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Value of Professional Designations


Just had a great post in Discussions forum under topic of My Favorite Liar, and decided this would be a great general topic. Would love to have your opinions:

salpro22 said:
Great link Linda. I found the discussion pertaining to lies to be quite entertaining and rewarding. The discussion about insurance agents down the page also recommends some good advice.

One part that I disagree with is as follows.

"Professional designations How do you make sense of the blizzard of acronyms that trail the name on those business cards? Is a CFP better than a CLU? How does a ChFC stack up against a CSA? Each three/four-letter title represents the completion of a set of continuing-education coursework focused on specific issues. The best visual summary I've seen on the topic can be found on this matrix. An advisor with higher-level designations is, at the very least, formally recognized as being educated on the subjects in their specialization and, ceteris paribus, better-informed than his less-credentialed peers. "

Personally, I think we have gone a bit far with designations, however, having ONE, maybe TWO designations is all that a person should get. Credibility stems from product knowledge, continuing education classes, personal education pertaining to one's chosen field and real life experience. One simple question a client can ask any professional to gauge his or her passion and knowledge for a field is, "What publications, organizations, etc. do you subscribe to in order to stay abreast in the health (i.e., life, disability, medicare, etc.) field?

I deal primarily with individual/family health insurance and have no desire to sell group insurance. The closest designation to that field is the RHU. However, the RHU is geared more towards group insurance. Does that mean somebody with a RHU has more knowledge or experience? Not necessarily. Designations show that a person went above and beyond and thought it was important enough to pursue more education, and have a certain level of experience.

I LOVE when I see that in people, but you do not have to have a designation to prove that to me. Taking 3 classes and having at least 2 years of experience does not prove that you are an expert at health insurance. What I do not love is seeing a business card that has enough designations to take up more than one-two lines.

John Doe, CFP, CLU, RHU, CLF, CAP. That is overkill....


furlover said:
I absolutely agree!!

This actually is a great topic in itself.

Which of these designations add value to our members ability to perform?

Would be interesting to get member feedback.

When I first came into the business I was told to get my CLU. I passed about half the courses and then I asked the top producer in my office why he did not have his CLU or ChFC. His response was he was too busy working on his R I C H to care about other designations.

I stopped studying for the CLU and it has not hurt me a bit.