What is Wealth?

Wealth is the difference between the value of items owned by one and the sums owed to others by him. The value of items owned is known as “Assets” held by the person and the sums owed is categorized as “Liability” of a person. The difference between Assets and liabilities (Assets minus Liabilities) is the value of the “wealth” held by a person at any point of time. The wealth can also be termed as “Net worth”.

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 What is Wealth Management?

It will be evident that wealth management will involve increasing the value of assets and decreasing the liabilities over a period of time over the life of an individual. A wealth manager should understand the opportunities available to invest and grow the capital, and also the methods that can reduce the cost of carrying for the liability. He/she also should be able to plan a course of action keeping in mind the risk taking orientation (Both financial ability to take risk and the willingness to take the risk) of the client. A comprehensive plan to meet the client’s goal requires to be prepared and the recommended plan taken to fruition by rendering appropriate services for implementing and reviewing the plan at regular intervals during the plan’s life. A wealth manager essentially performs two roles:-

  1. Financial Planner
  2. Investment Portfolio Manager

In order to get oneself equipped with the skills and knowledge required for managing wealth, pursuing a certification course may help. This brings us to the question, which is the best certification available.

What is a Wealth Management Certification?

A wealth management certification is a professional title given to individuals who have demonstrated an industry-standard level of knowledge in financial planning, investments, and tax planning. Finance professionals who have earned wealth management certificates have demonstrated their understanding of the unique procedures, guidelines, and restrictions involved in creating wealth for high-net-worth individuals or enterprises. Wealth management certifications can focus on a specific component of wealth management, such as estate planning or business succession planning, or they might examine broad wealth management skills.

Choice of certification

Which is the Best Wealth Management Course in India 2022?

There are a large number of certifications available internationally mainly conducted by institutions based in the USA. The relevant programmes for India amongst these and those conducted by Indian institute is

  1. NISM SERIES XA & XB
  2. NSE Academy wealth management
  3. NISM and CRISIL Certified wealth manager
  4. Certified Financial Planner – Certification by FPSB India
  5. Chartered Financial Analyst – certification issued by CFA Institute USA
  6. Chartered Wealth Manager –Certification by AAFM India

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Evaluating the options:

1. NISM Series XA & XB:

Essentially designed to certify investment advisory skills based on clearing the exam. It is a self learning course split into 2 parts XA & XB. The exam tests skills of the students in financial planning as per the syllabus. Exams for XB can be taken only after clearing the XA exam. The certification tests the fundamentals of time value of money calculations and goal based planning of investments, the knowledge of products environment remains focused on mutual funds, insurance, equity and fixed income products. In my opinion the certification has more of an evidentiary value than a skill up gradation orientation. The time taken to acquire the certification may be as low as a month. The validity of the certification is for a period of 3 years.to renew the certification by taking the exam once again.

2. NSE Academy Wealth Management:

This certification from NSE academy is based on examination based on a prescribed syllabus covered by a workbook/ study material made accessible for the enrolled students. The course is designed to initiate the students to understand the nuances involved in financial planning activities and the regulations governing the capital markets. The certification covers the

elementary aspects of wealth management as of a particular date, as the certification has lifetime validity. The certification will serve more as a certificate developing the basic  capabilities of wealth management as of now, in the absence of a continuous education programme attached for renewal of the certification.

3. NISM and CRISIL Certified Wealth Manager:

This certification from NISM in partnership with CRISIL is awarded on passing an exam based on an online self learning module. The validity of the certification is for three years after which the same can be renewed by attending a 6 hour refresher course. Although the courseware deals with all aspects of wealth management, there is no requirement for upgrading one’s knowledge to keep the certification alive. This wealth management course in India,  like the above two options certifies proficiency as on a particular date and will have an evidentiary value and may not help an individual to keep abreast of current events post certification.

4. Certified Financial Planner:

This certification is awarded by the “Financial planning standards board”, India under the umbrella of FPSB, USA. This certification is offered across the globe and is accepted at an international level. The syllabus based curriculum is available in two modes namely (1) Self study, (2) through education providers licensed by FPSB. In the absence of a prescribed reading material, the standards and quality of learning may vary.

