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American College Retools ChFC Program

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To meet the complex and changing needs of today’s clients, The American College is adding new courses to its Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation. The College announced Monday that it would begin offering two new courses to help advisors address topics like divorce, special planning issues for the LGBT community and behavioral finance, among others.

The six core classes required to obtain the ChFC designation are the same, Dr. Craig Lemoine, Chartered Financial Consultant program director at The American College, told ThinkAdvisor on Monday. The program now includes three new courses.

In the past, two of those courses could be an elective. However, Lemoine said, “We reached out to ChFC professionals and asked, ‘What are you doing? In your practice, what issues do you find most prevalent?’” The American College used those responses to design two of the new courses, which will replace the previously required electives.

One of those courses focuses on business planning and the unique challenges of clients dealing with divorce, blended families, special needs and LGBT planning issues. The other class addresses retirement income, behavioral finance, ethics and estate planning.

The first course is already available, and the second should be open at the beginning of next quarter, according to Lemoine.

In the third class, students are required to create a financial plan of their own, Lemoine said.

On Jan. 1, The American College replaced its Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation with the Financial Services Certified Professional (FSCP) to focus more on comprehensive planning than product expertise.

In November, the college announced a new Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC) designation to help advisors address clients’ complex emotional and financial needs when planning for a family member with special needs.

Check out Chartered Special Needs Consultant Designation a ‘Huge Step Forward’ on ThinkAdvisor.