Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers
(Caraifa) meets yearly in a Caribbean territory for its
Annual General Meeting and Congress. The objective is to
facilitate a meeting of the minds of major stakeholders
in insurance and financial services delivery.
Caraifa was founded in 1977. The Secretariat is in Jamaica.
Its purpose is to stimulate the educational and overall
growth and development of the individual.
This week when we meet in St Lucia, a new president will
be elected, and we are lobbying for a Trinidadian. Member
countries include, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, St
Lucia, Cayman Islands, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines,
Antigua and Barbuda, and T&T.
The backbone of Caraifa is its education programmes. Caraifa
is a franchise holder with the American College, a tertiary
education campus in Philadelphia that administers distance
programmes administered by trained moderators in the region.
The education courses at the T&T Association of Insurance
and Financial Advisers, our local association, are supplied
by Caraifa and are designed to train insurance agents and
financial planners in areas such as Needs analysis, Retirement
planning, Income taxation, Wealth Creation, and other disciplines.
After passing a requisite number of courses, it is imperative
that a course in Ethics be completed by students in order
to be awarded the designation LUTCFto become a Fellow
of the Life Underwriters.
Courses out of Caraifa are geared to foster the education
of the financial services professional along the same measurables
throughout the region. Caraifa thus creates a cadre of professionals
who can work within the context of the Caribbean Single
Market and Economy.
In addition, because our courses originate in the United
States they meet international standards in education and
best practice criteria. We, therefore, have a cadre of trained
professionals in the industry, regionally.
All of this is important because your money must be well
invested. It is best to do your business with a trained
One of the problems we have in the industry is the existence
of a few individuals who are in it for the mere purpose
of making a fast buck, and who tarnish the image of the
Career agents take the time and spend the money for professional
training. They are better able to tender sound financial
advice, and are more likely to be selfless and customer
When individuals invest in their own education, they signal
they are in for the long haul, and intend to make a career
out of financial planning. That is the kind of individual
you need to work with.
More and more we live in a climate of uncertainty, and we
hear more reports of individuals who tender bad advice,
and are unethical. We need to be careful!