What Can I Do With My CDFA® Credential?

By Nancy A. Hetrick On 03/09/2023

The profession of Financial Planner is evolving rapidly. From Robo-advisors to online planning platforms, technology has made a great deal of the day-to-day work of a planner no longer needed. There! I said it! We have to be willing to shine the light on our profession and realize that it’s time to have different conversations with more specific audiences with VERY specific needs—the power of the Super-Niche.

While there are many available niches for planners, those that have personal or family experience with divorce are often compelled to help this group. I know when I went through my own divorce in 2007, I was horrified by the lack of my attorney’s financial knowledge and the crazy criminal process that had me questioned as a witness by my ex’s attorney. Was there a crime I didn’t know about? I felt totally interrogated and made to feel guilty for my very existence. What the heck? Is this REALLY how this process works?

I had to do something. Step one was to get my CDFA® credential. I was not surprised to discover that while the information was a great introduction to this niche, when I passed the final exam, I felt woefully unprepared to actually work on a high net-worth case.

I attended an IDFA conference and found out there was so much I didn’t even know I didn’t know. Lifestyle Analysis, Separate Property Tracings, Military divorce subtleties, special needs kids, and on and on and on.

And I got really scared. So much so, I almost threw in the towel. There was just so MUCH!  And as the Universe tends to do, that was not in the plan. Clients started showing up as a result of my rabid networking, and in every case, with the help of Google, I learned something new. I discovered new resources. I spoke with other professionals.

I figured it out.

And you can too.

It’s been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. Because these people truly need us. The impact of having us as part of the process changes the trajectory of their lives and those of the entire family. The gravity of the impact you can have cannot be overstated. It’s monumental.

With a CDFA® credential you get the foundational knowledge required to dive into these challenging waters and define yourself in a way that separates you from all of the other planners in your market. Where you were one of hundreds, you become unique. You have a service that is often difficult even to find. Your messaging becomes clear and concise, and you know exactly who you’re talking to.

If your education stops there, you will basically be doing a financial plan for someone getting a divorce. And that’s ok. It’s a lot better than nothing.

If you are compelled to dig in deep, like I was, it’s only the beginning. You’ll want mediation training, Collaborative Divorce Training, and maybe even some forensic training.  Most of you will never have had to market and lead your own business. If not, you’ll need leadership training, mindset coaching, and marketing training.

Sounds like a LOT of time and energy…and money. Yep. And the rewards are phenomenal. My business is in its twelfth year, and I’ve never been happier. I love this work so much that I actually sold my wealth practice to specialize.

If the Universe is calling to you to step up, pay attention. People need you, and you have the power not only to make a difference for them but to define a successful future for yourself and your entire family. If not now, when?

Tagged with: cdfa program, cdfa designation, cdfa certification, divorce financial planner

Blog Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within these blog posts are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Certitrek, IDFA or its affiliates.