The professional designation of CIMA stands for certified investment management analyst. This certification program is the only one designed for financial professionals who want to become advanced investment consultants. By obtaining a high level of investment knowledge, a CIMA is able to provide objective investment advice to organizations and individuals. This helps clients make wise investment decisions, which is necessary in our complex financial world.
Currently, only about 6,100 people hold the CIMA certification, but this number is steadily increasing. To qualify for certification, candidates must have at least three years of financial services work experience, meet educational requirements, pass qualification and certification examinations, commit to following ethical guidelines, and sign a licensing agreement. The education requirement must be completed with a registered education provider and the curriculum focuses on investment policy, risk management, asset allocation, the regulatory and legal environment, and more.
Of the current CIMA professionals, 84 percent have over ten years of management investment experience and over one-third have an advanced degree. The certification lends credibility to an investment management analyst and increases confidence due to a greater understanding of the complexities of the investment world. Employment of investment management analysts is expected to grow substantially from 2008 to 2018, offering opportunities for the most skilled individuals.
As the financial sector becomes increasingly complex, more people rely on a CIMA to help them understand available investments. Many consumers lost a substantial amount of money in the recent recession and want to prevent this from happening again. They are turning to skilled investment professionals to help them decide where their money should be placed.
Becoming a CIMA is a great accomplishment and approximately 75 percent of individuals who take the CIMA certification examination pass it. To maintain a CIMA designation, an individual must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years, two hours of which must pertain to ethics. The average salary for a certified investment management analyst in the U.S. is between $64,000 and $69,000 but this varies greatly based on experience, industry, location, and company.
A career as a certified investment management analyst is exciting and ever-changing. The individual has an opportunity to work in a financial consulting firm or become an entrepreneur. Either way, the extensive interaction with clients and the role of managing large sums of money make this an enticing occupation for qualified financial services professionals who want to enhance their knowledge.