CMSA® | Program Information

CFI’s Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA®) Certification Program will teach you the essential skills for successful careers in both the buy-side and sell-side of the capital markets. A deep understanding of financial instruments, securities, markets, and analytical methodologies is crucial for making informed investment decisions, managing risk, and optimizing returns in a complex global investment landscape.

The CMSA® program's self-paced, interactive lessons cover various asset classes, including fixed income, foreign exchange, commodities, equities, and derivatives, and the extensive curriculum emphasizes real-world applications, preparing learners for roles in Sales and Trading, Asset Management, Treasury, Research, Wealth Management, Risk Management, and Origination. Elevate your career with the CMSA® Certification, designed to navigate and thrive in the evolving landscape of global capital markets.

Skills You'll Gain

Fixed Income, Equities, Foreign Exchange, Commodities, Derivatives, Analytical Methodologies, and more.

CMSA Certifications are great for Sales and Trading, Asset and Portfolio Management, Wealth Management, Risk Management, Treasury, and more.

To enroll in the CMSA Certification Program, you must have an active Self-Study or Full-Immersion Subscription. Click here to review and select the subscription that best suits your needs!

No additional fees are required to earn your certification once you've enrolled.

CMSA Certification Requirements

Please click here and select "How it Works" to learn more about the requirements for earning your CMSA certification.

First and foremost: Sign the CFI Honor Pledge - Program candidates must sign and abide by the CFI Honor Pledge to receive and maintain program certification. Failure to abide by the CFI Honor Pledge will result in the revocation of one's certificates.

  • Step 1: Prep Courses (optional). Choose from the optional prep courses to learn or review the fundamentals.
  • Step 2: Core Courses and Case Studies. Complete 8 core courses to build a strong capital markets and securities foundation.
  • Step 3: Elective Courses. Choose at least seven electives to master more advanced topics and specialized lending concepts.
  • Step 4: Case Study Challenges (optional): Apply your knowledge and skills by solving real-world problems.
  • Step 4: Final Exam. 80% in each course assessment must be achieved to qualify for the final exam. Once complete, take the final exam and earn your certification. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass the final exam.
  • Step 5: Get CMSA® Certified! After completing the program, you will receive a blockchain-verified digital certificate with your new credentials.

CMSA Duration & Delivery Method

Lectures, study materials, and exams are all online and accessible worldwide, allowing the program to be completed anytime on a self-paced timeline. 

The estimated time to complete the CMSA Certification program is 60-100 hours.

CMSA Career Paths

The CMSA program is designed to teach the skills needed to excel as a capital markets & securities analyst, including skills used by buy-side and sell-side analysts at top global financial institutions. CMSA aims to provide the experience needed to make investment decisions and utilize appropriate trading strategies for different scenarios.

Some common career paths include the following:

  • Asset Management: Professional investment portfolio management for institutional clients, such as pension funds, life insurance companies, and mutual funds.
  • Wealth Management: Advising high-net-worth individuals and families on investments and planning.
  • Risk Management: Identify, analyze, develop, and communicate a framework of risk processes for an organization.
  • Origination: Sell-side roles advising organizations on their debt and equity options.
  • Research: Both sell-side and buy-side roles provide bottom-up research coverage on companies and top-down macro strategy and economic research.
  • Treasury: Forecasting and managing the working capital for corporations and creating strategies to mitigate the company's financial risk.
  • Sales and Trading: Institutional sales, market-making, and risk-taking of Fixed Income, Equities, FX, Commodities, and Financial Derivatives products.

Review our interactive career map for additional information about career paths.

CMSA Frequently Asked Questions

I took the course assessment more than once; what score will this record on my transcript?

  • We offer unlimited attempts on the course assessments. Your transcript will show a PASS or a FAIL for each test score.
Why is the total video time different than the number of course hours?
  • The hours included in the course description are the average study hours, including the time to watch lectures, download files, complete the exercises & assessments, etc.

Can I extend the two hours of the CMSA® final exam?

  • No, there are no extensions to exam duration - the final exam must be completed within two hours. There is no option to pause the timer once you have started.

Can I take more than seven elective courses?

  • Yes, of course! You may take as many electives as you'd like. There is no additional cost to take more than three.
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