Financial Education for Securities, Banking, & Insurance Professionals.

ChFC® - Study Your Way

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Only the most qualified financial planners are allowed
to use this credential.

The Highest Standard of Knowledge and Trust


With this independent study program, you'll have access to our robust Online Learning Center which includes practice tests, audio reviews, and other study tools. You choose when you'll be ready to take your exam, and you'll receive your books in the mail shortly after you place your order.

(per course)

Includes all books and study materials.

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Live Online

Selected courses in the ChFC® curriculum are available in a live webinar format. These courses have the best instructors in the market leading ten-week classes and answering your questions to make sure you understand the material. All the benefits of a live class without the travel! Includes online access, all books, and study materials.

(per course)

Enroll Online

Invest in Yourself

If you earn the ChFC® designation, you may also earn the CLU® designation by completing a minimum of three additional courses. For the CLU®, you must complete the remaining core courses and select from the electives list for that program if additional courses are still needed; electives in the ChFC® program may not be used as electives in the CLU® program.

Fees: New student, one-time admission fee — $0. Shipping and handling — $0 (per course, if applicable).

Chartered Financial Consultant® Curriculum

Required Courses: Click on a course for more details.

Financial Planning: Process and Environment (HS 300)*
Provides an overview of the financial planning process, including communication techniques, ethics, risk tolerance, time-value-of-money concepts, financial planning applications, regulatory issues and the legal and economic environment for financial planning. Offers an understanding of the role and responsibilities of a financial planner, along with some analytical skills to aid in financial decision making.
Fundamentals of Insurance Planning (HS 311)
Focuses on the role of planning for insurance needs. Covers basic concepts in risk management and insurance, insurance industry operations, legal principles pertaining to this industry, and regulation of insurers. Examines social insurance, life insurance and annuities, medical and disability income insurance, long-term care insurance and personal property and liability insurance. Concludes with an overview of commercial property and liability insurance and a case study.
Income Taxation (HS 321)
Examines the federal income tax system with particular reference to the taxation of individuals. Covers such concepts as gross income, exclusions from gross income, deductions, tax credits, capital gains and losses, taxation of life insurance and annuities and income taxation of partners, partnerships, corporations and shareholders.
Planning for Retirement Needs (HS 326)
Focuses on selecting the right retirement plan for the business and on individual retirement planning. Covers qualified plans, SEPs, SIMPLEs and 403(b) plans and nonqualified deferredcompensation plans. Emphasizes the practical knowledge needed for choosing the best retirement plan, especially for the small business, and designing a plan that will meet a client's needs. Also covers individual retirement planning including IRAs and Roth IRAs, Social Security benefits, saving for retirement and planning for retirement plan distributions.
Investments (HS 328)
Covers various aspects of the principles of investments and their application to financial planning. Discusses risk analysis and risk and return computations. Looks at stocks, bonds, investment companies, options and futures contracts. Includes an extended discussion of tax issues in investing and issues in the practice of portfolio management, including strategic and tactical asset allocation. Provides many examples of ethical and practical issues in managing a client's portfolio.
Fundamentals of Estate Planning (HS 330)
Covers various aspects of estate and gift tax planning, including the nature, valuation, transfer, administration and taxation of property. Provides a basic understanding of the estate and gift tax system, including strategies of estate planning. Discusses gratuitous transfers of property outright or with trusts, wills and powers of appointment; use of the marital deduction; valuation of assets; and buy-sell agreements. Covers the client interview, fact finding, ethical standards and development of personal estate plans.
Financial Planning Applications (HS 332)
Uses case analysis to integrate planning techniques, tools and products covered in prior courses. Provides practical experience in analyzing and solving realistic financial problems of individuals and businesses. Includes cases that range from simple fact patterns and basic documents to complex situations involving not only personal financial problems, but also financial problems associated with businesses, business ownership and estate planning.

Elective Courses: Choose Two.

The Financial System in the Economy (HS 322)
Presents an overview of the global financial system and its influence on the financial services industry. Examines financial markets, their principal institutions and their economic functions, products and services. Examines the rapidly changing regulatory and competitive environment and major trends that shape the industry.
Estate Planning Applications (HS 334)
Covers estate and gift tax principles with an emphasis on life insurance planning applications. Discusses forecasting the gross estate, life insurance trusts, valuation principles, the use of charitable contributions as an estate planning technique, planning opportunities stemming from the marital relationship, the taxation of trusts, implications of employee benefits and estate freezes. Includes a case study reflecting procedural aspects of estate planning.
Executive Compensation (HS 342)
Analyzes the many types of programs used to provide benefits for executives of business firms. Discusses plan design and installation and reviews ERISA, tax and other compliance issues that apply to each type of program. The course includes cash-compensation planning, nonqualified deferred-compensation plans, funded deferred compensation and restrictedproperty plans, stock options, split-dollar life insurance plans, disability income benefits, executive fringe benefits, health reimbursement arrangements and limits on golden parachute payments.
Financial Decisions for Retirement (HS 352)
Focuses on financial decisions clients face as they approach, reach and pass retirement age and on the tools and techniques financial advisors may employ to assist their clients with these decisions. The course covers source of income, retirement calculations, investment considerations both during the accumulation and distribution phases, annuities, housing decisions and estate planning concerns. Especially valuable for practitioners helping clients move retirement assets from employer sponsored to individual retirement plans. Provides perspectives on dealing with aging and retired clients and their families.

* Students who have already taken HS318 may not take HS300 or HS311 for credit toward the ChFC® designation, and must take two electives. If they have passed the CFP® certification exam you may be eligible to apply for transfer of credit if needed. Students who have taken HS 318, HS 321, HS 326, HS 328, and HS 330 with The American College as well as having passed the CFP® Certification examination and does not currently hold a CLU® designation, may take two electives and apply for one transfer of credit by paying the transfer of credit fee.

The mark ChFC® is the property of The American College and may only be used by individuals who have successfully completed the initial and ongoing certification requirements for this designation.

Programs of Study
Centers of

Insurance Education

Registered Health Underwriter®

(Health Insurance)


Chartered Healthcare Consultant®

(Healthcare Specialty)


Registered Employee

Benefits Consultant

(Employee Benefits)


Chartered Leadership Fellow®

(Field or Agency Leadership)


Life Underwriter Training

Council Fellow

(Insurance Skills)


Chartered Life Underwriter®

(Insurance Specialty)

Financial Planning

Chartered Financial Consultant®

(Advanced Financial Planning)


Certification Education

(Financial Planning)


Chartered Advisor for

Senior Living®

(Retirement Income Education)


Financial Services Specialist

(Financial Services Basics)


Chartered Advisor

in Philanthropy®



Retirement Income

Certified Professional

(Retirement Income)

Graduate Degrees

Master of Science in Management

(Executive Leadership)


Master of Science in

Financial Services

(Advanced Financial Planning)