations like FINRA or NAPFA and designations like CFP (Chartered Financial Planner), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), and ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) are common in the industry today. These licenses and memberships require continuing education to be retained. Your state of residence may also require CE for licensure. With all these required courses, it’s important to do what you’re best at—plan long term.
Fortunately, continuing education courses are easier than ever to attend. With online resources such as WebCE.com and RegEd, an advisor can pay for a course, complete it, and take the final exam in a day or two. You can select which courses you think are relevant to you, whether you want to learn something new or brush up on the basics. Best of all, most credentialed online educators will report your credits to your certifying body or state government for you.
One Course, Multiple Licenses
Many courses can be applied toward more than one licensing body for credit. Some may count a course for more or less than others. If you’re trying to make a life insurance course support both your state license and a CLU credential, make sure you know how many credit hours each organization will count the class for. This will allow you to get the most for your time and money.
Network Through the Net
Continuing education isn’t limited to what is learned in a classroom. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook provide unprecedented opportunity for advisors to talk in real-time about new strategies and trends. They also allow advisors to benefit from the experiences (good and bad) of other advisors and learn from their successes and failures. Sharing your own can do the same for others, and keep everyone constantly innovating.
Learn Something New
However, continuing education isn’t just about maintaining the status quo. Financial planning is an area of expertise in which more knowledge can never hurt you. If you have to take classes anyway, use strategy to see if you can earn a new accreditation or licensure in an area of interest. Or, apply existing expertise to try to teach a class and expand your personal strengths.
You’d be amazed at the number of options for financial planners you might learn through further study—like life settlements. Some newer strategies like life settlements are unknown to even experienced advisors, causing closed minds. However, once you’ve learned about newer strategies and how they can help clients in specific circumstances, you’ll see how beneficial an open mind can be. If you’re curious about life settlements, or want to see if one of your clients qualifies, visit our calculator today!