What is an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF)?

Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), issued by Fi360, Inc., is a designation for professionals who are well versed in fiduciary responsibility and meet the Global Fiduciary Standard of Excellence. They can be a valuable resource for individual advisors and investors alike. Let’s take a closer look at what this designation is, what it takes to earn it, and how you can benefit from working with an AIF.

What is an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF)?

An Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) is required by law to always act in the best interest of their clients. They provide recommendations based on each client’s unique goals rather than prioritizing commissions, kickbacks, and referral fees that only benefit them.

AIF holders are highly skilled in fiduciary responsibility and know how to communicate a commitment of fiduciary excellence. The AIF designation includes a rigorous training program with a closed-book final exam supervised by a proctor. It also requires a long-term commitment to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.

Designated individuals gain the knowledge and skills they need to evaluate the fiduciary practices of investment vehicles such as 401(k) plans and defined benefit plans. They also support those who manage endowments and foundations.

Should you hire an AIF?

An AIF can benefit you if you are an individual investor. If you want sound advice from a consultant who genuinely values ​​your success and puts your best interests first, this is definitely worth considering. No matter what type of investment vehicles you use or hope to use to achieve your retirement or other long-term goals, they can help.

Also, an AIF will leave a paper trail, as the designation reinforces best practices in documentation. Should you ever have a question or problem about your investments, they can show and explain their work.

By hiring an AIF, you can rest assured that the recommendations presented to you can truly put your interests first over the compensation they receive. You can rest assured that the advisor you’ve chosen is motivated by your long-term success rather than how much money they can make from your investments.

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What does it take to earn and maintain the AIF?

Those hoping to earn the AIF designation must meet certain requirements set forth by Fi360, Inc., an organization specializing in fiduciary education, designations, and software. Here’s a quick rundown of what those are.

AIF Training Requirements

To become an AIF, candidates must participate in a comprehensive training program. There are three training options, including:

Online: The online version is self-paced and often selected by those who lead busy lives and prefer to follow the training on their own schedule. Blended learning: Blended learning is a combination of online and face-to-face classroom training. Virtual: Virtual training includes five two hour live training sessions.

AIF exam

Once they have completed the training program through the online, blended learning or virtual option, candidates must sit the closed book exam. The exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions and must be taken in two hours. Each question is organized into one of the following four content areas:

Organize. Fiduciary roles and responsibilities are clearly documented and defined. The investment policy is consistent with the objectives of the portfolio and the implementation of the risk and return assumptions. Decisions on investments and services are made in accordance with the Obligations of Loyalty and Care monitor. The portfolio is regularly reviewed to ensure consistency with benchmarks and overall targets

A minimum score of at least 70% is required for candidates to pass and receive the AIF designation.

AIF continuing education

AIF holders must renew their certification every year. To do this, they must build six hours of continuing professional education, at least four hours of which are from Fi360 sources. In addition, they must maintain their current contact information in Fi360’s database, affirm a code of ethics, and pay $325 in annual dues.

What is the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) designation?

Once a financial advisor has earned their AIF designation, they can choose to take additional courses to earn the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) designation. Consultants who have earned their AIFA title are certified to assess whether internal policies, procedures and workflows meet the fiduciary standard of excellence.

Additional courses consist of self-study, followed by an instructor-led series of virtual sessions totaling 6 hours to complete, according to FI360.

How to find the best accredited investment fiduciary for you?

You will find a growing number of Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation holders this year on Wealthtender and you can also search the directory of AIF reference holders on the FI360 website.

Recommended AIF Financial Advisers on Wealthtender

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below to preview financial advisors who have earned their AIF label and can work with you to develop a personalized financial plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have a complaint about the accredited investment fiduciary I work with?

Visit this page and fill in the form to register your complaint.

Where can I learn about other professional names of financial advisors and coaches?

Refer to this list of popular financial certifications prepared by Wealthtender to help you learn more about each designation. You’ll find a brief description of each certification, plus links to in-depth articles if you want to learn more about a particular designation.

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About the author
Brian Thorp, founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile photo

About the author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas and enjoy the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Brian applies his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

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This post What is an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF)?

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