Chartered Financial Consultant®

Comprehensive, applied.

Advanced planning for every person, every need. That’s the promise of a ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant®) designation from The American College of Financial Services. We’ve redefined financial planning for advisors serving the ever-evolving American demographic with a comprehensive educational program. Comprised of nine college-level courses that address all aspects of financial planning, with a focus on the practical applications of those principles based on real-life case studies. The goal of the ChFC® curriculum is to help you gain a significant advantage and help your clients meet their goals.

Advisors with their ChFC® earn
more than those without one
Going far beyond the basics.

The education you receive in the ChFC® program will make you a more capable financial planner, prepared to succeed in serving a more diverse client base. Not only will you learn the essentials of financial planning, including insurance, income taxation, retirement planning, investments and estate planning, but the ChFC® program addresses the areas where the rules change a bit, such as behavioral finance, financial planning for families with special needs dependents, small business planning, financial planning for clients in the LGBT community, financial planning for divorce, and more.

Field leaders are
more likely to hold a ChFC® or CLU® designation

Required courses
HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment: This course provides an overview of the financial planning process, including the role and responsibilities of a financial planner along with analytical tools to aid in financial decision-making. Topics include:

  • Communication techniques
  • Ethics
  • Education planning and funding
  • Time-value-of-money concepts
  • Financial planning applications
  • Regulatory issues
  • Legal and economic environment for financial planning

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning:
Focuses on tax and legal aspects of organizing a business; compensation planning for the business owner; business succession planning; buy-sell agreements; estate planning and estate freezing techniques; methods for transferring a family business; lifetime disposition of a business interest.

HS 321 Income Taxation:
The course examines the federal income tax system with particular reference to the taxation of individuals. Concepts covered include:

  • Gross income, exclusions from gross income
  • Deductions
  • Tax credits
  • Capital gains and losses
  • Taxation of life insurance
  • Taxation of annuities
  • Entity taxation of partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and proprietorships

HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs:
This course focuses on selecting the right retirement plan for the business and on individual retirement planning. Covers:

  • Qualified plans, SEPs, SIMPLEs and 403(b) plans
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation plans
  • 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
  • Individual retirement planning including IRAs and Roth IRAs, Social Security benefits, saving for retirement and planning for retirement plan distributions

HS 328 Investments:
This course covers various aspects of the principles of investments and their application to financial planning. Topics include:

  • Risk analysis, risk and return computations
  • Risk reduction through diversification
  • Expected returns of various investments
  • Nature of securities markets and investment companies
  • Tax issues in investing
  • Issues in the practice of portfolio management
  • Examples of ethical and practical investment considerations

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning:
This course provides a basic understanding of the estate and gift tax system, including strategies of estate planning. Covers various aspects of estate and gift tax planning, including:

  • Nature, valuation transfer, administration, and taxation of property
  • Gratuitous transfers of property outright or with trusts, wills and powers of appointment
  • Use of the marital deduction
  • Valuation of assets
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Client interview/fact finding
  • Ethical standards
  • Development of personal estate plans

HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comp. Case Analysis:
This course applies students' knowledge and skill set in personal financial planning techniques to a comprehensive case study. Students will integrate into a prioritized comprehensive financial plan the core financial planning disciplines of:

  • Retirement
  • Investment
  • Risk management
  • Income tax
  • Employee benefits
  • General principles

HS 314 Applications in Financial Planning I:
This is one of two Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) courses that examines the challenges of modern financial planning. Up-to-date content and compelling case studies provide students with a complex yet comprehensive understanding of financial planning in these important areas, such as:

  • Aiding divorcees and blended families
  • Financial planning for families with special needs
  • Serving non-traditional families and LGBT clients

HS 319 Applications in Financial Planning II:
This is the final financial planning training course in the ChFC® curriculum. Applications in Financial Planning II covers contemporary financial planning challenges through a series of modern case studies, including:

  • Unique challenges associated with modern retirement income portfolios
  • Hands-on application of behavioral finance; ethics; and estate planning

Self-study course: $750 ($950 for HS333).
Package pricing: $1,995 Starter Package (first three courses); $5,130 full nine-course designation package.

Your tuition includes all required study materials, access to convenient online learning tools, and your examination.

Webinar and Intensive Review Program (IRP) options are available for an additional cost. See below for more details.

To receive the ChFC® designation, you must successfully complete all courses and exams, meet experience requirements and ethics standards, and agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures.

Self-paced courses mean you choose when and how to study. A four-month exam window for your courses gives you plenty of time to study and prepare.

You are free to create your own plan for how you want to pace your studies. We recommend a steady approach, so that you can truly absorb the material. From enrollment, you’ll have a window of four months in which to schedule your final exam. Your window opens on the day you enroll and includes the current month, plus the next four months.

In addition to course textbooks, extensive online study materials including practice exams, audio reviews, engaging, dynamic video lessons, and more are made available to all students. You can purchase webinars and live reviews to enhance your learning experience. Once you complete a course, the next course in the program is automatically shipped to you if you’re signed up for a ChFC® package.


Earn Your ChFC® Your Way:

Flexible Self-Paced Program
The ChFC® is for all faces of the financial services profession, including financial planners, insurance professionals, brokers, retirement experts and both home office and client-facing practitioners. The ChFC® is an applied, hands-on designation that will enrich advisors’ ability to help American families. Students can study whenever and wherever they choose with interactive online courses, featuring videos lessons, animations, access to some of the best subject matter experts in the country.

