CFA Institute Launches Refreshed Investment Foundations® Certificate

Program designed for non-investment professionals aims to promote continuing education and develop knowledge of key investment concepts across the workforce

New York, 14 February 2023—CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, has launched a new edition of its CFA Institute Investment Foundations® Certificate (“Investment Foundations Certificate”), a self-paced online certificate-level program that provides the global workforce with a clear understanding of how the global investment industry works.

The Investment Foundations Certificate is designed for non-investment professionals who work or seek to work in marketing, communications, sales, HR, IT, legal and compliance roles at investment organizations, such as firms in asset management, private equity, real estate, or venture capital.

The Investment Foundations Certificate covers foundational concepts about the investment industry, including its purpose, structure, key functions, roles and responsibilities, commonly used vocabulary, investment types, ethical considerations, financial regulation, and more. It also enables professionals, or those aspiring to get a job in the industry, with an ability to think critically, ask the right questions, and ultimately open doors to roles in the industry.

The major benefits of the Investment Foundations Certificate for participants:

• Job seekers without a finance background, as well as undergraduate students, who aspire to work in the industry will learn the foundational components, increasing their financial literacy and skillset.
• Learners who pass the assessments will be issued with a digital certificate and badge, which can be used to demonstrate knowledge and understanding on resumes/CVs and social-media career profile platforms.
• Learners for whom English is a second language may find the Investment Foundations Certificate helpful in mastering core investment industry concepts in English.

Margaret Franklin, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute, comments:

“Our vision for CFA Institute is to be where the investment industry comes to skill, upskill, and reskill, which is why we are so excited to bring this new version of the Investment Foundations Certificate to the market. The program will enable participants to communicate more effectively, apply critical thinking to their work, and collaborate more effectively with colleagues in investment teams based on shared knowledge. Employers are now seeking a broader skillset amongst their workforce, and the Investment Foundations Certificate can offer the foundational content that individuals will need, whether already in the industry, or working towards their first role.”

What does the course of study involve?

• Through 60-90 hours of online study over 12 months, the Investment Foundations Certificate provides learners with the essential investment industry concepts in a low-stakes study environment.
• New content on Decentralized Finance, Financial Technology, ESG Investing, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Practice, draws on CFA Institute research, policy, and standards to inform the materials.

Certificate Experience

The Investment Foundations Certificate is refreshed with entirely new topics, course structure and an optimized learning experience. It is made up of six self-paced interactive courses, each delivered through modules that include interactive text graphs, images, video, discussion prompts, and assessments to deliver a compact, modern, and highly accessible learning environment.

The course topics are:

• Course 1: Industry Overview and Structure
• Course 2: Types and Functioning of Markets
• Course 3: Investment Instruments
• Course 4: Investment Inputs and Tools
• Course 5: Serving Clients Needs
• Course 6: Serving the Greater Good

For the full Investment Foundations Certificate details, visit:

Leading organizations are already accessing the Investment Foundations Certificate to complement organizational learning agendas designed to help people work more effectively with global colleagues through a common industry understanding. Organizations that will be offering access to the Investment Foundations Certificate learning materials to their teams following today’s launch include State Street Global Advisers.

Lori Heinel, CFA, Global Chief Investment Officer, State Street Global Advisors, comments:

“Investing in the financial literacy of State Street Global Advisors’ employees through the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate provides long-term benefits for both the individual and the organization, creating a workforce more equipped to make informed decisions, help clients and drive growth for the company.”

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Notes to Editors

• The Investment Foundations Certificate registration is priced at is US$350. From the point of registration into the program, learners have 12 months to complete all six courses–including all course assessments and the end-of-certificate assessment. All assessments take place within the learning platform.
• The end-of-certificate assessment comprises 100 multiple choice questions over a maximum test time of 140 minutes. The final assessment will be available to learners starting 15 March 2023. Participants who successfully complete all six courses and the end-of-certificate assessment will receive a digital certificate and a digital badge.
• A free Investment Foundations Certificate demonstration, via access to the Decentralized Finance material in Course 2, Module 2, Lesson 5, is available here: What is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)?
• The Investment Foundations Certificate is not an academic degree/diploma or equivalent and does not in itself allow for progress to higher-level academic studies in any education system.

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 190,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 160 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter at @CFAInstitute

Media Contact

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