CFA vs CIPM – Which is the Key to Finance?

CFA vs CIPM – Which is the Key to Finance? Certificate programs take you one step near to the success that you have been dreaming of all your life. Hard work is never wasted nor is learning. Certificate courses like CIPM exam, CFA® exam and CRM exam are invaluable modes to perfect the art of learning and explaining the complicated world of finance and its core strategies very easily to the investors. CFA® institute has designed two programs to meet these needs of the finance professionals and they are CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) and CIPM (Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement). Read on to more about the exciting career opportunities waiting to be explored for the certificate holders of these two programs.

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The article is articulated in this order:

  1. CFA vs CIPM Infographics
  2. What is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter?
  3. What is  Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM)?
  4. CFA vs CIPM Exam Requirements
  5. Why pursue CFA?
  6. Why pursue CIPM?

CFA vs CIPM Infographics

Reading time : 90 seconds

Lets understand the difference between these two streams with the help of this CFA® vs CIPM Infographics.

CFA vs CIPM infographics


What is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter?

The CFA® Program focuses on investment management. The top employers of charterholders include the most respected financial corporations in the world, e.g., JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, and Wells Fargo, to name a few. Many of these are investment banks, but the CFA® Program focuses on the knowledge and skills most relevant to the global investment management profession from the standpoint of a practitioner.

Investment professionals who hold the CFA®designation (or CFA® charter) meet rigorous educational, work experience, and ethical conduct requirements.

Only those who complete three graduate-level examinations, four years of work experience, and annual membership renewal (including an ethics and code of professional conduct attestation) are permitted to use the CFA® designation. Complementary codes and standards (such as the Global Investment Performance Standards and Asset Manager Code) help enhance this professional distinction.

What is Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM)?

The CIPM program is globally recognized for its performance evaluation and presentation expertise of investment professionals. The CIPM certificate is an incredible way to gain a perspective and strong footing in the financial markets of the world. It guides the professionals through a set code of ethics and instills in them the value of pursuing excellence in the field with an unmatched passion. CIPM certificate module is designed to provide extensive in-depth knowledge and practical skills of Project Management tools and techniques. The course allows the professional to be more competent, productive and result oriented in all the aspects of executing and handling their knowledge of both hard and soft skills. They are trained to appreciate the finer nuances of Time and Cost while meeting Quality in order to plan out control risks effectively while addressing people issues like communication, team working, motivation and information management.

CFA vs CIPM Exam Requirements

To qualify for the CFA® program a candidate must have a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of his bachelor’s degree program (an update is required on attaining the degree to qualify for the Level II) or minimum of four years of professional experience. The CFA® certificate is only awarded after a candidate attains four years of experience even after clearing the exam.


There is no specific exam requirement for the CPIM course. The only prerequisite that a candidate needs to meet is that he or she must agree to abide by the CIPM Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. This is done by signing a Candidate Professional Conduct Statement as part of each exam registration. This is done to ensure that the high standards of the CIPM exam are protected and the integrity of the designation is maintained. The CIPM designation is awarded after a candidate successfully clears the two exams: the CIPM Principles Exam and the CIPM Expert Exam.


Why pursue the CFA designation?

The differentiating benefits of earning the CFA® designation include:

  • Real-world expertise
  • Career recognition
  • Ethical grounding
  • Global community
  • Employer demand

The sheer demand for the CFA® charter speaks to the difference it makes. More than 160,000 CFA® exam registrations were processed for the June 2015 exams (35% in the Americas, 22% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 43% in Asia Pacific).

For more information, refer to- CFA® Programs

Why pursue CIPM?

CIPM is an extremely focused course with a rigorous study material that concentrates on broad topics like performance measurement, attribution and appraisal. It is a specialized area with the domain of portfolio management at is core, allowing you to gain skills that show your mastery in the field of finance through the acquisition of some invaluable set of skills in the certificate program. These skills come in handy and are valued by employers as well as clients increasing the confidence in your ability to bring new investment strategies to the table with certified good results. The program is an invaluable learning experience if your job requires utilization of these kinds of skills.

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  1. By MedoFin1 on

    CIPM & the CFA rather a “Complement” one another. The CFA is very rich but very general in its coverage. Whereas the CIPM (well to my understanding) is rather very specialized in a subset of the CFA program (Portfolio, GIPS, attribution, Mgr selection,risk, etc…).

    Thank you for the quality content rich blog & for the clear information on the programs!


  2. By Barron Trump on

    Good summary. The CIPM is a little less well known, but it is not an easy version of the CFA. It is just as hard in complexity, but less demanding in range of content. So in that sense it is less demanding, but your math skills must be top notch.


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