Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC®)

A chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC) is a professional designation for individuals who provide financial planning and investment advice related to mutual funds. CMFCs must pass an exam administered by the College of Financial Planning. CMFCs typically work for investment firms, banks, or insurance companies. They help their clients choose the right mutual funds for their needs and make recommendations about when to buy and sell funds. CMFCs may also help clients create a balanced portfolio consisting of many different types of investments, including stocks and bonds. The CMFC designation is the only certification for financial professionals focused specifically on mutual funds. The purpose of the designation is to set a standard for individuals working as mutual fund counselors.

What Does a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor Do?

A chartered mutual fund counselor helps clients make informed decisions about investing in mutual funds. They provide advice on what funds to buy, when to buy them, and when to sell them. CMFCs typically have a lot of experience working with mutual funds and understand the different types of funds available. This experience allows them to help their clients find the best funds for their needs.

How to Become a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor

The College of Financial Planning offers a certification program for individuals who want to become a chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC). To qualify for the CMFC designation, candidates must pass an exam that covers topics such as financial planning, investment analysis, and mutual fund products. Financial advisors who wish to become CMFCs are to take a 10-week course before going through the exam. Holders are also expected to complete 16 hours of continuing education every 2 years in order to keep up with the latest changes and trends in the financial industry.

Advantages of Being a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor

There are several advantages to becoming a chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC). First of all, mutual funds can be relatively difficult for non-professionals to understand. As a result, many people choose not to invest in mutual funds even if they are capable of doing so. Thus, the role that CMFCs play can be helpful by providing education and guidance. Additionally, since mutual funds tend to be relatively complicated investments, investors often need help monitoring their funds on an ongoing basis—this is another area where CMFCs come in handy because they can provide regular advice and make adjustments as necessary. CMFCs have demonstrated they possess the knowledge and skills required to provide quality financial planning and investment advice related to mutual funds. CMFCs also serve as an authority on the best practices for creating mutual fund portfolios (for example, how much of each type of investment should make up a portfolio). Since most CMFCs work at investment or with other financial professionals who have a lot of other responsibilities, their advice can be quite valuable because it’s highly specialized. The CMFC designation shows that the holder has met rigorous standards and is committed to ongoing education. CMFCs are likewise held to a code of ethics that puts the interests of their clients first. Finally, the CMFC designation itself is something that many people find very valuable. In today’s society, financial literacy matters more than ever and this certification provides a credential to show that you have met a standard for knowledge in your area.

Final Thoughts

The CMFC designation is a valuable credential that demonstrates that the holder possesses knowledge and skills related to mutual funds. The certification also requires holders to adhere to a code of ethics that puts the interests of their clients first. If you are interested in becoming a CMFC, the College of Financial Planning offers a certification program that covers all the necessary topics. The program can be completed in 10 weeks and continuing education is required every 2 years to maintain the designation.

Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor FAQs

Mutual funds are a type of investment that pools money from many investors in order to give them access to a wider range of investments. These pooled funds, which can be stocks or bonds, or both, are overseen by a fund manager who invests the money. The result is diversification and low risk when compared with investing in individual securities.
Most people don't have the knowledge required to invest in mutual funds wisely on their own. This makes a CMFC a valuable resource for investors who want help selecting and monitoring their mutual funds going forward.
CMFCs work with mutual funds (typically, not individual stocks or bonds), while RIAs may work with mutual funds, but can also work with other investment products like ETFs and options. CMFCs tend to be more specialized than RIAs since they've committed to working exclusively in this area.
Yes, CMFCs are held to a code of ethics that puts the interests of their clients first.
Yes, the CMFC designation is recognized nationwide.

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.