Certified Trust and Financial Advisor – Definition

Cite this article as:"Certified Trust and Financial Advisor – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated August 2, 2019, last accessed October 28, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/certified-trust-and-financial-advisor-definition/.


Certified Trust and Financial Advisor Definition

A Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) is a professional that renders competent service in financial planning, broking, trust and investment administration and taxation. CTFA is a designation that serves as an evidence that its holder has been certified by the American Bankers Association (ABA) to function in the capacity of a banker, broker, financial planner and trust administrator. Holders of CTFA are trained under ABA, sit for an exam and pass the exam with other required qualifications.

A Little More on What is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)

The American Bankers Association (ABA) issues the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation only to individuals who have a minimum level of work experience in wealth management, undergo the training program, and pass the qualification exam. Once applicants have the required score in the exam alongside other requirements, they become Certified Trust and Financial Advisors. These professionals also need to maintain the designation by undergoing continuing education.

Certified Trust and Financial Advisor Requirements

Below are the requirements for Certified Trust and Financial Advisor certification;

  • Candidates are required to have a three-year experience in wealth management.
  • Competing at least one of these training programs is required;
    • Intermediate and advanced ABA Trust Certificate
    • Cannon Financial Institutes Trust School’s Level I, Level II and Level III courses.
    • Campbell University’s Trust and Investment Management Degree.

Candidates who do not have the above requirements have the option of;

  • A bachelor’s degree plus five years of wealth management experience.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in wealth management.

The professional training given to holders of CFTA

Certified Trust and Financial Advisor Exam

The CFTA exam comprises of 200 multiple choice questions which lasts for four hours. The examination fee for CTFA costs $725. Individuals who do not pass the exam at the first sitting have the opportunity to retake the exam at a cost of $425. Applicants are tested on wealth management, financial management and planning, taxation, fiduciary and trust matters, ethics and codes of conduct. Real life scenarios are also illustrated during the exam to test candidate’s competence in real life scenarios. Mobile phones or calculators are not allowed during the exam.

Certified Trust and Financial Advisor Renewal

Holding a CFTA designation does not end after the certificate has been earned by candidates. They are required to renew the designation every three years by competing 45 CE credits. In addition to this, holders are expected to pay an annual fee of $249 and also adhere to the code of ethics of ABA.

Reference for “Certified Trust and Financial Advisor – CTFA”

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