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CFA Institute offers investment industry educational programs that are recognized and respected around the world. See which one best fits your career goals.

CFA Program CIPM Program Investment Foundations Program
What is it for? The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) credential sets the standard as the most highly respected designation in the investment management profession. The Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM®) designation offers career distinction for all investment professionals charged with appraising and selecting portfolio managers, evaluating portfolio performance, and communicating with clients. The CFA Institute Investment Foundations® Program gives those working with investment decision makers a clear understanding of the investment industry, roles and responsibilities, and the vital importance of ethical conduct.
Who is it for? Portfolio and wealth managers, investment and research analysts, professionals involved in the investment decision-making process, and finance students who want to work in the investment management profession Portfolio managers, investment consultants, financial advisers, sales and client service professionals, and other investment professionals involved in selecting portfolio managers, evaluating portfolio performance, or communicating with clients Anyone who works with or supports investment decision makers in the investment management profession
How long does it take? A minimum of three years to complete three exams (Levels I, II, and III), assuming four-year work experience requirement is already met

A minimum of one year to complete two exams (Levels l and ll), assuming four-year work experience requirement is already met

Minimum of 30 days
Are there prerequisites? Yes. You must have one of the following:
  • A bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree (or be in the final year of a bachelor’s degree program)
  • Four years of professional work experience
  • A combination of professional work experience or teaching experience that totals at least four years
No No
How do I complete the program?
  • Successfully pass the three exams
  • Have four years of professional work experience in the investment decision-making process (accrued before, during, or after passing the CFA Program exams)
  • Join CFA Institute as a regular member
  • Successfully pass the two exams
  • Have four years of professional work experience in the investment decision-making process (accrued before, during, or after passing the CIPM Program exams)
  • Join CFA Institute as a regular member
  • Participate in the Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) Program
  • Successfully pass the online exam. To unlock the exam you must:
    • Wait 30 days from the time of registration
    • Achieve 70% or better on Mock Exam A
    • Achieve 70% or better on Mock Exam B
What will I earn upon completing the program?

CFA charter

More about CFA Program

CIPM designation

More about CIPM Program

CFA Institute Investment Foundations certificate

More about Investment Foundations Program

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