The Institute of Business & Finance:
Based in La Jolla CA, The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) provides online education in five world-renowned financial Designation Programs, including Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS), and more. In addition to our distance learning designation programs, we also offer Certificate programs designed for financial advisors, and a Masters Degree in Financial Services.
Distance Learning Financial Designation Programs:
Certified Fund Specialist Program (CFS)
The Certified Fund Specialist® designation, the oldest in the mutual fund industry, enables finance professionals to construct client portfolios using modern portfolio theory to evaluate financial measurements and benchmarks.
When you study at IBF, you will learn how each part of a portfolio interacts with the others and will review criteria such as alpha, beta, correlation coefficient, first-auto correlation, R-squared, and standard deviation in the selection process.
After training, you will be able to create an efficient portfolio using close-end, exchange-traded, and open-end funds and, more importantly, convey important concepts to a client. This is what sets the CFS® program apart. Students obtain both theoretical and practical information.
Certified Annuity Specialist Program (CAS)
We also offer the Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS), the oldest annuity designation. The comprehensive CAS program encompasses the traditional as well as the newer aspects of fixed-rate and variable products.
Because close to a third of all annuity contracts are not properly titled, the program includes an extensive section on titling options and the impact each has on estate and income taxes. Students who earn the Certified Annuity Specialist designation will find that their EIA, traditional fixed-rate and variable annuities knowledge rises to a whole new level.
Certified Estate and Trust Specialist (CES)
The CES designation will teach you exactly what you need to know about estate planning and asset repositioning implementation. You will learn about estate planning goals, beneficiaries, wills and probates, retirement accounts, taxes and trusts, living trusts, wills, and post-mortem guidelines. In addition, you’ll gain sophisticated knowledge about control trusts, incapacity, and funerals.
Certified Income Specialist (CIS)
The CIS designation program at IBF is an intermediate-to-advanced course on investment concepts, cash reserves, FDIC coverage, utilities, preferreds, bonds, and other income-oriented options that are of concern to your clientele. IBF's CIS program is unique because we take taxes, academic research, real-world examples, plus investor psychology into account; and we update program content throughout the year to reflect new trends and studies.
Certified Tax Specialist (CTS)
The Certified Tax Specialist (CTS) program is the first of its kind—designed to give the financial advisor the knowledge necessary to provide ways to reduce taxable income. The subject of taxes is commonly viewed as boring and futile. By using real world examples, the CTS student is able to quickly understand important concepts and strategies that will serve him or her for life.
Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) Degree
While other Masters programs provide a great deal of theory, that theory often has little relevance or applicability to an advisor's actual practice. Graduate-degree business courses often include real-world case studies, but their fact patterns have little to do with estate, financial, investment or tax planning outside of academia.
Like each designation offered by IBF, our MSFS program focuses on the practical. Students gain knowledge that can be used in their daily practice during and after their time at our financial planning school. The core of the MSFS curriculum is its certification programs.
Students can personalize their studies by selecting course electives that reflect their advisory and brokerage practice, whether they want to receive mutual fund, estate planning or annuity education. The IBF MSFS was the first—and remains the only—graduate program to be designed by practitioners for practitioners.
Online Certificate Programs:
Certificate in Alternative Investments
The Alternative Investments certificate course teaches you if, when, and how alternative investments fit within a portfolio. Alternative investments are important because they help your clients reduce risk. Despite what is generally believed, most alternative strategies are designed to experience modest-to-moderate annual returns while exhibiting low standard deviations.
The Divorce certificate course teaches you the financial impact of divorce in the modern world and how it affects your clients' wealth. This course is easy to understand because we describe divorce from two perspectives.
The first is from your perspective as the advisor. You'll learn what you are responsible for and how to best perform your duty. The second is from the client's perspective, so you can help inform them of what to expect during the divorce process.
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