Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA ®) CertifiedInvestment Management Analyst (CIMA ®) certification mark is awarded by the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®). Use of CIMA® or Certified Investment Management Analyst® signifies that the user has successfully completed IMCA’s initial and ongoing credentialing requirements for investment management consultants. Candidates must pass an initial Qualification Exam, complete an executive education program at a top-20 business school registered with IMCA, pass a comprehensive Certification Exam, and document a minimum of 3 years work experience in the financial services industry. CIMA professionals integrate a complex body of investment knowledge, ethically contributing to prudent investment decisions by providing objective advice and guidance to individuals and institutional investors.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP ®) Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and certification marks are financial planning credentials awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP® Board) to individuals who meet its education, examination, work experience, and ethics requirements. Eligible candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) in any discipline from an accredited college or university in order to obtain a CFP® certification. The candidate also must pass an examination, have three years of personal financial planning experience, and meet the CFP Board’s ethical requirements. To maintain the certification, the CFP® Board requires individuals to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years and renew an agreement to be bound by its Standards of Professional Conduct.
Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) Accredited Pension Administrator (APA) is a designation granted by the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA) that focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to determine eligibility; allocate contributions; fulfill reporting and disclosure requirements; and other functions of pension administrators, retirement relationship managers, and ERISA compliance specialists. Candidates must complete four APA self-study courses and successfully pass examinations. Designees must maintain the designation by completing 15 hours of continuing education annually and maintaining current NIPA membership.
Accredited Pension Representative (APR) Accredited Pension Representative (APR) is a designation granted by the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA) for retirement plan personnel, financial consultants/planners and investment advisers, focusing on types of retirement plans, fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, minimum coverage testing, and requirement plan distributions. Candidates must complete two APR self-study courses and examinations, or have an ERPA designation or insurance license. Must have a FINRA Series 6, 7, 65, 66 or 24 license. Designees must maintain the designation by completing 10 hours of continuing education annually and maintaining current NIPA membership.
FINRA Series 66 License With this Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) designation, the recipient can become a fee-based investment advisor, as opposed to a commission-based financial advisor. With a Series 66 license an individual can act as an Investment Advisor Representative, making recommendations or giving investment advice, managing client accounts or portfolios, determining which recommendations or advice regarding securities should be given, and providing investment advice. To obtain the Series 66 license an individual must receive a passing grade on an extensive 2 1/2 hour exam and hold the Series 7 license.
FINRA Series 63 License This Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) designation is designed to qualify candidates as securities agents. The examination covers the principles of state securities regulation reflected in the Uniform Securities Act (with the amendments adopted by NASAA and rules prohibiting dishonest and unethical business practices). The examination is intended to provide a basis for state securities administrators to determine an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of state law and regulations. To obtain the Series 63 license an individual must receive a passing grade on an extensive 75-minute exam.
FINRA Series 24 License With this Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) designation, the recipient is qualified to supervise or manage branch activities such as corporate securities, REITs, variable contracts, and venture capital; a general principal may also approve advertising and sales literature, including communications regarding municipal securities. To obtain the Series 24 license an individual must receive a passing grade on an extensive 3 1/2 hour exam.
FINRA Series 7 License With this Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) designation, the recipient is qualified to become a Registered Representative of a broker-dealer in the United States. The Series 7 license is the most comprehensive of several securities licenses that permit an agent to communicate with retail investors. To obtain the Series 7 license an individual must receive a passing grade on a rigorous 6 hour exam.