AAMS Certification

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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AAMS Certification

If you’re thinking about a future in financial services, obtaining the accredited asset management specialist (AAMS) certification may be an essential step in your career.

This guide explains the vital aspects of the AAMS certification, including its significance, the process required to earn it, and how to decide if it’s the right choice for your career path.

Keep reading if you’re an aspiring financial advisor, investment professional, or just interested in enhancing your asset management skills to better understand what the AAMS certification could mean for your future.

What is AAMS Certification

The AAMS certification is a specialized qualification aimed at financial professionals, such as financial advisors, investment managers, and asset management specialists.

By earning this certification, individuals can enhance their skills in asset management and demonstrate a commitment to professional development and industry standards.

Here are a few reasons why you might decide to obtain this designation:

  • Professional Recognition: It’s well-regarded within the financial services industry and even considered a benchmark for expertise, making it a sought-after credential
  • Career Advancement: As a recognized mark of expertise, it can open doors to new positions within financial planning and asset management as well as grant holders extra leverage during salary negotiations
  • Broad Curriculum: Its wide array of topics ensure AAMS certification holders develop the multifaceted skill set necessary to handle real-world financial situations, making them valuable assets to both clients and employers

The AAMS certification is a great stepping stone for those looking to specialize in asset management and personal finance because it offers both credibility and a solid understanding of the industry’s essential aspects.

While many candidates struggle with the complexity of the AAMS’s final exam, it’s by no means an insurmountable obstacle. The key to exam success lies in using the right tools and guidance, such as reputable study materials, prep courses, and mock exams crafted to mirror the exam’s content outline.

Recommended Study Materials

Interested in starting your AAMS studies? We recommend having a look at Kaplan’s in-depth study materials.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Financial

How to Become an AAMS

Despite a lack of strict educational prerequisites, AAMS candidates will need to satisfy a number of stringent requirements in order to obtain this certification.

Below, you’ll find more details on the steps you must take in order to become an AAMS.

Educational Requirements

While there are no strict educational prerequisites to become an AAMS, a background in finance, economics, or investment management is recommended due to the duties and responsibilities associated with this position.

Enrollment and Study Materials

The certification process begins with enrollment via the College for Financial Planning website where you also can choose printed study materials during checkout. Once enrolled, you’ll have access to a 120-day study window for testing.

The college also provides various study resources, such as online quizzes, practice exams, and webinars to aid in your preparation.

Exam Details

Candidates take the AAMS exam online through a designated platform provided by the College for Financial Planning. This exam tests candidates on their knowledge of topics such as retirement deferred compensation and benefit and estate planning for investment clients fiduciary and ethical issues.

The exam contains 80 questions, requires a 70% score to pass, and has a three-hour time limit. Candidates also have two attempts to pass it and will receive their results immediately after they’ve completed the exam.

Certification Maintenance

Upon passing the AAMS exam, candidates will receive an official AAMS certificate via mail. The work doesn’t end here, though; you’ll also need to complete 16 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain this certification.

Ready to get started? StateRequirement recommends having a look at Kaplan’s study materials and resources.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Financial

Is the AAMS Certification Right for You?

All in all, the AAMS certification’s specialized focus on asset management and personal finance makes it distinct among the many other financial planning designations. As such, it’s a great way to equip yourself with targeted skills and knowledge that’ll set you apart in the industry.

However, determining if it’s the right choice for you requires careful consideration of a number of other factors. These include:

  • Certification Focus: The AAMS certification is specifically designed for financial planners, portfolio managers, and investment advisors who wish to concentrate on investment performance asset allocation, including wealth preservation, asset management process risk, and how to tailor financial planning to individual clients.
  • Real-World Application and Partnerships: Unlike other certifications, the AAMS designation emphasizes real-life scenarios and case studies. The College for Financial Planning collaborated with top investment firms to develop its AAMS content, ensuring the curriculum remains relevant to current industry trends and needs.
  • Comparison with Other Certifications: If you’re considering the AAMS certification, it’s essential to understand how it compares to similar qualifications like the certified financial planner (CFP) designation because there may be a better option available to you. 
  • Required Investment and Commitment: Becoming an AAMS requires a substantial investment of both time and money. It’s not only about passing an exam, but also committing to a specialized field within financial planning. Be sure to consider the costs, required study hours, and how this certification aligns with your career goals before making this significant decision.

Choosing to pursue the AAMS certification means committing to a specialized field within financial planning. It’s not a generic qualification, but a targeted and demanding process for those specifically interested in asset management. Understanding these unique aspects will help you determine if the AAMS certification aligns with your professional aspirations.

Ready to get started? StateRequirement recommends having a look at Kaplan’s study materials and resources.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Financial

AAMS Certification FAQ

Is an AAMS better than a CFP?

The AAMS and CFP certifications serve different purposes. The AAMS designation focuses specifically on asset management, offering specialized training for professionals like financial planners, portfolio managers, and investment advisors. The CFP designation, on the other hand, offers a broader scope that covers various aspects of financial planning. The choice between the two will depend on your specific career goals and areas of interest.

What is an AAMS certification?

The AAMS certification is a professional designation financial professionals can earn if they want to specialize in asset management. It’s recognized within the industry and provides unique opportunities for career advancement and growth in the fields of investment and asset management.

What does AAMS stand for in financial advice?

AAMS stands for accredited asset management specialist. It represents a commitment to expertise in the field of asset management and signifies specialized knowledge and skills in the products for investment clients estate planning. AAMS certification holders can provide personalized investment strategies, wealth preservation advice, and benefit plans insurance products tailored to each client.

What is the passing rate for the AAMS exam?

The passing rate for the AAMS exam can vary over time, depending on various factors like the preparation level of the candidates and changes in the exam’s difficulty. Consult the College for Financial Planning website or other reliable sources for the most up-to-date information on this exam’s passing rate.

What is the difference between a certified financial planner and an advisor?

A certified financial planner (CFP) meets specific requirements to offer comprehensive planning services. An advisor is a broader term that includes various professionals like investment advisors or wealth managers. The difference lies in their specialization and services. Interested in learning more? Check out our How to Become a Wealth Manager article.

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For all related articles, have a look at our Financial Advisor Resources page.