But would it be worth that much cash? Not now, no.
This evening I stumbled upon what would seem to be an interesting, if not particularly well-detailed or -designed, alternative:
Center for Financial Certifications
In my opinion, having some sort of standardized certification program for financial counselors is a grand idea, and necessary. I'm all for it. Here's a snippet from their "About CPFC Certification" page:
The Training Manual is divided into three parts:
Part I- Communication & Counseling Techniques
Cognitive issues and problem solving
Part II- Elements of Financial Management
Detailed information regarding the five Nat'l Standards in Adult Financial Literacy
Consumer protection legislation
Code of Ethics
Part III- Appendices
Glossary of terms
Format: The program is self-study, to be followed by a 100 multiple choice proctored exam.
And more, from another "About Certification" page:
1. Counselors and educators will benefit directly through study materials and by enrolling in mandatory continuing education courses. This will provide them with the essential tools needed to hone their skills and further their professional advancement.
2. Clients and students will benefit indirectly from the in-depth knowledge that counselors and educators will provide in teaching sound financial principles; imparting the ability to recognize and alter ineffective money management patterns and the reasons they developed, and by offering the tools needed to understand how money affects relationships with friends and family.
Sounds okay, I guess. But after perusing their website(s), I'm in no way sure that the so-called Institute for Personal Financial Literacy is the body to pull it off.
Given a website that's littered with grammatical errors (even their 2006 White Paper regarding bankruptcy filers is rife with Strunk-and-White yuckiness) and exhibits below-bargain-basement design, one has to wonder what exactly that $350 enrollment fee would get you. (But hey — at least their certification program is approved in Montana and Delaware.)
Also worth noting is that their "Contact Us" web form, once the SEND button is clicked, blows up in a dervish of PHP errors. Nice, huh? Well, they're financial certifiers, not web programmers. Maybe they need to hire some bloggers to help them get this stuff sorted out.
In any case, I like the idea of financial-counselor certification. It's something I'd certainly consider undertaking ... once the right process comes along.