AAFM ® American Academy of Financial Management WIKI

The American Academy of Financial Management is a USA based Board of Standards, certifying body, and accreditation council dedicated to the finance sector and management professionals. [1] [2] [3] www.AAFM.us

The AAFM was founded in 1996 through a merger of the American Academy of Financial Management & Analysts (AAFMA) and the Founders Advisory Committee of the Original Tax and Estate Planning Law Review of the United States. The registered and trademarked AAFM [4] has exclusively been a US certifying body and board of standards that issues its designations and awards from the USA offices as referenced in the US Governments' Department of Labor Occupational Handbook 2010-2011. .[5]

The AAFM offers multiple professional membership, certifications, and designations to members who qualify. The portfolio of professional designations that AAFM offers are registered copyrights and trademarks owned around the world by the AAFM Board of Standards. [6] The AAFM proprietary certifications, awards, and accreditations are granted exclusively by the AAFM USA Board of Standards.[7]

To qualify to use the designation(s) members must either have come through one of the AAFM recognized university programs (such as Universities within AACSB, ACBSP, EQUIS, AICPA and American Bar Association etc), or through a CHEA or equivalent government recognized executive educational program [8], or in some rare cases through grandfathering of PhDs, Lawyers, or CPAs by way of board/peer review. The AAFM Board has never directly provided training, but as a global provider of certification, standards, and accreditation, the AAFM has recognized hundreds of approved providers. The AAFM Board is in articulation alliance with the AACSB International Accreditation Agency and the ACBSP Accreditation Agency along with other international government recognized and accredited groups such as the GBR China, ACCE, AABFS and IIFM. [9][10]

The AAFM Board was the first to introduce the CWM Chartered Wealth Manager Certification and trademarked program. [11] The CWM wealth management designation is similar to financial planning training but is intended as a graduate certification and program in high net worth consulting. [12]

The AAFM Board of Standards also recognizes individual universities who are recognized by the AAFM Accreditation Commission to offer AAFM Executive Education, Diploma or Degree programs in conjunction with graduate certifications. e.g., Thomas Jefferson School of Law in California. [13] The AAFM also has mutual cooperation agreements with the AABFS Arab Academy of Banking and Financial Services which is owned by the UN Recognized League of Arab States [14], The India Institute of Financial Management [15] , the African Economists Association ACCE [16] , and some other accredited programs such as Jones International University. [17]

Credentials Lists, Disclosure, Accredited Education, Continuing Education, Trademark Agreements, Exams, and Criticism

On October of 2004, the Wall Street Journal discussed the USA Wealth Management certification programs of the American Academy of Financial Management, New York University , the Wharton School and the Apollo Group. [18] Since 2004, the AAFM was the first to integrate ABA accredited law school education as a path to various AAFM board certifications. [19]

On October 16th, 2010, the Wall Street Journal published a their internal reference guide featuring a large list of USA certifications, designations, and credentials used in the financial industry. [20] As stated by the Wall Street Journal reference guide, some of the designations, such as the AAFM Certifications, are FINRA disclosed and monitored. Various AAFM USA disclosed designations from the FINRA governmental regulatory website are also included in the Wall Street Journal Reference Guide. The AAFM Board of Standards certification requirements of accredited education and exams have been publicly disclosed for over 6 years [21] [22] to varying governmental authorities, including the NASD and FINRA and also the Wall Street Journal list. [23] Also in October of 2010, the Wall Street Journal published a second article exposing the practice of advisors using questionable credentials and discussed the AAFM and the AAFM certification requirements of double accreditation. [24] The article reported on the membership criteria of various organizations and also contacted some AAFM Faculty Award Winners who also consented to be Honorary Global Advisors for AAFM. Legally, honorary award recipients or honorary advisors are not allowed to speak on behalf for AAFM or any organization under the Law of Agency. The AAFM official press release section shows copies of written letters of award acceptance and honorary advisor consent from all those who were contacted and the AAFM rejects any claims by publicly showing the documented evidence. [25]

As for exams and assessment, the Department of Education and the AACSB and ACBSP double accredited business schools require exams and assessment for all courses and degrees as per accreditation guidelines. Therefore, FINRA disclosed AAFM designations such as MFP require accredited education that includes exams from accredited institutions. [26] The Wall Street Journal references the MFP AAFM Designation as the only designation from a certifying board to require and double accredited education and the inclusive exams from AACSB and ACBSP. [27]

Benziga financial media also investigated the financial designation and education marketplace in the USA and stated that the AAFM Board USA promotes and requires accredited education from government backed institutions, and both Benziga and the Wall Street Journal in it's guide to credentials[28] state the AAFM promotes accreditation and asks the consumer to determine if their financial advisor has government backed education, degrees, diplomas and licenses [29]

