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CPWA Certification: Serving High-Net-Worth Advisors and Their Clients

“The CPWA certification is a valuable next step for CFP® advisors who want to grow the knowledge base and skill set they need to build and maintain relationships with high-net-worth and other sophisticated investors.”

Kevin Sánchez, CIMA®, CPWA®, CFP®
UBS Institutional Consulting

The Value of CPWA

Higher revenue per CPWA practice
Average assets CPWA practice
Higher assets than non-CPWA advisors

Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) is an advanced professional certification for advisors who serve high-net-worth clients. It’s designed for seasoned professionals who seek the latest, most advanced knowledge and techniques to address the sophisticated needs of clients with a minimum net worth of $5 million. Unlike credentials that focus specifically on investing or financial planning, the CPWA program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.

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How It works

CPWA Certification Process

1​ Application

Submit the certification application and meet the prerequisites, which are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or one of the following certifications or licenses: CIMA®, RMA®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC® or a CPA license.

  • Five years of experience in financial services or delivering services to high-net-worth clients.

  • Successfully complete a comprehensive background check.

And select a registered education program:

  Chicago Booth Yale Online CPWA Intensive Prep
Member US$6,995 US$6,995 US$5,995
Nonmember1 US$7,390 US$7,390 US$6,390
1Includes one-year membership
2​ Education

Candidates complete the CPWA education requirement through a registered education program.

Depending on the registered education program you select, CPWA coursework can be completed through a combination of online and in-person executive education, or completely online.

Time Commitment:
To successfully prepare to sit for the Certification Examination, the recommended study time is 10-15 hours per week for approximately 6 months. Successful candidates report studying a total of 100-250 hours to prepare for the exam.

Upcoming Classes

Class Type Enrollment Deadline1 Online Education In-class Education Program2
Chicago Booth Enrollment Closed April 2020-October 2020 October 4-8, 2020
CPWA Intensive Prep June 19, 2020 June 2020-December 2020 December 8-10, 2020
Chicago Booth September 4, 2020 September 2020-March 2021 March 21-25, 2021
Yale Online N/A On Demand N/A

1Classes have limited capacity and may fill up before the enrollment deadline.
2Subject to change.

3​ Examination

Candidates complete the CPWA Certification Exam, a 4 hour-long, computer-based examination administered at local Pearson VUE testing centers.

The exam is comprised of 135 multiple-choice questions.

Completion of the education program is a requirement for CPWA certification. The content presented during the program is designed to be educational, and should not be solely relied upon for test preparation. Instructors do not have specific knowledge of exam questions.

4​ Certification
The final step is to sign a license agreement to adhere to the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility and the appropriate use of the certification marks.

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Why Earn a CPWA Certification?


Learn how the CPWA certification has increased certificants’ knowledge and skills as they work with high-net-worth clients and compare how the CPWA certification stacks up against the CIMA and other well-respected industry designations.


Ready to get started?

Apply for CPWA certification now or if you have additional questions, request more information.