Financial Planning Designations

Martin A. Smith prides himself on holding multpile designations


Between Martin A. Smith and Sam Simaan, they have earned multiple professional financial designations (e.g. RPS®, CFA®, CRPC®, AIFA®) which demonstrates their commitment to excellence in service, education, professional development and training.

Financial Planning Designations
Martin A. Smith, CRPC®, AIFA® President, Retirement Planning Financial Advisor™

Read below to learn more about the various financial planning designations and executive education training that Martin and Sam has earned over the years from institutions, such as The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the CFA Institute, the College for Financial Planning and Fiduciary360 (aka “fi360”), sponsored by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence; the organization that award the prestigious “CEFEX” designation.

The benefit of having earn multiple designations and credentials in investment analysis & portfolio management, retirement, retirement plan and fiduciary consulting has greatly enhanced the thought leadership of Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. as a top rated wealth management and investment advisory industry firm which serves retirees, businesses, non-profit organizations, foundations, endowments and state & local pension systems.

Financial Planning Designations
Sam Simaan Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Sam Simaan has been following capital markets since his adolescent years. He began investing and trading at the age of 18. Having graduated as high school valedictorian, Sam moved on to UNC-Chapel Hill, where he earned a B.A. in Economics in 3 years. He continued on to UNC-Greensboro, where he received an MBA.

Retirement Planning Specialist – (RPS®)

Financial Planning Designations
Professional Designation Earned: Retirement Planning Specialist (RPS®), August 2008.

Awarded By: The Executive Education Department of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and AXA Equitable.

Martin A. Smith, RPS®, CRPC®, AIFA® has earned an Executive Certificate in Retirement Planning from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and has been awarded the Retirement Planning Specialist title for completing the At Retirement® education program.

The Wharton School is recognized around the world for its academic excellence and vast online educational resources at every level of business education. This week-long course included 50 hours of intensive study taught by 10 Wharton School faculty members.

Topics Covered Included:

  • Identifying, Mitigating and Insuring Retirement Risks
  • Qualified and Non-Qualified Plans and their Roles in Retirement Planning
  • Medicare and Social Security – Dealing with Institutional Risk
  • Asset Allocation and Diversification
  • Real Estate in the Retirement Portfolio
  • Estate Planning and Tax Issues in Retirement

The Wharton program is part of a commitment on behalf of AXA Equitable to providing clients with the most comprehensive and up-to-date advice on a broad range of financial topics related to retirement. After completion of the initial program, participants are also invited to attend an annual At Retirement® forum featuring Wharton faculty and industry experts to further continue their retirement education. AXA chose Wharton because of its leadership in management research, education and knowledge creation.

Focusing on specific concepts and issues that are most important to the At Retirement® generation, AXA Equitable and The Wharton School developed this comprehensive program. Selected on the basis of their value-based approach to relationship management, participants worked to strengthen their retirement risk-management and financial asset allocation knowledge and methodology.

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor – CRPC®

Financial Planning Designations
Professional Designation Earned: Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor – CRPC®, June 2005.

Awarded By: College for Financial Planning

About the CRPC® Course:

The Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) Program focuses on the pre- and post-retirement needs of individuals, allowing financial professionals to transform the retirement planning process into a positive experience. Enrollment in the program allows financial advisors to study a variety of principles in the retirement planning field. The program guides financial advisors through the retirement process from start to finish, addressing issues such as estate planning and asset management.

The College for Financial Planning® awards the CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELORSM AND CRPC® designation to students who successfully complete the following coursework:

  • The Retirement Planning Process & Meeting Multiple Financial Objectives
  • Sources of Retirement Income
  • Personal Savings: Investing for Retirement
  • Employer-Sponsored Plans
  • Individual Deferred Compensation
  • Planning for Incapacity, Disability & Long Term Care
  • When to Retire
  • Retirement Plan Distributions
  • Asset Management & Investment Strategy During Retirement
  • Income Taxes & the Retiree
  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Cash Flow Considerations

Upon completion of the required coursework, candidates for the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation must pass the financial examination and comply with the Code of Ethics, which includes agreeing to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct and Terms and Conditions. Applicants must also disclose of any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct. Conferment of the designation is contingent upon the College for Financial Planning’s review of matters either self-disclosed or which are discovered by the College that are required to be disclosed.

