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Glossary of Terms

Industry Terms and Professional Designations

Please feel free to contact our financial advisors to learn more.

Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®)

The AAMS® designation is administered by the College for Financial Planning to finance professionals and includes a broad range of topics such as the asset management process, return and investment performance, insurance, taxation, retirement and estate planning issues.

Candidates must successfully complete a self-study program, pass an exam and agree to comply with its code of ethics. Ongoing continuing education credits are required.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)

The purpose of the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional certification, awarded by Center for Fiduciary Studies, a division of fi360, is to assure that those responsible for managing or advising on investor assets have a fundamental understanding of the principles of fiduciary duty, the standards of conduct for acting as a fiduciary, and a process for carrying out fiduciary responsibility. It includes requirements for education and/or experience, specific AIF® training, passing a formal examination and satisfying the AIF® Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards as well as complete six hours of CE credits per year.

Certified Financial Planner professional (CFP®)

The CFP® certification process, administered by CFP Board, identifies that those individuals who have been authorized to use the CFP® certification marks in the U.S. have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence when dealing with clients.

CFP® certificants must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination; pass CFP Board’s Candidate Fitness Standards; agree to abide by CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which puts clients’ interests first; and comply with the Financial Planning Practice Standards, which spell out what clients should be able to reasonably expect from the financial planning engagement. These are just some of the reasons why the CFP® certification is becoming increasingly recognized. To become certified (and maintain certification), financial advisor candidates are required to meet initial and ongoing education, examination, experience and continuing education requirements. Before selecting a financial advisor, ask them if they are a CFP®.

Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS®)

The Chartered Retirement Planning Specialist SM (CRPS®) program is offered through the College for Financial Planning® and focuses on the design, installation, maintenance, and administration of retirement plans.

The curriculum for the CRPS designation encompasses specific content covering both theory and practical application. The curriculum is developed by the college’s faculty with input from the country’s top investment and financial firms, giving students the benefit of applying their learning to real-world situations and cases. Topics covered include: Types & Characteristics of Sponsored Retirement Plans & Defined Benefit Plans, as well as Nonprofit Organization & Government Plans. Includes Plan Design, Installation, Administration & Amendments, Plan Establishment, Operation, Investment Objectives, Penalties & Termination, Fiduciary Issues, Prohibited Transactions, Claims & Examinations. Candidates must pass an examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations as well as ongoing continuing education credits required.


As a representative of a Registered Investment Advisor and for those holding the Certified Financial Planner designation, they are required to serve as a fiduciary and always have a duty to serve the best interest of their clients, including an obligation to put clients’ interests before their own. Independent Registered Investment Advisors are registered with and regulated by the Securities & Exchange Commission or Maryland Division of Securities and are held to different standards when providing investment advice. Fiduciary duty is enforceable under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Section 206. Brokers are generally not subject to a fiduciary duty under federal securities laws, but rather a suitability obligation.

Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional (FPQP®)

Individuals who hold the FPQP® designation have completed a course of study encompassing the financial planning process, the five disciplines of financial planning and general financial planning concepts, terminology and product categories. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

All designees have agreed to adhere to Standards of Professional Conduct and are subject to a disciplinary process. Designees renew their designation every two-years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®)

The NRS certification, co-sponsored with the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), is a professional education program granting the designation, Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®), to individuals who complete an online and/or in-person instructor-led program of study, pass a certifying examination, and meet its work experience, ethics and continuing education requirements. The program acknowledges the heightened role of compliance and responds to growing industry demands for advanced compliance education and nationally recognized professional standards. Ongoing continuing education credits are required annually.

Master of Science Financial Analysis (MSFA)

The MSFA encompasses a broad understanding of analytical, quantitative and research skills in the financial industry. The program delves into security design, as well as security market structure with an emphasis on financial theory and global market insights. Research involves relevant skills including investment management, risk measurement and data-driven decision making. Broad financial market knowledge also includes financial modeling.

Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) Firm

Oxford Planning Group is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm regulated directly by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the States Attorney Division of Securities for state registered RIAs. They are considered to be acting in a fiduciary capacity, and are therefore held to a higher standard of conduct than a broker-dealer. This fiduciary standard mandates that an RIA must always unconditionally put the client’s best interests ahead of his or her own, regardless of all other circumstances. A broker-dealer is not required to meet these standards.