Our Credentials;

Personal Financial Specialists Professional
or PFS Professional?

How does the PFS credential differ from other financial planning credentials, such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)®?

CPAs topped the list of most trusted financial advisors on three separate independent reports – edging out Certified Financial Planners, according to a recent survey issued by Amplitude Research, (January 2007). The PFS, unlike other credential programs, is awarded only to select number of CPAs (Certified Public Accountant) who are members in good standing with the AICPA. Accordingly, this Personal Financial Planning Specialist designation (PFS) represents the highest professional standards of any of the financial planning credentials available today and sets the PFS holder apart from other CPA financial planners. Only a CPA can be awarded the highest standard, the PFS (Personal Financial Specialist designation). In order to obtain the CPA license and this designation, (they must have at least 150 college credit hours with at least 36 of them being in accounting or tax, they must pass a 19 hour 2 day exam and have met a stringent work experience requirement). The PFS is the mark of excellence among those in the wealth management profession and is the credential only issued to the most experienced CPA Wealth & Financial Planners who have demonstrated their commitment to using only best practices and standards in financial planning. The CPA/PFS is the most respected and sought after designation in entire financial planning and wealth management community and with out becoming a trusted CPA, you will not get access to this level of knowledge.

Why Should I Choose a CPA/PFS?

All financial planners are not created equal. Many are only stock brokers or insurance agents, calling themselves financial advisors. You need to find a trusted fiduciary adviser to help you sort through, the complex financial decisions, that you must make and develop a sound strategy for a securing your retirement and financial future. The PFS designation was established for only the CPAs who specialize in individual personal financial planning and is awarded exclusively to AICPA members who have demonstrated considerable experience and expertise in the area of retirement and financial planning. As of today, the AICPA has granted only 3,300 CPA/PFS designation to CPAs through out the world who specialize in individual financial planning, out a total of 650,000 CPAs, and even less of these professionals have also obtained the Certified Financial Planner License, (CFP®), as well as a specialized Master of Science in Accounting – Tax Consulting Track, or have become Registered Investment Advisors.

A CPA must meet certain requirements before being awarded the CPA/PFS and meet re-credentialing requirements every three years in order to maintain their status as the most trusted financial advisor.

You deserve only the best advice when planning for your retirement. Working with a CPA/PFS, CFP®, MST Retirement Planner must be able to assess your current financial situation, help you determine how to focus on what’s most important to you, as well as, help you develop and monitor your retirement accumulation and distribution plan. You need someone you can trust and rely on to provide, objective, Fee-Only competent advice, without the conflicts of commission and prizes—someone who has built his entire reputation on these very qualities.

A CPA/PFS combines a century of trusted advice with today's cutting edge financial strategies to help you assess your current financial situation, define your financial needs and goals, and develop and monitor a plan to meet your goals. A CPA is considered the most trusted of all advisors.

PFS logo

  I am one of Only 3,300 CPAs Wealth & Financial Advisors in the World that have obtained this highly sought after Personal Financial Planning (PFS) designation.

or CFP® professional

CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance. Most people think that all financial planners are "certified" but this isn't true. Anyone can call himself or herself a "financial planner, financial advisor". Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP board can display the CFP certification marks. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the education, examination, experience and ethics requirements the right to use the CFP certification marks.

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Personal Financial (PFS) – Awarded from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to only the top financial advisors.

PFS logo

Personal Financial Specialist
Reference Certificate # 30722
Call 1-888-777-7077
Website http://pfp.aicpa.org/Community/Find+a+CPA+PFS+Near+You.htm

Certified Financial Planner™ Board of Standards (CFP Board)

CFP logo link

Certified Financial Planner® Designation
Reference Certificate # 105925
Call 1-888-237-6275
Website http://www.fpanet.org/plannersearch/search.cfm

Professional Licenses

Texas Board of Public Accountants Logo link CPA logo link

Texas State Board of Public Accountants
Certified Public Accountant
Reference License # 082587
Call (512) 305-7853
Website http://www.tsbpa.state.tx.us/pimain.htm

Professional Memberships

AICPA logo link

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Member Since 2001
Call (212) 596-6200
Website http://www.aicpa.org

Financial Planning Association
Member Since 2002
Call (800) 322-4237
Website http://www.fpanet.org/

