The Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) designation is now celebrating its 21st year in existence. More than 11,000 members of the financial services community have already completed the program. CFS® is fully accredited and is the oldest designation in the mutual fund industry. You can begin your path to becoming a Certified Fund Specialist® when you enroll in an IBF program today.
Your competitors offer mutual funds as a simple and effective way to invest. Yet few advisors and brokers really understand how funds interact with other parts of the portfolio or how this investment vehicle should be analyzed. As a Certified Fund Specialist®, you'll learn criteria such as alpha, beta, correlation coefficient, first-auto correlation, R-squared, and standard deviation that should be incorporated in the selection process.
With mutual funds training, a Certified Fund Specialist® is able to evaluate and compare financial measurements and benchmarks when constructing a portfolio. Modern portfolio theory (MPT) is a key part of the program; its components are broken down and detailed in terms the advisor can easily understand and convey to a client. Armed with MPT and other selection criteria learned as part of the mutual fund education, a suitable and efficient portfolio using closed-end, exchange-traded, and open-end funds can be derived.
Practitioners and academics continually update the CFS® materials. Students obtain the best of both worlds—the practical as well as the theoretical. Closed-end funds, ETFs, REITs and UITs are also covered, thereby providing the student with a more rounded education. With this additional investment knowledge, advisors and brokers offer ideas to clients that they would not receive elsewhere. Discover for yourself what benefits a Certified Fund Specialist® designation can bring to you and your clients.
The CFS® course, exams, and case study highlight what the practitioner faces daily. Whether you are an accountant, advisor, banker, broker, money manager, or planner, you will reap immediate rewards in return for your commitment of time and study. Because the teaching materials are designed to also be used in your daily practice, each program is updated throughout the year.
- The CFS® program consists of six modules
- Each module takes 23 hours or less to complete
- Materials include all study and exam preparation
- There are three non-cumulative exams and one case study
- Each exam is based on two modules
- Each exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions
- More than one exam can be taken at a time
- A written case study is required
- The case study is based on a one-page fact pattern provided by IBF
- The case study answer must be two to five pages
- Module I – Regulation, Structure, Expenses, and Titling
- Module II – Management and Fund Selection
- Module III – Tax-Free Bonds, Money Market, Specialty Categories, and Time Value Analysis
- Module IV – Asset Categories, Market Indicators, CEFs, ETFs, and REITs
- Module V – Risk, Timing the Market, When to Sell, and Taxation
- Module VI – Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT)
Tuition includes registration, tuition, textbooks, review questions, online practice exams, reference sheets, exams, diploma and shipping (overnight shipping available for additional charge).
Textbooks will be shipped to you within 5-7 business days of your paid registration.
Qualifying to Obtain the Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) designation
To view the requirements for the CFS®, please click here.
This program is approved for continuing education (CE) credit to meet a candidate's professional development requirements. Approvals are subject to change, and the student is responsible for confirming the credits approved for a given state or organization.