Good summary of various financial professionals from Daily Worth:
CFP. A Certified Financial Planner has earned professional certification from the U.S.-based Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards or one of its international counterparts. To use the designation, a financial planner must meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements, as well as pay an ongoing certification fee. You might consider hiring a professional with the CFP designation if you are looking for someone to manage your investments or assist you with financial planning. (In order to sell securities, the professional must have a FINRA license.)
CRPC. A Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor has completed a study course and examination from the College for Financial Planning and has in-depth knowledge of retirement planning. These professionals are trained in various sources of retirement income, retirement cash flow, asset management, estate planning and other related topics.
RIA. A Registered Investment Advisor is an investment advisor who is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or a state’s securities agency. RIAs are held to a fiduciary standard, meaning “they must put the needs of their clients above their own,” Gabrielsen says. “They must put their clients in what they believe to be the best and lowest cost investments, regardless of how it impacts the advisor.” Other advisors, such as those on the broker-dealer or insurance sides of the business, are held to a suitability standard, which means they are allowed to sell a client a product that benefits the advisor as long as it is also suitable for the client’s needs. Professionals with the CFP, CRPC or other designations will be held to a fiduciary standard if they work at a RIA firm.
click here to read entire story.