Who is a Certified Fund Specialist

Certified Fund Specialists (CFS) are people who have cracked one of the toughest exams in the history of mutual funds to become the most reputed professionals, having acquired the practical ability to manage market movements. The Institute of Business & Finance conducts the Certified Fund Specialist exam. It is the oldest and most coveted designation when it comes to specializing in the mutual fund industry.

The Institute of Business & Finance provides unparalleled training to create financial industry experts. This Institute provides putative certifications in the field of finance. If you are looking to decipher the language of mutual fund investing with in-depth knowledge and specialization, then the CFS certification is for you. The CFS designation is usually obtained by working professionals providing investment banking, accounting, money management, or broking services. With this certification, you can drastically improve your portfolio performance and uplift your investing game.

What will you learn in the certification course?

Finance professionals will develop a solid working knowledge of many different types of mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds, REITs, and other asset classes. The Certified Fund Specialist program will teach you how to analyze and select stocks and assets at an advanced level. You will master investment strategies that will get you on a similar level with top financial advisors. Hence, you, as a financial service professional, will be able to provide top-notch investment advice to your clients.

How do CFS’ help their clients?

A Certified Fund Specialist can provide real-time market advice to their clients and can manage their entire portfolio. Keeping in mind their clients’ goals and acting in terms of their specific instructions, Certified Fund Specialists advise on when to invest, how to invest, where to invest, and in what proportion to invest. As a CFS understands market price movements and financial instruments better than ordinary non-specialists, they are better positioned to make investment decisions. A Certified Fund Specialist has been trained to identify value stocks from prominent sectors. Using practical valuation techniques, a certificate holder can easily explain to clients the reason behind a stock pick. Risk management and tax planning can be done more systematically.

It is worth noting that a Certified Fund Specialist does not have the right to deal in shares on behalf of their clients. For doing so, a Series 6 license is required to be obtained by them. For acquiring the Series 6 license, a financial advisor will have to pass an exam conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. After clearing the exam, they will be able to buy and sell investment and insurance products like mutual funds, annuities, life insurance, municipal fund securities, and unit investment trusts.

What are the requirements for appearing for this exam?

As a prerequisite, you must at least have a Bachelor’s Degree. As an alternative, 2000 hours of work experience in financial services work just fine. This is an online, self-guided course so that you can enroll and complete this course from any part of the world. A self-guided course means that you can complete the course study as and when you get time, entirely at your convenience. IBF provides candidates with a one-year timeframe to complete the course. However, as per estimates published by the Institute, an average candidate completes the course in 15 weeks.

CFS: The must-knows

A candidate is required to pay $1,365 towards registration and training fees. This fee is all-inclusive – the study material cost, textbook fees, and examination fees are also included. It is vital for you to note that the study material is divided into six modules. The six modules are as follows:

1. Financial Planning

2. Investments (Choices and Time Value Analysis)

3. Real Estate

4. Portfolio Management

5. Insurance

6. Retirement Plans and Employee Benefits

Each exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. You can appear for more than one exam at a given point in time.

The CFS certification will give you the confidence to tackle real-world issues and stop you from making common mistakes. You will learn to use one measurement technique that can be applied universally and help you calculate risk accurately. After obtaining the certificate, you will be required to complete thirty hours of additional education material every two years. This way, the Institute ensures that the candidates remain updated with the changes happening in the financial services industry and provide sound financial advice to clients.

Identifying alternatives for the money market becomes easy, and investing becomes your passion. The Institute of Business and Finance provides several practice questions that prepare you well for the final exam. To own the CFS degree, you will have to pass three online exams that are proctored and complete one case study. The Certified Fund Specialist certificate remains valid for two years.

Final Takeaways

The mutual fund industry is admired by many across the globe and is cherished by the finance people in particular. You don’t require any imperative business acumen or prerequisite degree to invest in stocks or commodities – it is open to absolutely anyone who has a bank account. Everyone is free to do his/her research and take as much time as convenient before investing. But, investing is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you don’t have the time to manage your portfolio, consider appointing a financial expert. And when you do decide to appoint one, make sure he has a CFS certification.

If you are a finance professional and want to specialize in the mutual fund industry, there is no better certification course than the Certified Fund Specialist available in the market. The CFS degree is recognized by the California Board of Accounting, the Certified Financial Planner Board, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and also PACE. The official site of the Institute also mentions that the certificate is recognized by almost all the leading Broker Dealers in the country.

A paramount certification like this in the mutual fund world is sure to impress clients. CFS can help you get to the next level of your career; what are you waiting for?