The CFA® charter is a credential awarded by the CFA Institute to individuals who meet its education, examination, sponsorship, experience and ethics requirements. To earn a CFA® charter, eligible candidates must have four years of qualified investment work experience, become a member of the CFA Institute, adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct on an ongoing basis, and complete the CFA® program, which requires the passage of three separate six-hour examinations. Topics tested by the CFA Institute include ethical standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting, corporate finance, equities, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments, and portfolio management.
The CFP® certification is a financial planning credential awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (the “CFP Board”) to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. Eligible candidates are generally required to have three years of financial planning related experience and possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Certificants are further required to complete a CFP Board-Registered Education Program (or possess a qualifying professional credential), clear a personal and professional background check, and pass the CFP® Certification Examination, a ten-hour multiple choice exam divided into three separate sessions. In order to maintain the certification, CFP® designees must also complete at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years on an ongoing basis.
The ChFC® designation is a financial planning credential awarded by the American College to individuals who satisfy its educational, work experience and ethics requirements. Recipients of the ChFC® certification have completed at least seven mandatory college-level courses in the areas of financial, insurance, retirement and/or estate planning, as well as income taxation and/or investments. Additionally, recipients have completed at least two elective courses on the financial system, estate planning applications, executive compensation, and/or retirement decisions. In order to maintain the designation, ChFC® holders must satisfy the ongoing requirements of the Professional Achievement in Continuing Education (“PACE”) Recertification Program, which includes 30 hours of continuing education at least every two years.
The CIMA® certification is an asset management credential administered through the Investment Management Consultants Association (“IMCA”) to individuals who meet its experience, ethical, education and examination requirements. Prerequisites for the CIMA® designation include three years of financial services experience and an acceptable regulatory history. In order to obtain the CIMA® certification, candidates must successfully complete a one-week classroom education program at an accredited university business school and pass an online certification examination. CIMA® designees are further required to adhere to the IMCA’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards of Practice on an ongoing basis. CIMA® designees must also report 40 hours of continuing education credits on a biannual basis in order to maintain the designation.
The CRPC® designation is a retirement planning credential awarded by the College for Financial Planning® to individuals who meet its educational, examination and ethical requirements. Certificants are required to have completed the CRPC® Designation Program, a self-taught educational program focused on various pre- and post-retirement needs of individuals. Recipients are further required to have successfully passed a multiple-choice examination addressing a range retirement related matters, such as estate planning and asset management. On an ongoing basis, CRPC® designees are also required to affirm their adherence to the applicable Code of Ethics and complete at least 16 hours of continuing education every two years.
The CDFA™ certification is a divorce planning credential awarded by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™ to individuals who meet its education and examination requirements. Recipients of the CDFA™ designation are required to have successfully completed four distinct modules of training, the first three of which culminate in separate two-hour examinations. Among the divorce related topics covered by the educational modules include personal and marital property, valuing and dividing property, retirement and pension plans, splitting the house, tax problems and solutions, and providing litigation support to attorneys. In order to maintain the certification, CDFA™ designees are required to complete at least 20 hours of continuing education every two years, ten hours of which must specifically address divorce related matters
The CRPS® designation is a retirement plan related credential awarded by the College for Financial Planning® to individuals who meet its educational, examination and ethical requirements. Certificants are required to have completed the CRPS® Program, a self-taught educational program designed to educate professional who design, install and maintain retirement plans for the business community. Recipients are further required to have successfully passed a multiple-choice examination addressing a range retirement plan related matters. On an ongoing basis, CRPS® designees are also required to affirm their adherence to the applicable Code of Ethics and complete at least 16 hours of continuing education every two years.
The CAIA® designation is an investment related credential awarded by the CAIA Association to individuals who meet its experience and educational requirements, and successfully complete the two-tiered CAIA® curriculum. Eligible candidates are required to have either four years of professional work experience or, alternatively, at least one year of professional work experience in conjunction with a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or equivalent). Designees must also pass Levels I and II of the CAIA examination, which addresses issues, such as due diligence, portfolio management and monitoring, and risk management