If patients or colleagues want to learn about your professional qualifications, they can check the initials next to your name. In medicine, professional designations say something about your education and expertise. The same is true when it comes to the people who provide insurance and financial advice.
"Anyone who has a designation has gone beyond the compulsory level of licensing, and put in the extra time and effort to increase their knowledge, all for the benefit of the client," says Judy Wood, CFP, CLU, Senior Insurance Advisor, OMA Insurance.
As a client, you may not readily know your prospective advisor's background, education and experience. By having at least one of these designations, an advisor demonstrates that he or she may have a more well-rounded or specialized body of knowledge.
Knowing this can help you to narrow down who you want to work with, says Ms. Wood — something that's useful when so many advisors are vying to offer you insurance and financial advice.
In addition, maintaining one of these designations also means that the advisor has made a commitment to continuing education, and to abide by a code of conduct. So those are important criteria too, says Ms. Wood.
(There are other industry designations. For a listing, please visit the website of Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, at: http://www.advocis.ca/forPublic/designations.html.)
For insurance advisors specifically, Advocis notes that, in addition to reviewing your basic insurance needs, they need to look at the big picture and should also consider estate planning, retirement planning, and overall financial picture and long-term goals.2
In selecting any insurance or financial advisor, it is in your best interest to learn about his or her training and experience, just as patients might do with you. To help you become comfortable with your decision, it is worth asking other questions, such as:3
By asking the right questions, understanding professional qualifications, and dealing with the appropriate experts, you can help to ensure your financial health.
For assistance in finding the right insurance solutions to suit your needs, please contact OMA Insurance Services to schedule an appointment with a non-commissioned OMA Insurance Advisor at 1.800.758.1641, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is also available on the Insurance Services website at: www.omainsurance.com.