My Designations

Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”)

The CFA charter is a globally recognized, graduate-level investment credential, recognized for its foundation in investment analysis and portfolio management skills, and emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards.

To attain the right to use the CFA marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  • Prerequisites/Experience: Complete either an undergraduate degree and four years of professional experience involving investment decision-making, or four years of qualified work experience (full time, but not necessarily investment related).
  • Educational Requirements: Complete a self-study program (250 hours of study for each of the three levels).
  • Examination Type: Pass the comprehensive CFA Certification Examination. The examination consists of three comprehensive exams which are six hours in length each.
  • Ethics: Agree to be bound by CFA Institute’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFA® professionals.

High Ethical Standards
 The CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, enforced through an active professional conduct program, require CFA charterholders to:

  • Place their clients’ interests ahead of their own
  • Maintain independence and objectivity
  • Act with integrity
  • Maintain and improve their professional competence
  • Disclose conflicts of interest and legal matters

Comprehensive and Current Knowledge
The CFA Program curriculum provides a comprehensive framework of knowledge for investment decision making and is firmly grounded in the knowledge and skills used every day in the investment profession. The three levels of the CFA Program test proficiency with a wide range of fundamental and advanced investment topics, including ethical and professional standards, fixed-income and equity analysis, alternative and derivative investments, economics, financial reporting standards, portfolio management, and wealth planning. The CFA Program curriculum is updated every year by experts from around the world to ensure that candidates learn the most relevant and practical new tools, ideas, and investment and wealth management skills to reflect the dynamic and complex nature of the profession.

To learn more about the CFA charter, visit

Continuing Education
Mitch S. Zides is committed to completing the annual requirements of CFA Institute’s voluntary Continuing Education Program.

Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®)

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® and federally registered CFP (with flame design) marks (collectively, the “CFP® marks”) are professional certification marks granted in the United States by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”).

The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients. Currently, more than 62,000 individuals have obtained CFP® certification in the United States.

To attain the right to use the CFP® marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  • Education – Complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that CFP Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, and attain a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a foreign university). CFP Board’s financial planning subject areas include insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning;
  • Examination – Pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination. The examination, administered in 10 hours over a two-day period, includes case studies and client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real world circumstances;
  • Experience – Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience (or the equivalent, measured as 2,000 hours per year); and
  • Ethics – Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.

Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:

  • Continuing Education – Complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field; and
  • Ethics – Renew an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP® professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP® professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their clients.

CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (“AIF®”)

The Accredited Investment Fiduciary, AIF® is federally registered designation issued by the FI360.

To attain the right to use the AIF® marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  • Meet prerequisite requirements that are based on a point system that factors an individual’s education, relevant industry experience, and/or professional development.
  • Must complete the AIF Designation Training
  • Pass the AIF designation exam
  • Accrue six (6) hours of continuing professional education

The AIF designation can make you feel confident that our approach is based on:

  • Understands the basis for, and benefits of, fiduciary standards of excellence
  • Identify the legal standards that require fiduciaries to prudently manage
    investment decisions
  • Best practices and the fiduciary role
  • A commitment to standards of investment fiduciary excellence

National Social Security Advisor (“NSSA®”) Certification

The National Social Security Advisor certification, NSSA is professional designation offered by the National Social Security Association.

To attain the right to use the NSSA designation, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  • Must complete eight (8) hours NSSA administrated course work.
  • Pass the NSSA certification exam
  • Accrue sixteen (16) hours of continuing professional education every two years.

Knowledge of the following topics:

  • How to maximize benefits
  • Surviving Spouse Benefits
  • Social Security Statement
  • Children’s Benefits
  • Incorporate your benefits into your retirement plan
  • Retirement Benefits WEP/GPO
  • Disability/Medicare