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What It Means to Be CIMA® Certified

Tom Jacobsen, MBA - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Aug1THSmFinancial planners are often times differentiated by their varying levels of certifications. However, there are hundreds of credentials in the marketplace that make it somewhat difficult to understand each acronym.   

Today, we will explore what a CIMA® professional means.

CIMA stands for “Certified Investment Management Analyst,” and obtaining the CIMA certification requires a higher level of competency as an advanced investment consultant.  This includes extensive knowledge of investments and advanced advisor skills through continued education, as well demonstrating the ability to effectively service assets for clients through years of experience.

In order to earn CIMA certification, financial planners must:

  • Demonstrate at least three years of broad experience in the field of investment management consulting or financial services.
  • Pass an extensive background check and qualification assessment.
  • Complete an education program at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, or The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and then successfully pass a comprehensive certification examination.
  • Agree to adhere to an ethical code of professional responsibility and complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years, including two hours of ethics continuing education.


What does CIMA certification mean to you?

Not all financial credentials are created equal, and very few meet the high standards of being accredited by a third party. Since April 2011, the CIMA certification has been recognized as the only financial services credential in the U.S. to meet an international standard for personnel certification (ISO 17024) and earn accreditation by the American National Standards Institute.

At M.J. Smith and Associates, we believe in the need for objective, ethical advice from a credentialed investment professional – especially as the financial markets continue to change and evolve.  We understand that today’s investors need knowledgable guidance and a qualified advisor to help them understand the marketplace.

That’s why we have two individuals that have CIMA certifications – including Mark J. Smith, CFP®, CPA/PFS, CIMA®, President, M.J. Smith & Associates; and Jerry Gill, CIMA®, CFP®, CLU®, Senior Vice President, Firm Development. Between the two of them, they have over four decades of experience as financial advisors and have been dedicated to continuing their education through CIMA certifications. 

These tenured individuals, along with our entire staff, have specialized knowledge and experience to help properly and objectively guide our clients through complex financial challenges, needs and goals.  Contact us today and we’d be happy to set up a complementary session.



This information does not purport to be a complete description of the developments referred to in this material. Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.  Mark J. Smith, CFP®, CPA/PFS, CIMA®, President, M.J. Smith & Associates, Branch Manager, RJFS; and Jerry Gill, CIMA®, CFP®, CLU®, Senior Vice President, Firm Development, Senior Financial Consultant, RJFS. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

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