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Designations Glossary

The CFP® professionals have taken an extra step to demonstrate their professionalism by voluntarily submitting to the rigorous CFP® certification process that includes demanding education, examination, experience, and ethical requirements.
CFP® professionals must fulfill an educational requirement and subsequently pass a two-day, 10-hour examination covering financial planning, insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.  Additionally, CFP® professionals must have a minimum of three years experience and must abide by a strict code of professional conduct.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
The CFA charter is a globally respected, graduate-level investment credential covering ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments, and portfolio management and wealth planning.
There are currently more than 90,000 CFA charterholders working in 134 countries. To earn the CFA charter, candidates must: (1) pass three sequential, six-hour examinations; (2) have at least four years of qualified professional investment experience; (3) join CFA Institute as members; and 4) commit to abide by, and annually reaffirm, their adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.
Passing the three CFA exams is a difficult feat that requires extensive study (successful candidates report spending an average of 300 hours of study per level). Earning the CFA charter demonstrates mastery of many of the advanced skills needed for investment analysis and decision-making in today’s quickly evolving global financial industry.
Certified Investment Management Consultant® (CIMC®)
The CIMC® designation is focused on investment consulting including advanced investment management theory and application.
The CIMC® is bestowed by the Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®). To obtain the CIMC® designation, designees complete a one-week classroom education program and pass a certification exam covering modern portfolio theory, development of an investment policy for a client, performance measurement and manager selection, investment analysis, and ethical and legal implications.  CIMC® designees are required to adhere to IMCA®’s Code of Professional Responsibility, Standards of Practice, and Rules and Guidelines for Use of the Marks. CIMC® designees must report 40 hours of continuing education credits, including two ethics hours, every two years to maintain the designation.
Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
The AIF® designation represents a thorough knowledge of and ability to apply fiduciary practices.  The practices are a guide for investment fiduciaries to follow to demonstrate prudence in managing investment decisions.  By following a structured process based on the practices, the fiduciary can be confident that critical components of an investment strategy are being properly implemented.

Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM(CAIA®)

The globally recognized CAIA® designation demonstrates deep expertise in the full breadth of alternative investment opportunities and commitment to the highest ethical standards.


CAIA® charterholders must pass two sequential examinations covering fundamental and advanced alternative investment concepts, including professional standards and ethics, real estate, hedge funds, commodities, managed futures, venture capital, private equity, structured products, manager selection, risk management, and asset allocation.

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