Member and proud supporter and member since 2005
Contact http://aspen16.webcrossing.com/WebX?14@977.Wcbtav7IqXj.6@.1eee39ad
Website http://www.fpanet.org/NexGen/NexGenGroup.cfm

The Financial Planning Association of Houston
Member Since 2002
Contact (713) 869-3665
Website http://www.fpahouston.org/

Paladin Registry logo link

Paladin Registry
Member Since 2006
Contact (916) 253-3334
Website http://www.paladinregistry.com

Fiduciary Advisors

The Paladin Registry only admits financial professionals who meet its industry leading standards for ethics, competence, investor-friendly business practices, and sophisticated financial services. Two of our most important admittance requirements are that advisors must be fiduciaries and they must acknowledge this distinction in writing.

What's a Fiduciary?
The dictionary definition of a fiduciary is a person standing in a special relationship of trust, confidence, or responsibility to another. Advisors have critical responsibilities in regard to the financial futures of consumer because their advice and services impact standards of living during retirement and financial security late in life.

Whose Financial Interests Come First?
Fiduciary advisors are required to put your need to achieve financial goals ahead of their need to produce personal income.

Higher Ethical Standards
Fiduciary advisors are held to higher ethical standards than non-fiduciary advisors.

Acknowledged Fiduciaries
Professionals who are admitted to the Registry must "acknowledge" their fiduciary status in writing.

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Do I Need A Financial Advisor?
Let's start with a more fundamental question: how much can I improve my financial situation? You might be thinking, "I have a good salary, I pay my bills on time, I know how to do my taxes, I have insurance... I'm handling my finances pretty well; spending time and money on financial planning is not worth it for me." Many people think this way, but often it is because of a lack of awareness of financial opportunities and best practices. Indeed, time spent devising and implementing a well-researched and sound financial plan will likely yield:
More money for you and your family
Better preparation and flexibility for life changes
Increased protection against mistakes and unexpected circumstances
An investment in financial management provides peace of mind by ensuring your best odds of permanent wealth and comfort. This planned approach to success is the result of a multi-step process. You must:
Set achievable financial and personal goals
Assess your current financial health by examining your assets, liabilities, income, insurance, taxes, investments and estate plan
Develop a realistic, comprehensive plan to meet your financial goals by addressing financial weaknesses and building on financial strengths
Put your plan into action and monitor its progress
Revise your plan to accommodate changing goals, changing personal circumstances, changing financial opportunities, and changing market and tax laws
The planning process requires skill, knowledge, diligence, and discipline, but great reward makes it well worth the time and effort.
Can I do it on my own?
The question is, do you need professional help in order to design and stick to an effective financial plan? To some degree, this depends on your unique situation, but most will find that they are better off seeking the information, expertise, experience, and discipline provided by a financial advisor.
Making quality financial decisions requires an ample commitment to learn and research. While the Internet's easy access to information has helped to make it feasible for individuals to independently manage their finances, the magnitude of investment skills and information that you need can be overwhelming. The financial world is filled with foreign concepts, esoteric language, legal rules, and difficult methodologies. Whether you want to develop a portfolio, plan for retirement, pay for college, or reach any other major financial goal, there are professionals who have spent their careers serving people with the same concern, and it is a good idea to take advantage of their experience.

We are Here to Help!
If you have any problems or need assistance we are here to help you find the professional to best achieve your financial goals. You can always e-mail us at info@wiseradvisor.com or give us a call at (703) 865-7218.

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Afordable LIVE Advice You Can Trust
Get personalized unbiased answers to your financial questions. Connect directly to independent prescreened financial advisors by phone and email. Receive expert advice for a pre-quoted flat fee. It’s easy, there’s never sales pressure and you’re always in control.

Professional Program Alumni

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The Professional Program at Texas A&M University
Contact (979) 845-8587
Website http://acct.tamu.edu/ppa/header.asp


Texas A&M logo link

Texas A&M University
Masters of Science in Accounting - Tax & Consulting Track
Michael J. Fitzgerald, CPA/PFS, CFP®.
Texas A&M University
Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting

Contact National Student Clearinghouse (NSC)
Note: To verify this degree, visit the NSC website. Michael J. Fitzgerald, CPA/PFS, CFP® attended school at the main campus in College Station, Texas.