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The certification, unlike the above three certifications, insists on experience, ethics and education along with exams. The current awardees of the CFP certification will have to complete three modules (Investment planning, retirement & tax planning, risk and estate planning) followed by completing the advanced financial planning (an exam based on questions derived from a given case study). This exam equips one with the knowledge & quantitative skillets needed to analyze information gathered and prepare a goal based plan for a client.

The certification is renewable every year subject to completion of continuing education requirements. The license therefore comes with the onus on the certificant to remain updated on changes in the area of financial planning be it taxation, financial services regulation or investment climate. In short this certification ensures to a large extent that the practitioners using this certification remain alive to the changes taking place in their area.

5. Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®):

This certification issued by CFA Institute USA has international acceptance and is issued globally. The examination based certification spread over three levels primarily focuses on investment analysis, investment product evaluation, portfolio creation and management. The focus is more towards portfolio management than financial planning. The institute supplies the study material based on which the examination Is conducted. It may take 4 years for someone to get the certification as exams are conducted semiannually. The certificate awarded is for life and there is no

pressure on the certificant to update them. It is a preferred certification for people like fund managers, security research and analysis

6. Chartered Wealth Manager® (CWM®):

this certification is awarded by American Academy of Financial Management India and is given on clearing the 2 level examinations. The exam questions are based on the workbook/study material issued by the academy. In order to ensure that the education part is completed diligently by the students, the students are requested to spend the requisite time in going through the unit contents and attempt the unit level quiz at the end. The students before being allowed to appear for each level have to pass the unit test. This is a feature which to a large extent ensures that the prescribed rigor for education is completed.

This certification is also based on the need for education, experience and exam for getting the certification. The certification has to be renewed annually after successfully earning credit points. The stipulation of credit points is to ensure that the certificate holders take effort to educate themselves on the current trends in the area of wealth management.

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The unique feature of this certification is that before awarding the certificate the academy wants the candidate to present a wealth management plan in respect of any person known to them. The project of submitting a plan to a large degree ensures that candidates are able to make a presentation of skills developed through education. The certification equips people with knowledge and skill sets needed to advise people on financial planning & investment portfolio management.

Conclusion

In conclusion we can say that it is difficult to rate one of the courses as the best as all the courses discussed above are from the stable of reputed institutions including the regulatory institutes. Based on the quality of contents of course ware, real life case study, continuing education requirements, academic support systems and the comprehensive coverage of wealth management aspects then AAFM® Certified CWM® could be said to be the best Wealth Management Course in India

Snap Shot View of Various Certifications on Wealth Management
 CERTIFICATION NAME  
S.noEVALUATION PARAMETERNISM XA &XBNSE ACADEMYNISM &CRISILCFP®CFA®CWM®REMARKS
1INSTITITUTION OFFERING PROGRAMMENISMNSENISM &CRISILFPSB INDIACFA INSTITUTEAAFM® INDIA 
2DURATION2-4 Months2 Months3-5 Months4-6 MonthsAround 4 years4-6 MonthsApproximate
3EDUCATIONYESYESYESYESYESYESMUST
4WORKBOOKYESYESYESNOYESYES  
5ACADEMIC SUPPORT LECTURESNONONONONOYES  
6ACADEMIC SUPPORT VIDEOSNONONONONOYES  
7E LEARNING MODULESNONONONOYESYES  
8EXPERIENCE REQUIREDNONONOYESNOYES  
9ETHICSNONONOYESNOYES  
10EXAMYESYESYESYESYESYES  
11CERTIFICATION RENEWALIN 3 YEARSNO3 YEARSANNUALNOANNUAL  
12CASE STUDY SUBMISSIONNONONONONOYES  
13CONTINUING EDUCATION STIPULATIONNONOYESYESNOYES  
14INTERNATIONAL ACCEPTANCENONONOYESYESYES  

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