Investments & Wealth Institute Launches Global Financial Planning Certificate Course for Advisors to Understand and Address the Cross-Border Financial Planning Needs of Clients

Posted by Allison Edmondson, Director of Communications

Jan 9, 2024 6:00:00 PM

Denver, CO (January 9, 2024) - The Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI)—the leading professional association, education provider and standards organization for the financial advice industry—has just launched Global Financial Planning Essentials, an online asynchronous education program focused on international and cross-border planning, where advisors and other financial advice professionals can earn 15 hours of continuing education credits (CE) upon completion.

The course curriculum—developed through a strategic partnership with the Global Financial Planning Institute (GFPI)—outlines how ongoing uncertainty in various political, regulatory, and economic environments has resulted in many affluent clients and their families around the world to consider ‘diversification’ not only in terms of their investments, but also in where they live and conduct business so that they may protect their lifestyles and preserve wealth for future generations.

“Advisors can become an invaluable resource to clients by counseling them on the nuances between countries with respect to tax and immigration planning, foreign exchange and real estate, portfolio construction, business ownership, and much more,” said Lauris Lambergs, CIMA®, GFP (USA), co-founder and CIO of Renaissance Wealth Advisors, and a member of IWI’s Board of Directors. “IWI is committed to helping advisors become savvier on these global financial planning issues, which in turn, can uncover both safeguards and opportunities for clients.”

“GFPI is a strong strategic partner to help us develop a certificate program that dives into global complexities for HNW clients,” said Ross Riskin, PhD, DBA, CPA/PFS, CCFC, MS Tax, and chief learning officer of IWI. “This further positions Investments & Wealth Institute as the go-to resource for advisors seeking high-quality educational content that is timely, accessible, and modern in its delivery approach.”

Global Financial Planning Essentials is an in-depth, 15-hour program broken down into three models, which are:

·       Module 1 – Introduction to Cross-Border Planning

·       Module 2 – Tax and Immigration Planning

·       Module 3 – Investments, Retirement, and Other Planning Considerations

After completing the program, certificate holders earn 15 credits of CE and should also be able to:

  • Interpret the general approach to international planning, define inbound planning, outbound planning, and cross-border planning, and identify how each is distinct from domestic planning.

  • Implement the international and cross-border fact-finding process, including the importance of time and location about prior and planned employment, business ownership, assets, and earned entitlements.

  • Understand the legal, tax, and estate issues in residency, including residency-based vs. citizenship-based taxation and interactions of residency status, source of income, and taxation.

  • Define a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC), how they are taxed, and how to invest while avoiding PFIC status.

  • Review US foreign tax reporting obligations, FBAR, FATCA, and the required forms.

  • Understand foreign exchange, liability matching, taxation, and risk management.

  • Understand issues related to Social Security for American expats.

  • Understand the management of a multi-jurisdictional portfolio, how to invest a foreign portfolio to avoid PFIC classification, the compliance issues related to cross-border ownership of mutual funds and ETFs, and the role of the Key Investor Information Document for European based clients.

  • Understand the cross-border nuances of life insurance and disability insurance, including issues related to paying premiums while a non-resident, making a claim, and the taxation of death benefits while abroad.

  • Understand cross-border education planning opportunities and issues.

“The content and learning objectives that comprise IWI’s certificate program actually leverage GFPI’s highly-regarded US Inbound/Outbound International Financial Planning Master Class,” said Ashley Murphy, GFP (USA) CFP®, founder of GFPI who led a team of contributors in condensing and repurposing the GFPI curriculum for the IWI certificate program. “We collaborated with IWI to adapt our 10-week program to the structure and format of their certificate programs, which are typically 15 hours in duration, and online and interactive in nature. The result is certainly a more streamlined learning experience, but it is one that still contains enough relevant, detailed knowledge for advisors to walk away with a proficiency on planning issues outside U.S. borders that can exist for clients.”

Global Financial Planning Essentials is the latest course IWI has developed in partnership with other organizations and leading industry experts to improve its ability to accelerate the time to bring innovative programs to market. It is also the newest certificate course since the October 2023 launch of Investments & Wealth Academy—IWI’s new online learning experience platform and extensive content library filled with a wide array of certificate programs, short courses, microcourses, webinars, and other learning opportunities to earn CE credits.

“IWI has delivered premier world-class education with practical application for more than three decades—continually innovating to provide access to educational content that reflects the ever-changing external forces impacting the financial advice business,” said Riskin. “The Investments & Wealth Academy provides a learning and service experience with improved functionality and navigation, as well as new courses in the pipeline built by top-tier academics, industry professionals, and instructional design specialists—and all powered by IWI.”

For more information, contact Allison Edmondson, Communications, Investments & Wealth Institute, at

About Investments & Wealth Institute

Founded in 1985, the Investments & Wealth Institute is the premier professional association, education provider, and standards body for financial advisors. Through its award-winning events, publications, courses, and acclaimed certifications—Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Retirement Management Advisor® (RMA®) certifications—the Institute delivers Ivy league-quality, highly-practical education to more than 30,000 practitioners annually in over 40 countries. Members of the Institute include the industry's most successful investment consultants, advanced financial planners, and private wealth managers who embrace excellence and ethics in applying a broad set of knowledge and skills in their daily work with clients. Learn more at

About Global Financial Planning Institute

Formed in 2020, the Global Financial Planning Institute exists to provide education, community, tools and ongoing research for financial planners, wealth managers, private bankers, CPA/accountants, and


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