Investment management is the professional management of shares and bonds and other tradable financial assets, as well as physical assets such as real estate. Investment analysts and managers, the professionals behind this activity, typically focus on maximizing the wealth of investors, who may be private citizens or institutions.
Although academic degrees in finance, business or investment management remain a solid route for individuals looking to start a career in investment management, you can also get started by obtaining professional qualification. One such qualification is the Investment Management Certificate (IMC).
Read on to learn how you can acquire the IMC qualification.
1. Getting Started
For starters, the IMC is offered by the CFA Society of the UK and it is a widely recognized credential. Given that it is held by over 15, 000 professionals, there is no doubt the IMC is the benchmark credential for people who want to enter and excel in the investment management profession.
Being an entry-level credential, you don’t need any postsecondary credential in order to get it. Although the CFA society doesn’t list any minimum eligibility requirements for this credential, it is advisable to have a good secondary education. As a rule of thumb, having three GCSEs, including one in math, is crucial to being a successful investment management professional.
2. Registering and Preparing for the Examination
After reaching a decision on whether the IMC qualification is suitable for you, you must register for the exam online through the Society’s website. The process involves:
- Choosing the exam units you wish to take – There are two units (investment environment and investment practice) which can be take separately or in one sitting.
- Providing your personal details – This includes submitting your official names and postal address.
- Paying for the chosen units – Investment environment costs £230 and investment practices costs £240.
After completing the registration, the next step is to, of course, schedule and take the exam. But first you must prepare yourself adequately, right?
So you have to take your time, peruse through all the relevant course materials, and then declare yourself ready to come face to face with the exam.
One way to study for the ICM exam is to purchase investment environment and investment practice booklets, both which are published by CFA UK. The Society recommends that you spend at least 80 hours studying for investment environment and 120 hours for investment practice.
There are also commercial training providers who can give you a solid preparation for the exam. They include:
3. Scheduling the Examination
Finally, you can schedule to take the IMC examination. CFA UK has partnered with Pearson Education, which it uses to offer ICM and other examinations. Therefore, you must schedule the exam online through Pearson’s website, after which you will sit for the computer-based exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.
Between July and September, the number of people taking the IMC exam is significantly high. If you wish to take the exam during this period, CFA UK recommends you schedule at least six weeks in advance.
At the end of the exam, you will receive a provisional printout of your results. Official results will be sent to your postal address within 21 days.
That is all you need to do to get your IMC qualification. With it, you can join CFA UK as an IMC member or proceed to pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Good luck!