There is no better way than earning a relevant credential to enter a specialized area in finance but there are numerous such certifications afloat and it would not be wise without reviewing them for credibility and the kind of learning opportunities offered before making a choice


Certified Investment Management AnalystsSM is generally investment consultants who focus on asset allocation, the construction of portfolios of multiple managers or strategies, manager search and selection, and performance measurement. The CIMA has been conferred by the Investment Management Consultants AssociationSM since the designation’s inauguration in 1988. The CIMA certification reflects a high level of quality and credibility among your financial professional peers.



A professional designation awarded by the College for Financial Planning to individuals who complete a study program and pass a final multiple-choice examination. The CRPC program is developed with a focus on client-centered problem-solving. Applicants gain in-depth knowledge of individuals’ needs both before and after retirement. The study program to become a CRPC covers the entire retirement planning process, including meeting multiple financial objectives, sources of retirement income, personal savings, employer-sponsored retirement plans, income taxes, retirement, cash flow, asset management, estate planning and more.



The Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM designation is the only certification among the Big Eight that’s specifically intended for alternative investments—concentrates on the primary alternative sectors of hedge funds, real estate, private equity, commodities, credit derivatives, and managed futures. The CAIA charter provides an independent certification of an individual’s mastery of the concepts, tools and practices essential for understanding, selecting and managing investments in the alternative space. Since the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association® awarded the first CAIAs in 2003; the rapid growth in alternatives has fostered a concomitant explosion in new CAIAs.



The Chartered Investment Counselor designation is essentially an extension of the CFA geared specifically toward client-facing investment managers. In order to qualify as a CIC, one must first become a chartered financial analyst, have at least five years of work experience as an investment adviser or a similar field, and work at a member firm of the Investment Counsel Association of America. A CIC designation is considered a sign of vast experience in investment advisory services and/or asset management. It was first awarded in 1975 by the Investment Counsel Association of America, which became the Investment Adviser Association in 2005.