What Is Wealth Management?

Wealth management involves Managing the personal balance sheet of a person by strategizing for increasing the value of assets while decreasing the liabilities over a period of time i.e. over the life of an individual.  The increases in value of assets should be such that when life goal events occur there are sufficient assets which can be liquidated easily without incurring additional cost.

What is the role of a wealth manager?

The wealth manager will be looking at identifying the life goals likely to occur on a future date, give it a monetary value likely to be required on the date of occurrence, plan the investment of surpluses in a way that the amount estimated is available on the future date. It is also expected of the wealth manager to create a plan for transfer of accumulated assets that are transferred to the heirs in an orderly fashion with the least cost.

The above narrative can boil down to four critical areas which a wealth manager will have to take care:

  1. Decide on the rate of return on the portfolio construct required factoring in inflation, risk proclivities of the client etc
  2. The liquidity features of the investment vehicle chosen and its compatibility with the risk orientation of the client.
  3. Tax efficiency so that higher post tax income is available to the client
  4. Estate Planning functions so that the residual assets gets transferred with minimum charge

This will entail gaining proficiency in the art of understanding the needs and desires of the client to set life goals, knowledge of the available investment avenues and risks and return potentials associated with them, behavioral characteristic of the client and of course the resource available now and likely to be available in future to construct a meaningful  wealth plan.

In order to get oneself equipped with the skills and knowledge required for managing wealth, pursuing a certification course leading to chartered wealth manager accreditation from a reputed organization would help. To my knowledge the only chartered accreditation available in India is from American Academy of Financial Management leading to award of CWM®.  The details and way to acquire this accreditation is discussed below:

Name of the course:       CWM( R) (Chartered Wealth Manager ( R ))

Certificate provider:      American Academy of Financial Management India, New Delhi



Eligibility Criteria for Wealth Management Certification Courses in India

Education followed by Exam:     The courseware designed for e learning consists of two levels. Candidates are expected to go through the contents (available through the e-learning portal) and pass the mock test at the end of each level to become eligible for appearing in the exam. The final exams are conducted on a multiple choice question answer model online. In short, to become eligible to take the exam one has to go through the courseware and prove minimum proficiency by clearing the mock test.

Experience and live case study- prerequisite for awarding certificate:  The certificate, after clearing the two levels, is awarded to candidates  submitting a wealth plan based on a live case study data collected by them and the same being found in order by the board approving the certification. There is an option for people having 3-5 years experience in the area of dealing in investment products to take the level 2 exams directly by skipping level 1. However they also have to submit a wealth plan.

Quality of course content: The contents created are approved by AAFM USA and have international acceptance. It is also approved for registering under the Investment Advisor Regulation 2013 of SEBI. The people who have completed the certification feel that the contents are of international standard adopted to the Indian environment and cover comprehensively all the required knowledge and skill sets to become a trustworthy wealth manager. Please visit the website (www.aafmindia.co.in) to look up the syllabus.

Academic support: AAFM while providing authentic e- learning modules for learning at one’s own pace also arranges lectures on some of the areas to give a practical orientation to the learning. These lectures are invariably delivered by experts. The academy provides query resolution or problem solving support to the registered candidates. The vibrant team at AAFM ensures that resolution/clarification on the queries raised are given promptly.


In conclusion we can say that CWM from AAFM India probably is the only certification conferring the chartered wealth manager title in India. 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 the best choice for obtaining the certification would  be the AAFM Certified CWM ( R ).

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