Certifications are growing in popularity among advisors.

The American College of Financial Services has launched a new designation focused on goals-based investment management. The Wealth Management Certified Professional (or WMCP) curriculum aims to provide advisors familiar with the fundamentals of planning with more comprehensive knowledge of applied wealth management techniques.

“We designed the curriculum to build knowledge in concepts that go beyond a traditional investment education by focusing on how investments can be used to meet the goals of individual investors,” said Michael Finke, dean and chief academic officer at The American College, in a statement.

“No other designation provides such a deep overview of tax strategies, financial instruments commonly used by advisors, applied behavioral finance, sophisticated wealth management techniques, and an in-depth overview of estate, charitable, and small-business planning issues faced by wealth managers,” said Finke, a regular contributor to Research on Wealth and ThinkAdvisor.

The designation covers topics such as financial economics, including portfolio and life-cycle theory, as well as applied techniques related to issues such as:

  • Creating tax-efficient, diversified investment portfolios to fund future client goals;
  • Analyzing a broad range of financial instruments;
  • Evaluating the unique wealth management needs of business owners and executives;
  • Developing strategies to meet estate and charitable planning goals; and
  • Incorporating behavioral finance to improve client outcomes.

The WMCP program uses five simulations for teaching wealth and investment management concepts so advisors can benefit from experiential learning.

Some of the main subjects covered in the simulations are life-cycle planning strategies, asset allocation and asset location decisions, and research-based investment analysis.

In addition, case-study simulations aim to get students to prioritize and evaluate relevant factors for wealth management decisions at different stages of a client’s life cycle.

The program was designed by Finke, Wade Pfau, David Blanchett and more than 20 other professionals. It incorporates video instruction, along with with faculty, animation and interviews.

The American College of Financial Services was founded in 1927 and has educated one in five financial advisors across the United States.

It offers designations like the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and education leading to the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. 

The organization recently conferred doctorates in financial and retirement planning to its first class of graduates.