In the financial world, the name of the game for prestige is designations. The letters after an advisor’s or consultant’s name says a lot about their background, training, expertise, and professional focus. Popular designations such as the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or the ChFC (Chartered Financial Professional) are often readily recognized by the general population. When you get into the more obscure designations, the origin and meaning of the credential becomes somewhat obscure, and is only really understood amongst professionals. One such designation in the financial world is the CSSC or Certified Structured Settlement Consultant.
Spelling out the acronym CSSC goes a long ways in explained what the designation actually covers. Anytime that a field of practice becomes inundated with new faces looking to capitalize on the market, the seasoned veterans of that area of interest are going to look for ways to not only distinguish themselves from the crowd, but to assist the general population in weeding out the inexperienced or unknowledgeable consultants.
Those not dedicated to their field of study or those just looking to do the bare minimum for a paycheck will rarely commit themselves to the additional cost and educational requirements of a professional designation. To receive the CSSC, the applicant must not only have at least two full-time working years in the industry, but they must also enroll in a 4-day classroom and coursework structure with a comprehensive exam at the end of the training.
The Certified Structured Settlement Consultant program is offered through the National Structured Settlements Trade Association in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame. The cost of the program is in the range of $3000 – $5000 per applicant, minus the cost of books. The program attempts to educate consultants in different areas pertaining to structured settlements, including Medicare, settlement planning, fixed annuities, claims, tort law, and a number of other applicable topics.
A combination of the cost of the program, the time requirement, and the effort needed to get the designation have narrowed the field of candidates in the structured settlement arena. An advisor with this designation may not be more qualified than other professionals, but you know that they are dedicated to their profession and have taken the necessary effort to remain abreast of the industry’s knowledge. Whichever advisor you choose to go with, it is important that you are able to establish a relationship of trust with them. A designation is not a substitute for trust.