Over the last decade, dozens of other national or international press references from newswires such as Reuters, The Associated Press and Black Enterprise write about or reference the AAFM American Academy of Financial Management and are available on Google News Archives [30]

The AAFM Board of Standards USA has contractual legal trademark agreements with both the CFA Institute and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) which protect the AAFM trademark brand and certifications worldwide while the AAFM claims no direct affiliation with either group. [31] Also, the CFA Institute has routinely recognized AAFM Credentials in the past for PD or Continuing Education Credit. [32]

Further, The FPSC Financial Planning Standards Council which owns the CFP mark and program in parts of North America and Canada still publicly recognizes specific AAFM credentials for CE [33] In contrast to AAFM, some CFP certifications are awarded without any exam through a grandfathering process where the award is given away to insurance or finance professionals with vast experience. [34]


  1. ^ "The RIA's Compliance Solution Book: Answers for the Critical Questions‎ - Page 274"
  2. ^ "US Department of Labor - BLS Career Information"
  3. ^ "California Government Career Guide"
  4. ^ "AAFM US Government Trademark Reference"
  5. ^ "US Government Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11‎ - Page 105"
  6. ^ "Directory of Global Professional Accounting and Business Certifications‎ by Wiley and Co. - Page 264"
  7. ^ "AAFM Founding Website"
  8. ^ "NASD & FINRA Investor Education Reference Guide Present Day 2010 "
  9. ^ [http://financialanalyst.org/accreditationalliances.html "References to AACSB and ACBSP Press Releases"]
  10. ^ "The human resources glossary: the complete desk reference for HR executives - Page 23 William R. Tracey"
  11. ^ "US Government Trademark Reference for CWM "
  12. ^ "The ElderLaw Portfolio Series, Volume 1‎ - Page 25-16Harry S. Margolis "
  13. ^ "Thomas Jefferson School of Law - Masters in Law and partnership with the American Board of Standards USA www.aafm.us - AAFM"
  14. ^ "Diplomatic Alliance with AABFS and League of Arab States"
  15. ^ "AAFM India & IIFM India Alliance "
  16. ^ "AAFM Africa Economists ACCE "
  17. ^ "AAFM Jones International University "
  18. ^ "Is Your Wealth Manager Certifiable? - Certificate, Degree Programs Proliferate as Field Expands; NYU, Wharton Add Courses "
  19. ^ [ http://mastersinlaw.tjsl.edu/program-overview/certifications.asp "Accredited Law School Program offering Certification Courses”]
  20. ^ [ http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_CREDIT1015_20101015.html "Financial Credentials - October 16, 2010"]
  21. ^ "NASD & FINRA Archive 2004-208"
  22. ^ "NASD & FINRA Investor Education Reference Guide Present Day 2010 "
  23. ^ "Financial Industry Regulatory or NASD Investor Education Reference”
  24. ^ [ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703927504575540582361440848.html "Is Your Advisor Pumping Up His Credentials - October 16, 2010"]
  25. ^ [ http://aafm.us/press_release.html "AAFM Documented Contracts and Acceptance Letters”]
  26. ^ [ http://aafm.us/degrees.html "AAFM Recognition of AACSB and ACBSP double accredited business school courses, exams, and degrees as a path to MFP Certification ”]
  27. ^ "Financial Credentials - October 16, 2010"
  28. ^ [ http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/st_CREDIT1015_20101015.html "Financial Credentials - October 16, 2010"]
  29. ^ [ http://www.benzinga.com/general/10/10/532356/be-wary-of-your-financial-advisors-credentials "Financial Advisor's Credentials Posted on 10/19/10 Joe Young "]
  30. ^ [http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_scoring=r&as_maxm=10&q=%22american+academy+of+financial+management%22&as_qdr=a&as_drrb=q&as_mind=24&as_minm=9&as_maxd=24&sa=N&tbs=nws:1,ar:1 "AAFM in the National and International Press"]
  31. ^ [ http://aafm.us/press_release.html "AAFM Contract with CFA signed by CFA VP General Counsel which legally observes and recognizes the ownership of various AAFM designations trademarks globally”]
  32. ^ "CFA Institute Recognition of AAFM Certifications for CE and PD"
  33. ^ "FPSC and CFP educational providers"
  34. ^ [http://web.archive.org/web/20080331124749/http://www.fpanet.org/journal/articles/2003_Issues/jfp0403-art2.cfm "CFP International Grandfather Process"]

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