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Course/Product Description

Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®)

Format: Self-Study Course

Certified Fund Specialist®  (CFS®)

The Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) designation is the oldest designation in the mutual fund industry. More than 11,000 members of the financial services community have already completed the program. You can begin your path to becoming a Certified Fund Specialist® when you enroll in an IBF program today.

Your competitors offer mutual funds as a simple and effective way to invest. Yet few advisors and brokers really understand how funds interact with other parts of the portfolio or how this investment vehicle should be analyzed. As a Certified Fund Specialist®, you'll learn criteria such as alpha, beta, correlation coefficient, first-auto correlation, R-squared, and standard deviation that should be incorporated in the selection process.

With mutual funds training, a Certified Fund Specialist® is able to evaluate and compare financial measurements and benchmarks when constructing a portfolio. Modern portfolio theory (MPT) is a key part of the program; its components are broken down and detailed in terms the advisor can easily understand and convey to a client. Armed with MPT and other selection criteria learned as part of the mutual fund education, a suitable and efficient portfolio using closed-end, exchange-traded, and open-end funds can be derived.

Practitioners and academics continually update the CFS® materials. Students obtain the best of both worlds—the practical as well as the theoretical. Closed-end funds, ETFs, REITs and UITs are also covered, thereby providing the student with a more rounded education. With this additional investment knowledge, advisors and brokers offer ideas to clients that they would not receive elsewhere. Discover for yourself what benefits a Certified Fund Specialist® designation can bring to you and your clients.

Program Format

The CFS® course, exams, and case study highlight what the practitioner faces daily. Whether you are an accountant, advisor, banker, broker, money manager, or planner, you will reap immediate rewards in return for your commitment of time and study. Because the teaching materials are designed to also be used in your daily practice, each program is updated throughout the year.

Core Structure

  • The CFS® program consists of six modules
  • Each module takes 23 hours or less to complete
  • Materials include all study and exam preparation
  • There are three non-cumulative exams and one case study


  • Each exam is based on two modules
  • Each exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions
  • More than one exam can be taken at a time

Case Study

  • A written case study is required
  • The case study is based on a one-page fact pattern provided by IBF
  • The case study answer must be two to five pages


  • Module I – Regulation, Structure, Expenses, and Titling
  • Module II – Management and Fund Selection
  • Module III – Tax-Free Bonds, Money Market, Specialty Categories, and Time Value Analysis
  • Module IV – Asset Categories, Market Indicators, CEFs, ETFs, and REITs
  • Module V – Risk, Timing the Market, When to Sell, and Taxation
  • Module VI – Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT)

Course Materials

Tuition includes registration, tuition, textbooks, review questions, online practice exams, reference sheets, exams, diploma and shipping (overnight shipping available for additional charge).

Textbooks will be shipped to you within 5-7 business days of your paid registration.

Qualifying to Obtain the Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) designation

To view the requirements for the CFS®, please click here.

Continuing Education

This program is approved for continuing education (CE) credit to meet a candidate's professional development requirements. Approvals are subject to change, and the student is responsible for confirming the credits approved for a given state or organization.

Licenses / Designations / Educational Credits:CFP Board
All US States: 15

All US States: 60

Board of Accountancy
California: 60

Alabama: 38
Arizona: 32
Arkansas: 20
California: 32
Colorado: 32
Connecticut: 21
DC: 21
Delaware: 21
Florida: 23
Georgia: 30
Hawaii: 2
Idaho: 24
Indiana: 32
Iowa: 12
Kansas: 12
Kentucky: 32
Louisiana: 24
Maine: 60
Maryland: 16
Massachusetts: 49
Michigan: 30
Minnesota: 30
Mississippi: 24
Missouri: 16
Montana: 12
Nebraska: 21
Nevada: 30
New Hampshire: 25
New Jersey: 24
New Mexico: 32
New York: 15
North Carolina: 32
North Dakota: 32
Ohio: 20
Oregon: 24
Pennsylvania: 42
Rhode Island: 21
South Carolina: 15
Tennessee: 24
Utah: 12
Vermont: 24
Virginia: 24
West Virginia: 24
Wisconsin: 21
About The Provider: This course is developed and fulfilled by The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF). After more than 20 years of experience helping more than 15,000 finance professionals earn designations, IBF has developed effective course materials to help you apply core concepts of estate planning to real-life situations.

When you earn an IBF designation, you will gain both theoretical and practical knowledge that can be conveyed to your clients, boosting your credibility and professionalism. As a student, you will have the flexibility to study whenever you like. The expert faculty and staff at IBF are ready to help you earn your certification today.

Returns Policy
Fees paid, less shipping, miscellaneous fees and non-refundable processing, are refundable within 30 days of enrollment according to the schedule below, provided no exams have been taken. If one exam has been taken, a 50% refund applies. No refunds are given if more than one exam has been taken.

If the student cancels or withdraws within five days of enrollment, IBF shall issue a refund within five days after IBF receives notice of withdrawal and materials. Otherwise, IBF shall issue a refund within 30 days after IBF receives notice of withdrawal and materials.

*Please note: materials must be returned to IBF in perfect re-sellable condition to be considered for a refund. Materials with markings in them will not be considered for a refund.
Price: $1,365.00
Applicable Discounts:Required VolumeDiscountPrice
 Qty: 5 - Qty: 9$50.00$1,315.00
 Qty: 10$100.00$1,265.00
More Info: Contact Us For More Information
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Keywords For This Course:

CFS, Certified Fund Specialist, Mutual Fund Training

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