6 global certifications every financial analyst needs

6 global certifications every financial analyst needs

Key highlights

  • Obtaining a global finance certification can significantly boost your earning power, reputation, and ability to deliver high-quality financial analysis
  • Some of these certifications are: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification, Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification
  • Others are: Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification

Financial analysis is the process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets, and other finance-related transactions to determine their performance and suitability

Being a financial analyst in Nigeria or any part of the world is a lucrative and rewarding career.

Furthermore, obtaining a professional finance certification can significantly boost your earning power, reputation, and ability to deliver high-quality financial analysis.

As the world becomes more global, it is important to consider international certifications in order to become more globally relevant. Although the costs are priced in USD, it is significantly cheaper than pursuing postgraduate education overseas.

This article will walk you through each of the top finance certifications, and their designations for any professional aspiring to be a certified financial analyst.

In a nutshell, here are the certifications which will be discussed in more detail:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification
  • Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) certification
  • Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation
  • Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certification

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification

The CFA designation is highly valued by financial professionals all over the world. It is divided into three levels and takes an average of four years to complete all three levels. It is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious financial certifications.

This finance certification focuses on portfolio management and investment analysis. Others are Ethical and professional standards, quantitative methods, economics, financial reporting and analysis, corporate finance, portfolio management, equity, fixed income, derivatives, and alternative investments which are among the main exam topics.

The cost of the designation ranges between $4,000 and $5,000, depending on whether you need to rewrite any exams and how early (or late) you register for your exams.

It is highly regarded and internationally recognized as one of the most challenging financial certifications.  It is a requirement for many jobs in asset management and equity research.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Certification

CPW works well in a finance career path. The course includes Auditing and attestation, business environment and principles, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation.

A CPA certification costs approximately $3,000 from start to finish.

Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® Certification

Getting a financial modeling certification from CFI is becoming a more and more popular alternative for corporate finance experts. Using real-world Excel applications, the course covers everything from how to create a financial model to sophisticated valuation methods and sensitivity analysis. Starting at $497, the entire Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst Program (FMVA) at CFI offers more than 24 courses and more than 100 hours of video training. The FMVATM test has a pass rate of roughly 70%.

The most practical analyst skills gained from this certification include:

  • Business valuation techniques (the most popular techniques used in the industry)
  • Financial models for real estate, e-commerce, retail, and other industries
  • Advanced applications like mergers and acquisitions (M&A) modeling, sensitivity analysis, and scenario analysis
  • Creating PowerPoint presentations, Excel dashboards, charts, graphs, and other outputs.

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)

Professionals working in the asset management and hedge fund sectors are the target audience for the CAIA certification, which focuses on alternative investments. Ethics, hedge funds, private equity, real assets, structured products, asset allocation, and risk management are the key subjects covered in the CAIA.

The two-level CAIA finance certification program has a total cost of roughly $3,000 and has two levels. About 70% of students pass the exam.

This certification is excellent for specialized areas of finance, such as managing alternative investments (such as private equity, real assets, and hedge funds). On average, it only requires 12–18 months to finish.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification

For anyone considering a career in finance or wealth management, earning a CFP credential might be a great step. The retail or high net worth sector of investment management is where this area of focus lies. For anyone who wants to manage high net-worth clients, the CFP is one of the best finance qualifications.

It typically costs around $2,000 but can vary based on how many course materials you buy. 67% of students pass the exam.

The course is suitable for retail banking, private banking, and wealth management careers.

Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Certification

The FRM certification is intended for professionals pursuing careers as risk officers, risk analysts, and other risk management jobs. The certification costs roughly $1,500 and takes about a year to complete. The FRM  has a pass rate of about 50%.

If you want to have a very specific profession in risk management and differentiate yourself, FRM is a smart option to choose. In comparison to the other financial credentials mentioned above, FRM is one of the most narrow and targeted qualifications. It’s also incredibly cost-effective and time-efficient.