Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC Exam)


The term Chartered Financial Consultant refers to a certification program that serves as an indication of expertise in financial planning.  The Chartered Financial Consultant Exam, or ChFC Exam, is developed and administered by American College of Financial Services.  The purpose of the certification is to ensure individuals are qualified to provide clients with advice on topics such as income taxes, insurance, investments and estate planning.


The Chartered Financial Consultant Exam, or ChFC Exam, refers to a program consisting of seven college-level core courses and two electives.  Each course takes approximately three weeks to complete, with the entire online course of study running from six to nine months in duration.  The curriculum consists of the following seven core courses:

  • Financial Planning - Process and Environment:  includes the planning process, communication techniques, and ethics.
  • Fundamentals of Insurance Planning:  includes risk concepts, types of insurers, and industry operations.
  • Income Taxation:  includes gross income, business expenses, itemized deductions and tax credits.
  • Planning for Retirement Needs:   includes choosing retirement plans, funding and investing.
  • Investments:  includes securities markets, fix-income securities, mutual funds and real estate investments.
  • Fundamentals of Estate Planning:  includes property ownership, transfers, trusts and estate taxes.
  • Financial Planning Applications:  includes case analysis, and practical problem solving.

Candidates will also have to complete two of the four electives appearing below:

  • Estate Planning Applications
  • Executive Compensation
  • Financial Decisions for Retirement
  • Applications in Financial Planning

The examinations are closed-book, as would be the case with business courses offered by accredited educational institutions.  In addition to the above requirements, certificate candidates must have three years of full-time business experience in the preceding five years.  To maintain certification, candidates must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

If a student fails an examination, they must wait a minimum of two business days before rescheduling an appointment in a testing center to retake the exam.  Students must pre-select a three-month window (January through March, April through June, July through September, or October through December) to take the final exam.  Students will receive a pass / fail grade in the mail within ten days of taking the examination.

Related Terms

CFP Exam, CPA Exam, CFA Eam, CFS Exam, CICCIMA, CMT, CLU Exam, CFE Exam, FRM Exam