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About This Certificate

The goal of the Investment Foundations® Certificate is to provide a comprehensive overview of the investment industry and its structure, function, and role in global capital markets and society. You will learn real, tangible knowledge of the fundamentals of the industry, and receive a framework to better understand, solve, and communicate solutions for complex issues. Completion of all 6 courses makes you eligible to take the final assessment, which when passed confers an Investment Foundations® certificate.

Courses and Final Assessment

The courses and final assessment are recommended to be completed in the order that they appear. Course descriptions are provided below or you can view the full syllabus (PDF).

This course will introduce the structure of the investment industry, including types of institutions, functions of participants, and types of services. You will gain an appreciation of the benefits provided by the investment industry and the forces that affect its evolution, including technological innovations, the importance of ethics/ethical conduct, and an overview of the purpose and types of regulators and regulations that govern the industry.

This course will introduce primary and secondary markets and how they operate. It will also introduce decentralized finance, the concept of investment vehicles, how they are structured, and how those structures serve investors.

This course will introduce the types and characteristics of primary investment instruments, including equity securities (stocks), debt securities (bonds), alternative investments, and derivatives.

This course will enhance understanding of how investment professionals identify relevant information and how the analysis of that information affects their investment and financing decisions.

This course will introduce how investment firms serve clients’ investment needs, examine risk considerations and management, and look at how portfolio performance evaluation enables investment professionals and their clients to better understand sources of risks and returns.

You will be introduced to the benefits, key concepts, and approaches to ESG investing and its linkage to DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), as well as how ethical dilemmas that arise in practice can be addressed through an ethical decision-making framework.

The final assessment will be an online, unproctored assessment consisting of 100 multiple choice questions. You will have 2 attempts to complete the assessment.


No prerequisites are required for this certificate.

What You’ll Learn

Upon completion of this certificate you will be able to:

  • Enhance credibility within your organizations by having a newfound confidence and a basic understanding of the investment industry, including structure, functioning, ethical considerations, forces affecting its evolution, and commonly used vocabulary.
  • Elevate your ability to think critically, ask the right questions, and innovate in the investment industry.
  • Understand the foundational concepts, tools, and techniques needed in your career to open more doors.
  • Skillfully communicate and collaborate with and provide support to investment management professionals.
  • Clarify job roles and responsibilities of those in the investment industry with whom you work with daily.

Topics Covered

  • Investment Industry
  • Economics
  • Financial Analysis
  • Investment Management Strategies
  • Standards, Ethics, and Regulations