An October 9, 2016 article in The Wall Street Journal discussed the importance of financial advisor credentials and concluded that what those credentials are matters even more than simply having them.

Four Peaks Wealth Management (FPWM) agrees, and we have put together a carefully-crafted team of experts who’ve earned “gold standards” of financial credentials.

GuideVine, a search site for financial advisors, proposes that “it’s actually comforting to know that the people who will be helping you plan your retirement, stay on budget, and grow your investment assets are generally an overeducated bunch.” They define the credential of CFA® – Chartered Financial Analyst® thus:

A credential given to degree-holding financial professionals who have completed four years of professional financial experience, and have passed three grueling exams covering investment management, financial analysis, ethics, stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other areas of finance. It is considered by many to be the gold standard of financial analysis. A financial advisor with this designation is well qualified to manage your investments – perhaps even too qualified.


Four Peaks Wealth Management has two CFA Charterholders working for the firm. CEO Matt Haertzen and Director Ryan Stuart both hold this high-level standard of financial excellence and bring that knowledge and experience to your portfolio every day.

GuideVine defines another gold standard in the industry, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®):

The most common and one of the most stringent of certifications for financial planners, this certification is conferred and owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Many regard it as the “gold standard” of financial advisor designations. It requires a bachelor’s degree; extensive professional experience; passing a difficult exam in financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning and retirement; plus completing continuing education programs each year.


You have three CFP®’s on your FPWM team, and Emy Tice.

Not done yet. Two of the Four Peaks Wealth Management principals have PhD’s in Finance, Dr. Arthur Selender and Dr. Allen Atkins.

By now you could be asking, as GuideVine suggests, are Four Peaks Wealth Management’s investment professionals overeducated? When it comes to your financial future, how could too much knowledge or experience be too much? You have a powerful financial Think Tank at your disposal, right here in northern Arizona.

Do credentials matter? We certainly think they do.


More to think about: how advisers are paid. Sales commissions and inducements to sell certain products can skew advice.