Professional Designations

What is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA)?

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals who pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

The Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) certification is designed for wealth managers who work with high-net-worth individuals. These professionals focus on the cycle of wealth, which includes accumulation, preservation, and distribution. Let’s take a closer look at what this designation is, what it takes to earn it, and how you may benefit from working with a CPWA. 

What is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA)?

High-net-worth individuals have unique needs that require wealth managers with more than a basic financial planning background. Offered by the Investments & Wealth Institute, the CPWA certification is an advanced credential created for wealth managers who specifically advise high-net-worth clients.  

CPWAs understand the challenges of high-net-worth individuals and use their knowledge and training to help them monetize and protect their assets, reduce their tax burden, optimize growth, and transfer wealth. They are experts in portfolio management, family dynamics, asset protection, charitable giving, estate planning, and retirement planning. 

Should You Hire a CPWA?

If you have a net worth of more than $5 million, a CPWA can be an invaluable resource. This type of professional may develop strategies that allow you to grow and protect your assets. They may also educate you on how to reduce taxes and transition your wealth to others.

You can also count on a CPWA to help you make difficult or emotional financial decisions. If you’ve had minimal to no success with traditional wealth advisors in the past or could use the guidance of a professional who understands your specific concerns and issues, a CPWA is definitely worth considering. 

What Does it Take to Earn and Maintain the CPWA?

Those who hope to earn a CPWA designation must fulfill certain requirements set forth by the Investments & Wealth Institute. Here’s a brief overview of what they are.

CPWA Education and Experience Requirements

The Investments & Wealth Institute requires that all CPWA candidates hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or one of the following designations or licenses: CIMA, CIMC, CFA, CFP, ChFC, RMA, or CPA license. In addition, candidates must have a clean regulatory record and five years of experience in the financial services industry or a track record of serving high-net-worth clients.

CPWA Training and Exam Requirements

Once accepted into the CPWA program, candidates must undergo a rigorous educational program at a top 25 global business school such as the Yale School of Management or Chicago Booth School of Business. The program is based on a number of advanced wealth management topics like portfolio management, tax planning, risk management, and asset protection. After they complete it, they need to pass a comprehensive five-hour exam with 125 multiple-choice questions and 10 unscored, pretest questions.

CPWA Ethics & Continuing Education Requirements

CPWA professionals must comply with the Institute Code of Professional Responsibility, which outlines their role and responsibilities to the client. They must also complete 40 hours of continuing education, which includes two hours of ethics education and one tax and regulations hour every two years. 

How To Find The Best Certified Private Wealth Advisor For You 

You’ll find a growing number of CPWAs featured on Wealthtender and you can also search the directory of CPWA designation holders on the Investments & Wealth Institute website located here.

FAQs

How can I confirm the financial professional I’m working with holds the Certified Private Wealth Advisor designation?

You can confirm the status of a CPWA designation holder on the Investments & Wealth Institute website located here.

What if I have a complaint about the Certified Private Wealth Advisor I’m working with?

If you have a complaint about a CPWA designation holder, visit this link to learn complaint procedures.

I’m a Certified Private Wealth Advisor interested in joining Wealthtender. How should I get started?

Thanks for your interest joining Wealthtender. We’re excited to help CPWAs attract their ideal clients who discover them on Wealthtender. Click here to get started.

Where can I learn more about other professional designations held by financial advisors and coaches?

Refer to this list of popular financial certifications prepared by Wealthtender to help you learn more about each designation. You’ll find a brief description of each certification, plus links to in-depth articles if you want to learn more about a particular designation.


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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals who pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

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