Continuous Education and Certification Provides Advisors with Greater Differentiation
June 9, 2020 — Denver
Exposure to continuous education and industry resources provided by the Investments & Wealth Institute grants advisors the resources to enhance client outcomes
Investors have more choices than ever before, not only in how they invest, but also in advisor services. In order to differentiate themselves, advisors must provide meaningful support to clients and remain relevant by undertaking ongoing academic training and earning advanced credentials. Recently published research by Cerulli Associates finds that the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA® ) and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA® ) credentials administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute® (IWI) provide high value for advisors and unlock additional growth for their teams. The study finds that professionals with the CIMA & CPWA certifications are well aligned against key industry trends because they:
- Embrace financial planning at higher levels - Investor fee-awareness continues to rise, and advisors face mounting pressure to demonstrate their value in an increasingly fiduciary-like environment by providing holistic advice. Currently, CIMA & CPWA-certified practices provide comprehensive ongoing planning advice to 61% of their clients. On average, just half (49%) of all advisors’ clients currently receive comprehensive financial planning.
- Operate as large teams with specialized staff more often - Teaming affords practices the capacity and expertise to meet the more complex financial needs of affluent investors, sustain next-generation advisor talent, and execute growth strategies. This is especially important as advisors seek to deepen and expand their service menu. Two-thirds (66%) of CIMA & CPWA-certified practices operate in a team structure, compared to 52% of all advisors.
- Use technology and multigenerational engagement – Technology can be a powerful tool to enhance productivity. It can also bridge the gap to wealth transfer heirs, insulating practices from asset erosion, income drawdown, and attrition. As a result, IWI-certified practices manage higher-AUM practices, resulting in 70% higher productivity than the industry average. IWI senior advisors manage an average of $165 million, compared to $97 million across all advisors.
“For over 30 years, the Institute has worked to enhance the competency and professionalism of advice delivered to the public and to help advisors distinguish their expertise in a global and highly competitive marketplace,” says Sean R. Walters, CAE, chief executive officer, Investments & Wealth Institute. “This study clearly shows the significant added value of earning the advanced CIMA® & CPWA® designations not just in managed AUM, which averages 70 percent more than the average advisor, but in higher satisfaction, greater confidence, and stronger capabilities to leverage teaming and technology to deliver impactful solutions and an elevated client experience to investors, driving growth and profitability.”
Studies show that advisors who offer support, guidance, and education to their clients will differentiate their practice and retain their clients. The Institute’s ongoing training and resources provide members with continuous opportunities to develop the skills needed to engage and support clients in this process, and Institute members have demonstrated a willingness to use a broader set of investment tools than their peers.
To read the full report, visit https://iwicentral.org/2020CIMACPWAvalue.
The CIMA® certification program is the premier international, technical portfolio construction program for investment consultants, analysts, financial advisors and wealth management professionals. The process for earning the CIMA certification includes a comprehensive background check, three years minimum experience in financial services, completion of a registered executive education program, adherence to a Code of Professional Responsibility, and passing a 140 question, 5-hour examination. CIMA® certification is one of only a handful of financial services designations worldwide that has earned accreditation under an international standard for personnel certification (ANSI/ISO 17024).
The CPWA® certification is designed for seasoned professionals who seek the latest, most advanced knowledge and techniques to address the sophisticated needs of clients with a minimum net worth of $5 million. Unlike credentials that focus specifically on investing or financial planning, the CPWA program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach. Financial professionals wishing to complete the CPWA certification must pass a comprehensive background check and have five years minimum experience in financial services in addition to abiding by the Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Upon acceptance, the CPWA candidate will have up to two years to complete the education component, and pass a 135 multiple choice question, 4-hour exam.
The CPWA program can be completed through a registered education provider or through the new CPWA® Intensive Prep Course. With the new program offered through the Institute, candidates can obtain the CPWA certification through an online 6-month independent study course and then attend a streamlined 2.5-day workshop experience in the winter of 2020.