These courses were developed with help from The American College of Financial Services’ corporate partners; each course is dedicated to the needs of today’s financial services professional.
With every registration, students are granted access to:

  • Comprehensive course textbooks
  • Downloadable e-books for your iPad®, iPhone®, or Android device
  • Online discussion with course professor
  • Audio reviews
  • Streaming video lectures

Enhanced Online Learning: Webinar Classes Available

For select courses, a webinar study option is available for those who want a more familiar classroom feel as part of their student experience. Attend weekly classes online and ask questions in real-time. Many of these webinar classes come complete with smartphone- and tablet-ready material.

Webinar Schedule

HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis
October 5 - December 28, 2016
Two Sessions on Wednesday, 11 AM - 1 PM ET or 6 - 8 PM ET

HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment
October 25 - November 17, 2016
Tuesday and Thursday, 6 - 8:30 PM ET

HS 328 Investments
October 25 - November 17, 2016
Tuesday and Thursday, 6 - 8:30 PM ET

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
December 6 - 29, 2016
Tuesday and Thursday, 6 - 8:30 PM ET

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning
December 6 - 29, 2016
Tuesday and Thursday, 6 - 8:30 PM ET

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
January 12 - March 2, 2017
Thursdays, 11:15 - 1:15 PM ET

HS 321 Income Taxation
January 17 - February 9, 2017
Tuesday and Thursday, 6 - 8:30 PM ET


Intensive Review Program (IRP) for ChFC® Courses

Accelerate your ChFC® studies with a live classroom review. In your optional IRP component, highly qualified faculty members from The American College of Financial Services provide you with 18 hours of intensive review of all the major course concepts. You will also have the ability to ask questions and interact with fellow students. On the last day of the session you will take your final exam, so there’s no need to make a separate appointment at a testing center. IRP sessions are a great way to study along with an expert right up to the moment you begin your exam. Students should still study their text and course materials prior to the IRP to be fully prepared.

Taking Your IRP
Below is a list of upcoming Intensive Review Programs. We recommend that you follow the recommended course sequence, and enroll in IRPs when they are available for your next course. If you are interested in enrolling in an IRP that is not for your next recommended course, please speak with a counselor by calling 888-263-7265.


IRP Schedule


HS 300 Financial Planning: Process/Environment 
January 13 — January 15, 2017 (Cincinnati, OH)
Registration Cutoff Date: 12/23/2016

Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront — Cincinnati, OH

  • 668 West Fifth Street, Covington, KY 41011
  • Reservations — 859-491-1200

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
January 20 — January 22, 2017 (King of Prussia, PA)
Registration Cutoff Date: 12/30/2016

The Doubletree by Hilton — King of Prussia, PA

HS 321 Income Taxation 
February 10 — February 12, 2017 (Homewood, AL)
Registration Cutoff Date: 1/20/2017

Courtyard Marriott Birmingham/Homewood — Homewood, AL

HS 328 Investments
March 10 - March 12, 2017  (King of Prussia, PA)
Registration Cutoff Date: 2/17/2017

Doubletree by Hilton - King of Prussia, PA

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning
March 17 - March 19, 2017 (Cincinnati, OH)
Registration Cutoff Date: 2/24/2017

Raddisson Cincinnati Riverfront - Covington, KY

  •  668 West 5th Street, Covington, KY 41011
  • reservations - 859/491-1200

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning
April 14 - April 16, 2017  (Homewood, AL)
Registration Cutoff Date: 3/24/2017

Courtyard Birmingham/Homewood - Homewood AL

HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis
April 21 - April 23, 2017 (Schaumburg, IL)
Registration Cutoff Date: 3/31/2017

Hyatt Place - Schaumburg, IL

HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs
April 28 - April 30, 2017 (Cincinnati, OH)
Registration Cutoff Date: 4/7/2017

Raddisson Cincinnati Riverfront - Covington, KY

  •  668 West 5th Street, Covington, KY 41011
  • reservations - 859/491-1200

Program Faculty

Dr. Craig W. Lemoine

Jarrett L. Davis Distinguished Professor of Financial Planning Technology 
Associate Professor of Financial Planning
Director of the Northwestern Mutual Granum Center for Financial Security

Dr. Ajamu C. Loving

Director of Academic Partnerships
Assistant Professor of Financial Planning

Professor Walt Woerheide
Dr. Walt Woerheide

Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security Research
Professor of Investments

Professor Christopher Woehrle
Christopher P. Woehrle

Guardian/Deppe Chair in Pensions and Retirement Planning
Associate Professor of Taxation

Professor Kevin Lynch
Kevin M. Lynch

Faculty Instructor

Get started with ChFC®

Ongoing Commitment

Carry the Shield

Throughout the decades, The American College of Financial Services has served as the premier educational institution dedicated to the development of financial services professionals. The College has worked tirelessly to educate our nation’s advisors, to help them raise the level of their service, and to ensure that society can rely on a profession built on trust. Graduates and designees of The American College of Financial Services have studied, have passed rigorous exams, and have proven that they not only have the technical knowledge to serve their clients, but have sworn to practice ethically and in the best interest of the good people they serve. Holders of the ChFC® designation are required to complete ongoing continuing education and participate in the Professional Recertification Program.

We look to you, our graduates, designees, students, and future leaders, to earn the trust of your clients, to represent the legacy of this institution, to proudly, “Carry the Shield.”