Credentials are an obvious selling point for advisors. Unfortunately, the unscrupulous might use unfamiliar acronyms to hoodwink people into thinking they have more expertise than they do, writes Jack Waymire, founder of Paladin Registry. His firm has identified more than 250 financial certifications and designations, the vast majority of which are worthless. He concludes the five best are CFA (chartered financial analyst), CIMA (certified investment management analyst), CFP (certified financial planner), CPA (certified public accountant) and ChFC (chartered financial consultant).

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