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Exploring the CLU Designation

By: Janice Bandick

Published On: February 24, 2015

What is a CLU?

A Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) is Canada’s most prestigious wealth transfer and estate planning designation. In Canada, the designation is conferred by The Institute for Advanced Financial Education (IAFE).

Areas of Focus

The CLU program prepares advisers to:

  • determine the effect of income tax regulations on a client’s financial needs and objectives in developing comprehensive financial and estate plans;
  • recognize the impact of the laws of the various jurisdictions that affect the conduct of financial advisers and the rights and obligations of their clients in financial and estate planning; and
  • identify problems, gather comprehensive data, and plan integrated solutions.


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CLU designation holders are required to adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and abide by a strict Code of Professional Conduct.

Obtaining a CLU Designation

There are four prerequisite courses that must be completed before individuals are eligible to enroll in CLU courses, although individuals who hold certain credentials are exempt from these prerequisites.

  • Financial Planning Fundamentals – Course 231
  • Contemporary Practices in Financial Planning – Course 232
  • Comprehensive Practices in Risk & Retirement Planning – Course 233
  • Wealth Management and Estate Planning – Course 234

The required CLU courses are:

  • Advanced Taxation – Course 235
  • Law – Course 236
  • Advanced Estate Planning – Course 237

Upon successful completion of these CLU courses, students are required to apply to the IAFE for authorization to use the CLU designation.

Why Pursue the CLU Designation?

The CLU is an advanced designation that expands on the knowledge gained in the CFP® education program. It is well-recognized in the financial services industry and is respected by clients and their financial practitioners. Having additional knowledge in the areas of estate planning and wealth transfer gives financial planners a competitive edge over other planners with fewer credentials. The CLU program provides a competitive advantage. In addition, research has shown that almost 80% of those who hold a CLU designation make more than $100,000 a year; and more than 4 out of 10 CLU designates make $200,000 or more a year.




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  1. Erin says:


    I have to obtain my CLU over the next two years. The sooner the better. Please let me know how I can register to take the classes that you mentioned, that are prerequisites for CLU. If you have any information on how I go through the process and what it in tails and the costs please forward to me.

    Thank you,

    Erin McKee

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