Market Overview

Wealth Management Certification and Financial Planning Designations in the United States and Worldwide


In 2004, Robert Frank of the Wall Street Journal published an expose of the top Wealth Management educational programs and certifications including the AAFM American Academy of Financial Management ® , Wharton School of Business and New York University. Since then many other graduate finance and accounting programs have integrated a wealth management curriculum worldwide. While major organizations have offered financial planning certificates for years, the top wealth management designations today are the CWM ™ from the AAFM, and others form the from the IMCA, the College for Financial Planning, and the Cannon Inst. While Wharton and NYU offer courses, diploma - certificates, or degrees with a focus on wealth management , they do not offer the actual board certification or charter designation. This is where a certification body comes into play.

The AAFM's CWM Chartered Wealth Manager Board Certification requires knowledge in 12 key areas: and is referenced in the Global Designation Directory and on the FINRA US Government Regulatory Website [16][17] The primary required skill sets of a CWM would include: 1. Estate Planning and Trusts
2. Asset Management
3. Portfolio Management
4. International Taxation
5. Retirement Law
6. Economics
7. Investments
8. Money and Banking
9. High Net Worth Consulting
10. Relationship Management, Compliance, and Ethics
11. Business Entities & Organizations
12. Risk Management and Insurance.

The AAFM CWM Program also sanctions an actual graduate law degree courses that can be taken as a path to certification. The CWM ® Chartered Certified Wealth Manager ® professional certification awarded from the AAFM ® American Academy of Financial Management ® is the first graduate wealth management Charter & Board certification in the world – as featured in the FINRA, NASD, Investopedia, Forbes, China Daily, Financial Times, Black Enterprise, Wall Street Journal, and Money Manager magazine [1][2] that was created and founded by the AAFM American Academy of Financial Management Board of Standards USA. [3][4].

The internationally trademarked CWM ® Chartered Certified Wealth Manager AAFM ® Certification and credential is only available for wealth managers with an accredited graduate education and experience who abide by the good standing, continuing education and ethics requirements. The Wall Street Journal also lists the AAFM Certifications as the only organization with accredited business program education and exam requirements from ACBSP and AACSB . With so many designations out there, accredited education and exams must become an important criteria for those to obtain any charter or certification.

As the Wall Street Journal reported about the AAFM certification and accreditation policies in 2010, "the double accreditation would signal that you've completed a double accredited degree from one of the top schools in the world. It helps show that an individual is engaged in a higher code of conduct." Thus, graduates of an ACBSP masters program or AACSB masters program in finance or ABA LLM program in tax and finance would all qualify for certification provided the candidate passed all of the exams and has 3 years of relevant experience. [18] Further, the CWM Certification program is accredited by the Supreme Court's Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education of a USA State and the General Legal Counsel of a UK Commonwealth Realm for Continuing Education General and Ethics Credits. [19]

The AAFM program and the Chartered Wealth Manager program has been wildly popular in Asia, India, China, Africa and Latin American for about a decade. Academic Institutions, educational institutes and training organizations must petition to the AAFM to become a registered and accredited provider of the CWM Chartered Wealth Manager program or other programs such as the MFP Master Financial Planner Professional. Governmental Citations & Book References 1. ^ ” Wall Street Journal – Is Your Wealth Manager Certifiable? features AAFM CWM Wealth Management Certification “ 2. ^ “CWM Featured in The Money Manager 3. ^ AAFM Investopedia Dictionary Article 4. ^ “Investopedia CWM Article” 5. ^ “AAFM US Government Trademark Reference” 6. ^ “Post Graduate CWM Law School Certification Program” 7. ^ “RIA Compliance Solution book” 8. ^ AAFM CWM in Investopedia Dictionary 9. ^ “US Government Trademark Reference for CWM “ 10. ^ “The ElderLaw Portfolio Series, Volume 1‎ – Page 25-16Harry S. Margolis” 11. ^ ABA Accredited TJSL LLM Graduate Program in Finance and Taxation offering CWM from AAFM 12. ^ “AAFM CWM in the Book Career opportunities in banking, finance, and insurance By Thomas P. Fitch Pg. 251″ 13. ^ “AAFM Law School Certification” 14. ^ “Demystifying Wall Street” 15. ^ “AAFM US Board and Certifying Requirements” 16. ^ “Directory of Global Professional Accounting and Business Certifications By Lal Balkaran” 17. ^ “FINRA Governmental Regulatory Website Formerly NASD” 18. ACBSP Alliance - ABA Programs - and AACSB 19. Accredited for Legal Education Credits and Good standing. Colorado USA, Jamaica - UK AAFM American Academy of Financial Management ® and CWM ® External links • AAFM US Board of Standards • Global Professional Certifying Board • USA Accredited Law School Program Online for the AAFM CWM • China • Arabia • India • Latin America • Singapore


Over 800 Accredited Graduate Programs which qualifies you to apply for CWM Certification ™ . You must have 3 years of wealth management experience on top of having the graduate degree or courses.

1. Masters in Finance, Wealth Management, Tax or Economics from an ACBSP Accredited Double Business School.

2. Masters in Finance, Wealth Management, Tax/Accounting or Economics from an AACSB Accredited Double Business School.

3. MBA or MSC from Shanghai Graduate Program in Finance

4. Masters in Wealth Management from the Swiss Banking School

5. JSM or LLM from the Diamond Law School Wealth Management Program

6. Masters with focus on Finance, Wealth Management, Tax or Economics from an ABA Accredited Law School.

7. Masters in Finance, Wealth Management, Tax or Economics from an EFMD EQUIS Accredited Double Business School.

8. Masters Degree in Finance from CUFE Beijing Business School


About the Author:  Dr. George Mentzis a world recognized management consultant and award winning professor who has authored several revolutionary books.  Prof. Mentz, an international lawyer, has been a keynote speaker globally in Asia, Arabia, USA, Mexico, Switzerland, and in the West Indies.   Mentz can be contacted for speaking engagements at or  or

*No tax, insurance,  investment or legal advice provided herein.  Please consult with a licensed professional in your jurisdiction before making any important financial or legal decision.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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