CFA Institute Investment Foundations (Available Free of Charge)

Start Dates: 01/01/2019

Full Fee: Free of charge from CFA Institute

Programme overview

This program is now available free of charge directly from the CFA Institute. Please click on the following link for further information; CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program

The CFA Institute Investment Foundations is a global self-study education program and exam designed to give anyone working in financial services a clear understanding of the investment industry and their professional responsibilities within it.

Focused on the essentials of finance, ethics, and investment roles, the program requires approximately 100 hours of study and can be completed within six months.

There is no education or experience requirement; however candidates should feel comfortable with the English language. The multiple choice, computer-based exam is offered at test centers around the world.

Successful candidates will be awarded the CFA Institute Investment Foundations certificate by the CFA Institute.

Course Objectives

The goal of the Investment Certificate program is to provide individuals with a fundamental understanding of the essential aspects of the investment industry through the topics covered in the Course of Study.

The Course of Study consists of 20 chapters, organized into seven modules.

1: Industry overview
2: Ethics and regulation
3: Tools and inputs
4: Investment instruments
5: Industry structure
6: Serving clients’ needs
7: Industry controls

Who Should Attend

CFA Institute Investment Foundation is a comprehensive, global, and corporate-wide education program designed to give all professional disciplines outside of investment roles a clear understanding of the essentials of the industry, their roles, and their professional and ethical responsibilities within it.

The CFA Institute Investment Foundation is ideal for the many different people in an organization who are not directly involved in analyzing or making investment decisions. The program motivates employees and raises effectiveness across departments, including:

  • Human Resources
  • Client Service
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Compliance & Legal
  • Investor Relations
  • Operations
  • Public Relations

Course Content


It is about getting to the heart and the core purpose of the investment industry – its vital role in the world: from helping people save for the future to funding schools, hospitals, roads and other essentials. The benefits this brings when done well (ethically and all parts working together) help serve society.

After completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
• Describe the financial services industry;
• Identify types of financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies;
• Define the investment industry;
• Explain how economies benefit from the existence of the investment industry;
• Explain how investors benefit from the existence of the investment industry;
• Describe types and functions of participants of the investment industry;
• Describe forces that affect the evolution of the investment industry.


This module focuses on the essential foundations for the investment world – ethics and regulation. The firm ground on which we build for our clients: trust, reputation, confidence and value – the essentials of a strong and healthy client-focused industry.

  • Ethics and investment professionalism
  • Regulation and supervision


This is about understanding how the (economic) world works – the big picture and the fine detail. How the actions of individuals, corporations and governments play out at micro, macro and international levels, how this  translates to a company’s finances, and how to get a clearer understanding of what this all means.

  • Financial statements
  • Quantitative Concepts
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • International trade and foreign exchange


This module covers the basic investment options, what they are and their purpose – from conventional equities and bonds to more specialized investments such as real estate and derivatives.

  • Equity securities
  • Debt securities
  • Derivatives
  • Alternative investments


The industry is complex and highly interdependent. This module looks at how the industry helps us invest, who the participants are and what they do, the different markets where investments take place, and the investment products themselves.

  • Structure of the investment industry
  • Investment vehicles and structures
  • Investment market characteristics


This is about focusing on clients – gaining a clear understanding of their needs, circumstances, motivations and ambitions so investments can be allocated and managed in the right way for them.

  • Investor needs and investment policy
  • Asset allocation
  • Active and passive investment management


Controls are critical in helping ensure everything runs smoothly. In the fast moving world of investments and risk it is essential to understand how systems and controls are used in the industry to ensure the client is properly served.

  • Investment industry documentation
  • Risk management
  • Performance evaluation

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