American Academy of Financial Management
|American Academy of Financial Management|
|Type||Certifying and accreditation body|
|Headquarters||Colorado Springs, CO, USA|
|Region served||United States and overseas|
The American Academy of Financial Management is a US-based board of standards, certifying body, and accreditation council dedicated to the finance sector and management professionals. Coverage by the mainstream media has focused mainly on the low requirements for obtaining one of the professional designations it confers.
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.
The AAFM offers multiple professional membership, certifications, and designations. Members must either have come through one of the AAFM-recognized university programs or through a government-recognized executive educational program, although the board may waive these requirements in some cases. The AAFM board has never directly provided training, but has recognized hundreds of approved providers.
The AAFM awards a number of designations, including chartered asset manager (CAM), chartered market analyst (CMA), chartered portfolio manager (CPM), chartered trust and estate planner (CTEP), chartered wealth manager (CWM), and master financial professional (MFP).
Some of these designations are available to anyone with an accredited degree or license in finance, investments, securities, economics, or accounting upon payment of a fee. CWM certification normally involves about 80 hours of online study, although holders of certain professional designations, such as a CFA or CPA, need only take a test and pay a fee; although anyone with sufficient professional experience can skip the test and get the designation by only paying fees. Those with a degree that has involved at least some business coursework may also take an AAFM certification course, pay a fee, and receive an MFP.
In October 2010, the Wall Street Journal published an article detailing the use of questionable credentials by financial advisors that discussed the AAFM extensively. The article noted that the AAFM included among its Global Board of Academic Advisors & Professors several individuals who had never given their permission to be listed as board members. The article criticized the practice of many standards boards, AAFM included, of awarding credentials without requiring applicants to undergo any sort of assessment or examination, quoting the AAFM's founder, George Mentz, as evidence of this practice. A claim on the AAFM website that it had a special affiliation with both the CFA Institute and the CFP Board, which administer Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Financial Planner certificate programs, respectively, was rebutted by representatives of both organizations in the article.
The AAFM has countered that individuals listed on its board of advisors did consent to be listed, posting emails from two individuals on its website. The organization also posted to its website part of the signature page of a document agreeing that the Association for Investment Management Research (the precursor to the CFA Institute) would not contest the AAFM's trademarks, with the signature itself blanked and replaced with the type-written statement, "Signed by Sharon Glover, who must have been Jeannie Andersons Boss at the time" [sic].
- "Is Your Wealth Manager Certifiable?", The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2004: D1.
- "Is Your Advisor Pumping Up His Credentials?", The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2010.
- "American Academy of Financial Management FAQ". Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- "Requirements". American Academy of Financial Management. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- Recognized by Wall Street Journal Again, American Academy of Financial Management.
- CFA Contract (JPEG), AAFM.