The Certified Financial Planner designation is the most widely recognized credential in the financial planning field today. It’s the designation of choice for anyone wishing to offer fee-based financial planning.The Chartered Financial Consultant designation has the same core curriculum as the CFP, but adds additional electives that pertain to personal financial planning. Agents who want to specialize in life insurance for business or estate planning have traditionally pursued the oldest designation: Chartered Life Underwriter. The best designation for any individual depends on that person’s preferred focus. Those most interested in life insurance should pursue a CLU. Those who want to focus on comprehensive financial planning should consider the CFP or ChFC. No single designation is considered superior over another, and all three cover some of the same material. The CFP requires less coursework, but forces students to proactively apply the material in the board exam. The CLU and ChFC have more coursework but no comprehensive exam.