By: Pat Phalen
Executive Vice President, NMLS #662901
Chris Parks’ email signature is growing quickly.
To date, Chris has four sets of letters behind his name – the newest one being “PFS.” Those three letters may seem like an alphabet jumble, but their meaning is significant: Chris is now even more equipped to help clients meet their financial goals through INB Wealth Strategies.
In May, Chris Parks was designated as a “Personal Financial Specialist” (PFS) after successfully completing the requirements set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Before becoming a PFS, candidates must first hold a CPA license issued by their state. This shows that they have completed the CPA exam, met the requirements of education and experience necessary to become a CPA, and agree to the codes and standards of the AICPA as a member.
Qualification Takes Hours
To qualify for PFS, candidates must have two years of full-time experience in the business or teaching of personal financial planning, equivalent to 3,000 hours, which they must complete within five years of applying for PFS certification. Candidates also must have completed 80 hours of Personal Financial Planner (PFP)-related education within the past five years and pass one of three PFP-related exams.
In addition to his CPA, Chris also holds his Certified Financial Planner Designation, a certification he received in 2009 that is surprisingly rare among those in financial planning; only about 20 percent of financial advisers have it.
Adding in the PFS designation only strengthens Chris’ expertise and knowledge at INB.
Undeniably Great Combination
“The combination of the CPA and PFS will integrate my services of tax planning and financial advice,” Chris said. “This gives me a strength that others don’t have, because financial advisers and brokers don’t always consider the ramifications of tax strategy into their advice. Clients can get the best of both worlds from me now.”
Or, as the website WallStreetMojo states: “The combination of CPA and PFS are lethal. Once you do PFS after CPA, your expertise in the subjects would be unparalleled.”
Within our wealth and tax divisions, Chris’ skills and proficiency have allowed INB to reach more customers and expand our wealth strategy department, as shown in 2017.
INB’s increase of clients is proof that Chris’ philosophy and skillset resonate with customers who want someone they can trust – not simply to sell them a product but to provide financial solutions that truly fit their needs.
As for Chris, he knows that continuing education is the best way to keep learning and to challenge oneself professionally. He’s even thinking about his next set of letters! Why? To provide enhanced service to his clients, of course.
“If you don’t learn and continue to grow, you simply won’t be as successful and give your clients your best,” Chris said. “I believe the depth and combination of PFS and CPA are truly unmatched from a financial planning standpoint, and I look forward to sharing this with INB and our customers.”