Professional Designations

What Is an Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA)?

By  Ash and Pri

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An Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA) is a finance professional specializing in creating, managing, and growing investment portfolios. APMA credential holders are recognized in the industry as top experts in asset allocation, investment analysis, risk analysis, and other facets of investment management.  

This article will define the Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA) designation, why you should hire them, and what it takes to earn and maintain the APMA designation. 

What Is an Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA) Designation?

APMA certification is administered by the College For Financial Planning (CFFP), a Kaplan Financial Education company. CFFP is a well-respected organization that offers several professional designation programs, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA).

Professionals who pursue the APMA designation are typically highly experienced, with a background in financial planning and advice. The program teaches advanced portfolio management techniques, including portfolio theory, asset allocation, risk analysis, investing in mutual funds vs. index funds, retirement planning, debt funding, behavioral finance, and more.  

Should You Hire a Professional with an APMA Designation?

In today’s challenging market environment, investors must ensure that their portfolio is in good hands. APMA designees have the skills, education, and experience required to manage your portfolio for optimal performance. 

The APMA educational course trains and prepares professional advisors about the intricacies of portfolio creation, augmentation, and maintenance. Apart from core financial advice, APMA designees are trained in behavioral finance to handle emotions related to complex financial scenarios effectively. 

To ensure you are dealing with a trustworthy advisor, APMA applicants must disclose any criminal, civil, or other proceedings related to their professional conduct. CFFP thoroughly reviews each application before individuals receive the accreditation. 

Overall, whether you are just starting with investments, want to grow your existing portfolio, save taxes, or plan for retirement, an APMA designation holder can devise the right strategies to achieve your goals. 

What Does It Take to Earn and Maintain the APMA Designation?

There are no specific prerequisites to earn the APMA designation. APMA candidates must complete a self-study course and final exam within 120 days of receiving access to the program content. 

1. Education: The APMA program offered by CFFP is split into ten modules. The course currently costs $1,350. Students must complete all modules plus the examination within 120 days from registration

Students access the modules online and complete them at their own pace within 120 days after registration. Each module contains reading assignments, recorded video lectures, and quizzes. 

The modules cover all aspects of portfolio management. The topics include 

  • Investment Risk and Return Analysis
  • Modern Portfolio Theory and Performance Evaluation of Equities
  • Debt and Fixed-Income Features
  • Debt and Fixed Income Valuation and Analysis
  • Mutual Funds and Other Pooled Investments
  • Investing in Real Assets
  • Derivatives and Structured Products
  • Taxation of Investments and the Regulatory Environment
  • Ethical Considerations, Investment Strategies, and Retirement Needs Analysis
  • Behavioral Finance, Client Suitability, and Constructing Portfolios

Module quizzes contain 30 questions to test comprehension of the associated module, with detailed explanations available for incorrect answers. 

Students get an ebook as part of the course. Printed textbooks are not required, but one can be obtained for an additional $150 plus tax and shipping. 

2. Practice Exam: There is a practice exam to prepare students for the final exam. It is designed to replicate the final exam’s time limit, difficulty, and material.

3. Final Exam: The final exam contains 90 questions, and students must score at least 70% to attain the APMA designation successfully. There is a 3-hour time limit, and students can attempt the exam twice to improve their grades if they wish. 

4. Code of Ethics: APMA graduates must agree to abide by a code of ethics to obtain their designation. 

Students must not start using the designation marks right away. Upon completing the exam, it is necessary to apply and wait for authorization to use the APMA markings on business cards, advertisements, websites, etc. 

APMA designation holders must renew their credentials every two years to maintain up-to-date knowledge and maintain the credibility of the designation. Included below are the requirements to renew the designation.

1. Completing Continuing Education Credits: Designees must complete 16 hours of continuing education credits every two years to maintain use of the APMA markings and credentials. These can be completed at any CE provider, not necessarily from CFFP.  

2. Renewal Fee: Paying a $95 renewal fee 

3. Abiding by the Standards of Professional Conduct: Designees must abide by a minimum standard of acceptable behavior to maintain the designation. They must also disclose any inquiry or investigation related to their professional conduct. 

Featured Accredited Portfolio Management Advisors on Wealthtender

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below for a preview of APMA financial advisors who can work with you to develop a personalized financial plan.


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About the Author

Ash & Pri

Ash & Pri are the founders of AshandPri.com, where they empower readers to make smart money decisions across all aspects of life. 

After achieving their FIRE goals in their 30s, they launched their blogging business in late 2021 and scaled it up quickly to generate a consistent income within a few months. 

You can find their expert financial advice & tips featured on sites like Forbes, GoBankingRates, Apartment Therapy, MSN, and more.

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.