Home > Investors > Investor Resources > About Us for Investors

About the Investments & Wealth Institute

The Investments & Wealth Institute is a professional association, advanced education provider, and standards body for financial advisors, investment consultants, and wealth managers who embrace excellence and ethics.

About the Institute

Founded in 1985, the Investments & Wealth Institute (formerly IMCA) is a non-profit, professional association, advanced education provider, and standards body for financial advisors, investment consultants, wealth managers, and retirement specialists.  The Institute delivers advanced programs for investment and wealth professionals.  Our esteemed certifications include the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA), and Retirement Management Advisor (RMA) certifications.  Advanced professionals may earn their certifications through established third party program providers including: Chicago Booth, The University of Chicago Booth School of business, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, Aresty Institute of of Executive Education, and Yale School of Management.    

The purpose of the Institute is to:

  • Broaden public understanding of investment consulting and wealth management

  • Improve the professionalism of our members through educational and certification programs

  • Develop and encourage the practice of high standards of professional conduct

  • Promote and protect the interest of the profession and the public that it serves

The mission of the Institute is to:

  • Deliver the premier investment consulting and wealth management credentials and world-class educational offerings.

Our values include:

  • Integrity

  • Loyalty

  • Objectivity

  • Ethical Conduct

Code of Professional Responsibility, Ethics, and Enforcement
The Institute sets the standards and practices for the investment and wealth management profession, and provides the credentials and tools required for advisors to best serve their clients.  Our Code of Professional Responsibility was adopted in 1985 to promote and maintain the high standards of personal and professional conduct.  All Institute members are subject to the code.  In addition, the Institute supports and promotes the highest level of ethics in the profession and has taken the additional step of adopting Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, which outline the process, rules and procedures through which CIMA, CPWA, and RMA certificants are held to the Institute's standards and to provide enforcement measures.    

Advanced Certifications & Education
Among the hundreds of financial certifications and certificates used by advisors today, few meet national or international standards.  This raises significant concerns about consumer protections.  Competency-based certifications that meet stringent global standards with third-party accreditation provide investors with the confidence that those advisors holding the certification have the necessary expertise to competently do their job.  In April 2011, CIMA certification gained additional credibility when it earned third-party accreditation by American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This accreditation distinguishes CIMA certification as the only financial services certification in the United States to meet international standards (ISO 17024) for personnel certification.  Lean more about ANSI Accreditation.   

The Institute continues to set the standards and practices for the investment and wealth management profession.  We conduct regular job-task-analysis studies to keep up with market changes and have best-practices certification policies and procedures in place.  Our credentials must be:

  • Open and transparent

  • Fair, objective, and impartial

  • Include an appeals procedure for complaints

  • Have sound management systems in place

  • Maintain a decision-making body for the certification program that is autonomous and without undue influence by special interests

  • Ensure that certification is based on a process that consistently distinguishes those who meet a level of competency and skills as an investment professional from those who do not

Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
CIMA® is an advanced professional certification for financial advisors and investment consultants that provide sophisticated investment knowledge, along with the practical tools to meet the real-world needs of individual and institutional investors.
Why work with a CIMA professional?
Find a CIMA professional

Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA)
CPWA® is an advanced professional certification for advisors who provide the breadth of specialized skills required to meet the needs of sophisticated high-net-worth clients.
Why work with a CPWA professional?
Find a CPWA professional

Retirement Management Advisor (RMA)
RMASM is an advanced certificate program and pathway to certification that focuses on building custom retirement income plans to mitigate risks. 
Why work with an RMA professional?
Find a RMA professional