Certified Financial Fiduciary® is a professional designation for financial professionals, namely, those who have successfully completed a rigorous certification and training process established by NACFF and The American Financial Education Alliance (AFEA), and who agree to uphold the highest moral, ethical and fiduciary standards of service when providing advice to potential or existing clients. Financial professionals who have earned Certified Financial Fiduciary® certification can immediately and clearly demonstrate how they practice a fundamental obligation to always put their clients’ best interest first. Additionally, Certified Financial Fiduciary® professionals are bound by the Certified Financial Fiduciary® Code of Conduct which holds them to the highest standards of professionalism in the financial services industry. The Certified Financial Fiduciary® certification mark coupled with the information and processes taught in the course make it easy for a financial professional to quickly demonstrate the added value and security they bring to potential and existing clients.
Prior to being awarded Certified Financial Fiduciary® certification, applicants must: 1. Meet one of the following prerequisites: a. Possess a professional financial certification/designation; or b. Professional financial license (securities, insurance, accounting, etc.); or c. A combination of education and experience deemed satisfactory by the NACFF Certification Committee. 2. Pass a full background check and be in good standing with all state and federal license requirements: a. NACFF will review FINRA’s BrokerCheck Report and reports from applicable licensing entities. Negative information may result in denial of an application. b. Applicants have the right to appeal such denials. 3. Successfully complete the NACFF one day in-person training, complete the NACFF online training course or a training program for financial fiduciary practice approved as equivalent. 4. Agree to uphold the Certified Financial Fiduciary® Code of Conduct; and comply with all certification requirements including use of the Certified Financial Fiduciary ®certification marks and continuing education requirements that may change from time to time. 5. Complete the certification application and have the application approved to proceed to the exam. 6. Agree to the exam terms, including confidentiality of the exam content. 7. Pass the certification exam. Upon receipt of an application for certification, NACFF staff shall promptly review the application for completeness and payment of fees. Individuals submitting an incomplete application, or the wrong fees, will immediately be notified of such. Complete applications shall be processed in accordance with NACFF policies and procedures. Approved applicants will be provided information on how to complete the application steps including taking the certification exam and compliance with ethical policies.
10 hours of annual continuing education is required to renew your certification. Continuing Education is required to keep you up to date with any changes in the fiduciary rules, as well as to keep you performing with the skill of an expert. This training reassures your clients that their needs are being properly and expertly met. You will receive a reminder email prior to your renewal date and the renewal invoice.
Certified Financial Fiduciary® Code of Conduct As a Certified Financial Fiduciary®, Certificants agree to uphold the highest moral and ethical standards. These standards have been set forth in the following Code of Conduct: • Practice the Duty of Loyalty – first and foremost, always put the client’s best interest first. • Practice the Duty of Good Faith – there is a fundamental obligation to treat all clients fairly. • Practice the Duty of Good Care – there is a fundamental obligation to exercise the skill of an expert and to only advise in those areas where expert skill level has been obtained. • Educate First – provide comprehensive and unbiased education to clients prior to making specific suggestions or providing advice. • Holistic Approach – consider all aspects and factors that affect a plan prior to making suggestions or providing advice. • Full Disclosure – fully divulge all fees and commissions as well as disclose any conflicts of interest and disciplinary actions. • Confidentiality – protect and keep all client’s information confidential and securely stored and transmitted. • Professional Behavior – practice in a manner that does not bring disrepute to the profession, the Certified Financial Fiduciary® mark and fellow professionals. • Keep NACFF Informed – report on professional practice management and any disciplinary actions taken by regulatory bodies to NACFF to ensure that the above standards are being
With over 25 years in the financial services sector, James Craco is a distinguished professional who has built a career marked by progression and expertise. A Babson College alumnus, he holds a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance and Investments and a minor in Economics, credentials that laid the foundation for his impressive journey in the industry.
James’s career commenced with an immediate recruitment to a prestigious private financial services group in New York City, where he thrived in crafting equity and fixed income portfolios for individual clients. His passion for client service and keen financial acumen led him to ascend to a leading role at a prominent NYC-based institutional fixed income trading desk. Here, James managed a substantial $500 million trading book, balancing intricate trading strategies while nurturing lasting client relationships.
At Sentinel Asset Management LLC, James channels his extensive experience and deep-seated knowledge as a committed fiduciary. He is dedicated to assisting individuals, families, and businesses in navigating the complexities of financial planning for a secure future, both pre- and post-retirement. His role is not just a job but a passion, as he employs his comprehensive understanding of the financial world to make a meaningful impact in his clients’ lives.
Away from the numbers and analysis, James finds joy and balance in Fairfield, CT, with his family. An avid sailor navigating the waters of Long Island Sound, he also takes pride in being a devoted father, actively participating in his three teenage children’s lives and cheering them on at their various sporting events.
James’s professional qualifications are as extensive as his experience. He is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), holding Series 7, 63, 65, and 55 licenses. His expertise is further recognized with Producers Life and Health Insurance Licenses in CT, MA, and NJ. Additionally, his love for the sea is reflected in his certification as a commercial vessel licensed captain.