Continued use of the CRPC® designation is subject to ongoing renewal requirements. Every two years individuals must renew their right to continue using the CRPC® designation by:

  • completing 16 hours of continuing education;
  • reaffirming to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct, Terms and Conditions, and self disclose any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct; and
  • paying a biennial renewal fee of $75.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA®)

Financial Planning Designations

Find An Independent Financial Advisor You Can Trust.

How Well Does Your Organization Understands Its Fiduciary Duty? Discover the value of working with an independent financial advisor and a credentialed Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA®): Learn More About the AIFA®


Fulfilling your fiduciary duty is about ensuring a standard of care that applies to organizations and individuals who stand in a special relationship of trust, confidence and/or legal responsibility because they manage the assets of another person or institution. Hence, the reason why it is important to find an independent financial advisor you can trust.

Furthermore, the fiduciary duty of an independent financial advisor legally requires this individual (or entity) to always act in the best interests of their investment client, beneficiary, or retirement plan sponsor and participant. Tragically, many organizations and individuals are not aware of their responsibility to ensure an appropriate standard of care which demonstrates that they have fulfilled their basic fiduciary duty.

A credentialed Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA®) designees have acquired a thorough knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and can be an invaluable resource to 401(K) Plan Sponsors, investment Trustees and committee members to understand and appreciate the full scope of their fiduciary duty.

An AIFA® designation represents that person’s knowledge of a Global Fiduciary Standard of Excellence and their application of the global standard into retirement planning and portfolio management practice. Furthermore, this individual have received extensive training on a fiduciary standard of care, complemented by training on ISO-like assessment procedures to assess whether other fiduciaries conform to the standard of excellence.

Don’t risk going at it alone, AIFA® designees have the training necessary to ensure that an investment process is managed to an appropriate fiduciary standard of care.

Fiduciary360® Training

Financial Planning Designations
Through rigorous training facilitated by Fiduciary360 (Fi360®) AIFA® designees have successfully completed a specialized program on the depth and breadth of the manner in which fiduciary duty and standards of care must be carefully applied to the discipline of portfolio management and retirement plan services.

Fi360 Training began in 1999 to provide the investment industry with the first full-time training and research organization focused exclusively on investment fiduciary responsibility and portfolio management. The Practices and handbooks described below form the basis of the classroom instruction.

Designees are required to complete a rigorous training program, successfully pass an examination, conform to a code of ethics, and adhere to continuing education requirements on a yearly basis. These requirements ensure designees are familiar with the prudent process developed by fi360®, as well as kept up to date with recent industry events affecting fiduciaries.

Prudent Process for Investment Fiduciaries

An investment fiduciary fits into one of three groups: Investment Stewards, Investment Advisors, and Investment Managers. Each has a unique function in the investment process. The Prudent Practices for Investment Fiduciaries handbook series details Practices based on legislation, case law, regulatory opinion letters, and best practices that form a prudent investment process for each group of fiduciaries, respectively. The Practices make good investment sense, and should help to improve long-term investment performance.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Financial Planning Designations
A CFA designation is a badge of distinction. It represents a deep knowledge of all things investing, a commitment to ethics, and a passion for always putting investors first. All of which make our members unparalleled professionals who are fully engaged in raising the standards of the investment management industry.

Why Choose a Charterholder?

Financial Planning Designations
A charterholder can help you meet your specific financial goals

Integrity Is Everything

No credential is as widely regarded in the global financial industry for its rigorous focus on current investment knowledge, analytical skill, and ethical standards as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. With more than 100,000 CFA charterholders in over 135 countries and territories and an increasing demand worldwide for the CFA Program, the charter has become the global professional investment credential.

What Guides a Charterholder?

A strict code of ethics and professional standards. A charterholder not only has the technical knowledge to make investment decisions but also adopts and is held to the highest ethical standards.

-Global best practices and real-world experience. The CFA Program curriculum is based on an extensive and ongoing global practice analysis process, which ensures that the program stays current and relevant in relation to the ever-changing dynamics of global professional investment practice.

Breadth of knowledge and expertise. A comprehensive, global view and up-to-date practical skills give these investment professionals the tools and deep understanding necessary to effectively analyze the risks and rewards of a variety of investment types, enabling them to address a client’s specific investment needs.

On behalf of Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc., Martin has been honored to offer an expert opinion to his television viewers and clients, carefully guiding them through important decisions concerning their need for financial & retirement planning, retirement plan services (e.g. 401K, 403B), managing retirement investments, college and estate planning needs. Martin and Sam are required to renew their various designations annually by completing continuing education courses as well as attending industry specific seminars.

Financial Planning Designations

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