CIPM vs CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program

Updated on April 19, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between CIPM and CFA Institute Investment Foundations

Choosing between CIPM and Clarita’s examination should not be very difficult if you know what they mean.

CIPM deals primarily with Investment Performance Analysis and presentation. However, CFA Institute Investment Foundations is about a broad introduction to finance. CIPM is meant for people looking to specialize within a finance domain; however, the CFA Institute Investment Foundations program suits those from a non-finance background.

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What is CIPM?

CFA Institute offers a certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) as a specialized credential focused on performance evaluation and presentation of relevant data to investors. There has been a growing demand for financial institutions to adhere to the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). CIPM helps achieve this goal by helping professionals understand these global ethics and professional standards. It is a globally recognized accreditation that can help enhance the career prospects of investment professionals.

What is CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program?

CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program is an entry-level designation awarded by the CFA Institute to help professionals become acquainted with the fundamentals of the investment industry. It covers many finance and investment-related roles and is the best fit for entry-level professionals in investment and finance. It also introduces participants to the roles and responsibilities of those working in different areas of the financial services sector.

CIPM vs. CFA Institute Investment Foundations Infographics

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CFA Institute Investment Foundations Infographics

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CIPM vs. CFA Institute Investment Foundations Comparative Table

SectionCIPM CFA Institute Investment Foundations
Organizing BodyThe CFA Institute, USA, controls the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) exams.
The CFA Institute, USA
 The CFA Institute, USA controls the CFA Institute Investment Foundations exams.
PatternThe CIPM course consists of 2 levels

 

  • Level I (previously known as the Principles level)
  • Level II (previously known as the Expert level) CFA charterholders are not required to attend the Level I exam.
 The course consists of only one final exam. However, the candidates are required to clear two exams (Mock Exam A and Mock Exam B) prior to taking the final exam. The mock exams can be taken one month after the registration and the candidates need to score 70% or more in each of them.
Duration of CourseOn average, the candidates take around 18 months to complete the two levels. The candidates are required to pass the exam in 180 days from the date of registration.
SyllabusThe syllabus of the course focus on the following topics

 

  • Performance Measurement
  • Performance Presentation
  • Performance Attribution
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Manager Selection
  • GIPS standards
 The syllabus of the course consists of the following 7 modules

 

  • Industry Overview
  • Investment Instruments
  • Ethics & Regulation
  • Inputs & Tools
  • Industry Structure
  • Industry Controls
  • Serving Client Needs
Exam FeesThe total cost of the course comes to be in the range of $950 to $1,350, which is entirely the exam fees that varies based on the time of registration. There is no cost as the CFA Institute offers the course for free through its digital platform,  Learning Ecosystem.
JobsSome of the common profiles include

 

  • Investment Analyst
  • Risk Analyst
  • Compliance Officer
  • Financial Adviser
  • Investment Consultant
  • Portfolio, Manager
 Some of the common profiles include

 

  • Portfolio Manager
  • Wealth Manager
  • Investment Analyst
  • Investment Consultant

 

DifficultyThe level of difficulty of the exams is quite high as only ~25% of the candidates can clear both levels. The pass rates for the Level I and Level II exams conducted in September 2019 were 48% and 51% respectively. [Source: CFA Institute] The level of difficulty of the exams is fairly low as indicated by the high historical pass rate (~82%) of the Claritas Investment Certificate. However, there is no recent information available pertaining to the pass rate of the course.
Exam DateThe schedule for the upcoming exams for both levels is as follows

 

  • March 16-31
  • September 16-30
 The exams for this course are conducted online and can be taken on all working days.

Entry Requirements

CIPM Entry Requirements:

There are no specific exam requirements for CIPM, and the only prerequisite is that one should abide by the CIPM Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. It is achieved by every participant signing a Candidate Professional Conduct Statement as part of the exam registration.

CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program Entry Requirements:

There are no specific entry requirements for CFA Institute Investment Foundations, either educational qualifications or work experience. Therefore, anyone interested in gaining a fundamental knowledge of the investment industry is free to join the certificate program.

Why Pursue CIPM?

CIPM equips professionals with a broad-based understanding of complex concepts related to performance measurement, attribution, and appraisal, which play a key role in the highly specialized field of portfolio management. Participants are also exposed to the requisite ethical and professional standards necessary to function in the global investment industry. This certification validates the capabilities of professionals in investment performance evaluation and related areas and creates greater trust in employers by introducing them to global ethical practices in the field.

Why Pursue CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program?

Getting certified from the CFA Institute is another advantage that enhances their career prospects in the investment industry. In addition, this entry-level certification is highly useful for finance and non-finance professionals interested in exploring work opportunities in the investment industry. There are no eligibility requirements, making it possible for almost anyone to earn the certification. As a result, it can be of great value for IT, HR, sales, marketing, and other professional roles within the investment industry who need a basic understanding of it.

Conclusion

CIPM deals with a rather complex area of finance, investment performance analysis, and presentation, which is not meant for everyone interested in finance in general. It is intended for professionals looking to specialize in this area and explore work opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills acquired. On the other hand, the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program is an easier fundamental-level certification that offers a broad introduction to finance and does not hold as much value as a professional credential as CIPM.

It is a good choice for people working in non-finance roles in the investment industry. In addition, CIPM can truly help enhance growth prospects for dedicated finance professionals in the global industry. Both are offered by the CFA Institute, known for its quality education, which alone brings credibility to both of these credentials.

This has been a guide to CIPM vs. CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program. Here we compare the job options, fees, pass percentage, focus areas for CIPM and CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program. You may also look at the following articles for more information –

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Zane Helgenberger says

    Great post Dheeraj!

  2. Ruben Shuler says

    This was really something great to know about these two certifications. The way of explanation was really awesome. Thanks for that. Would you like to tell me why CIPM is considered as one of the best certification for investment professionals?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Many Thanks Ruben! Most investment professionals are busy trying to give their best to attain certifications improve their resume and they choose the best course to improve their career prospects. You can take a look at our in depth guide to CFA CIPM.

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