Investors face increasingly complicated choices. They want specialized advice that’s relevant to them, and that they can act on with confidence. Advisors with the right kind of knowledge and skills to help clients effectively navigate this complex investment landscape have an exceptional opportunity. However, the thought that every financial advisor is “certified” is just not true.

Before certification, candidates must complete an executive education course at one of three CIMA registered education provider programs, have three years of relevant industry experience and a clean regulatory record.

Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) is a professional certification for financial advisors and investment consultants in advanced portfolio construction. The program requires completing a sophisticated investment curriculum to help you meet the real world needs of individual and institutional investors. Additionally, CIMA® executive education is taught exclusively at some of the world’s most prestigious business schools.


Education: Unlike other credentials, the CIMA certification is uniquely designed to provide a useful and relevant balance of theory and practical knowledge. It goes well beyond the fundamentals, with deep dives into advanced portfolio management, portfolio construction, and risk management techniques. The CIMA® program provides a systematic process advisors and consultants can use to put their clients’ strategies into action.
Currently there are only three executive educational programs in the United States that are allowed to administer this curriculum: the Booth School of Business (University of Chicago), the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania), and the Yale School of Management (Yale University).

Examination: CIMA® practitioners must pass a stringent five-hour exam. The exam covers 5 key areas to investment analysis:
•    Fundamentals
•    Investments
•    Portfolio Theory and Behavioral Finance
•    Risk and Return
•    Portfolio Construction and Consulting Process

Experience: CIMA® professionals must have three years’ relevant experience prior to earning the right to use the CIMA® certification marks.

Ethics: Once the aforementioned metrics have been met, the CIMA professionals agree to comply with the Institute Code of Professional Responsibility. Failure to do so could result in the revocation of the certification. While the IWI monitors the ethics moving forward, they also perform a background check. CIMA® practitioners must have and maintain a clean regulatory record to continue to use the CIMA® designation.


Through the Institute Code of Professional Responsibility, CIMA® professionals agree to:
1.    Act in the best interest of the client; and
2.    Disclose services to be offered and provided, related charges and compensation; and
3.    Disclose the existence of actual, potential and/or perceived conflicts of interest; and
4.    Provide information needed to make informed decisions; and
5.    Respond to client inquiries and instructions appropriately, promptly, completely and truthfully; and
6.    Maintain confidentiality of client information; and
7.    Provide competent service by truthful representation; and
8.    Comply with all legal and regulatory requirements; and
9.    Maintain a high level of ethical conduct.


Once certified, CIMA® professionals are required to maintain specified levels of competence and ethical obligations. This is done by completing a minimum 40 hours of continuing education, every two years, to stay current with current portfolio management standards. Two of these hours are spent studying or discussing ethical practices. Additionally, all CIMA® professionals voluntarily disclose any public, civil, criminal or disciplinary actions that may have been taken against them during the previous two years as part of the renewal process.