Financial Advisors Gain Edge at Wharton

Posted by Admin on Feb 27, 2017 5:00:00 PM


“When I was looking for a professional certification, I wanted something that would do more than just put a few letters behind my name,” said Robert Luna, chief executive officer, Surevest Wealth Management. “I wanted something with rigor that would really challenge me.”

Luna chose the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) Certification Program offered through Wharton Executive Education, a division of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. The Wharton program provides nine months of study in preparation for the challenging CIMA certification examination—one, in which, only 55 percent of testers pass the first time.

The CIMA certification, offered by IMCA® and accredited independently by the American National Standards Institute, requires that candidates complete “the Four E’s”—experience, education, examination, and ethics. CIMA candidates must pass two examinations (a qualification exam at the start of the process and a certification examination at the end) and participate in a registered executive education program such as the one offered by Wharton since the certification’s inception in 1988.

“The Wharton family made the content much easier to understand,” remarked Luna. “By the time the week at Wharton was over, I felt completely prepared for the test. I was able to take the designation and deliver true value to my clients.”

Richard Marston, James R. F. Guy Professor of Finance and one of the three Wharton professors who teach in the program, added, “Although much of the material has remained consistent, we’re staying current with economic variables and investment trends. There is a growing interest in new asset classes, and world events with the potential to impact portfolio performance.”

During his sessions in the program, Marston explains how to create a diversified portfolio. “Asset allocation has become more complex and more critical. I decided to write based on the CIMA sessions. It’s a detailed guide that works for our program participants, as well as for individual investors.”

Jeffrey Jaffe, the program’s faculty director, associate professor of finance, a member of the original CIMA Certification Advisor Committee, and the co-author of Corporate Finance (in its 11th edition) and (in its fourth edition), noted, “The material I teach is in both of these books. It’s a rare situation when two finance faculty members teaching in the same program have books published on the subject.”

In addition to modern portfolio theory, asset allocation, and performance measurement, the program also covers behavioral finance.

“In many areas of our lives, we make irrational decisions. We know what a healthy diet looks like, but we might order the cheeseburger and fries anyway. It’s similar with our finances. At the very least, we know you’re supposed to buy low and sell high, but then there is a market correction and people tend to want to pull their money out of the market. We need knowledgeable advisors because occasionally ordering the wrong meal isn’t going to have a long-term effect. For most people, losing a million dollars is,” added Jaffe. “We have much to say about behavioral finance and dealing with clients’ irrationalities. The participants have a lot to offer in this discussion because they know only too well what it is like to try to advise someone who wants to take more risk than is prudent or wants to make a financial decision based on fear alone.”

“What we are really teaching is how to do right by your client,” said Jaffe. The Wharton program’s content is practical and includes daily review sessions. In addition to teaching sessions in the program, Jaffe is available during meals and breaks to speak with participants to continue the conversation.

“The Wharton experience can’t be replicated in a textbook,” explained Jaffe. “In one week, we prepare you to better serve your clients and advance your career by becoming CIMA certified.”

Learn more about Wharton’s or call (215) 898-1776 to schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals. Upcoming programs are scheduled for June 26–30, July 9–13, and Oct. 2–6. Before

Welcome to The Institute Blog:  Investment Sense - Advanced analysis for today’s savvy advisors

Investment Sense provides expert thinking on the relevant topics that impact your business along with  updates from the Institute that will keep you up to speed on important happenings at your professional association. Industry experts—practitioners, academics and economists—will provide the latest thinking on today’s important topics, and you’ll hear from Institute volunteers and staff on association news that impacts your membership and certification.   


Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

We encourage you to read the latest posts, share content with colleagues and peers, and let us know what you think. You can comment on a blog post or email us at with feedback.

Have ideas for future topics or interest in submitting a blog post? Email us at to let us know.