What Is a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC)?

Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) is a professional designation for mutual fund advisers. It was previously awarded by the College for Financial Planning, now part of Kaplan, to financial services professionals who completed a study program and passed an exam covering mutual fund topics. While it is no longer a current certification offered by Kaplan/College for Financial Planning, as of 2021, the organization still supports the designation. This article describes the designation and its requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • The Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) was a designation for mutual fund advisers offered by the College for Financial Planning, now part of Kaplan.
  • The CMFC is no longer offered by the educational services companies, although the designation is still supported.
  • The designation was one of many that evolved from the CFP or Certified Financial Planner designation that helped formalize the field of financial planning in the 1970s.

Understanding Chartered Mutual Fund Counselors (CMFCs)

Applicants who successfully pass the program earn the right to use the Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor designation with their names for two years, which can improve job opportunities, professional reputation, and pay. Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor professionals must complete 16 hours of continuing education every other year and pay a nominal fee to continue using the designation.

The Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor program was developed in conjunction with the Investment Company Institute and is the only mutual fund designation recognized in the financial services industry. The study program to become a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor covers types and characteristics of open and closed-end funds, other packaged investment products, risk and return, asset allocation, selecting a mutual fund for a client, retirement planning, and professional conduct. The Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor program is the only industry-recognized mutual fund credential.

Why Hire a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor?

Chartered Mutual Fund Counselors help clients select mutual funds, which are growing in number every day. The Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor course emphasizes how to evaluate mutual funds and how to use that information to make recommendations to clients. A credentialed adviser should be able to review a client’s entire investment portfolio and provide suggestions.

The College for Financial Planning holds Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor designees to strict standards of professional conduct. If a charter holder does not abide by these standards, they can be reported to the College for Financial Planning and could face disciplinary action. The College for Financial Planning publishes an online list of advisers who have had their designation suspended or revoked.

The College for Financial Planning

The College for Financial Planning was founded in 1972 to formalize the financial planning profession through the creation and use of the CFP Certification, now a crucial financial planning credential.

In July 2018, Kaplan bought the College for Financial Planning. The College is a separate institution from Kaplan and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It continues to operate today, offering programs in financial planning, asset management, wealth management, and retirement planning.