Institute of Business and Finance

Institute of Business and Finance
Type Financial Services Education Provider
Industry Financial Services, Finance, Education
Headquarters San Diego [United States, US]
Products CFS, CAS, CIS, BCE, CTS, MSFS
Website www.icfs.com

The Institute of Business and Finance (IBF) is a financial training institute providing online financial and educational materials, certification programs and support to the financial community and general public.

IBF grants several designations including the Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS), Certified Income Specialist (CIS), Certified Tax Specialist (CTS), Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE), and a Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS). The IBF claims more than 13,000 IBF designation holders worldwide and several dozen Fortune 500 companies have participated in one or more IBF programs.[1]

Contents

History

The Institute of Business & Finance was founded in 1988 with the launch of the Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) certification program. The Institute was founded by a group of financial planners and registered representatives with the focus of building a practitioner focused learning program that will help designation holders develop real financial expertise.

Mission statement

“IBF’s mission is to enhance the professionalism of financial advisors through education and certification programs in a manner that fosters integrity, commitment to improvement and excellent service.[2]

Certifications

Certified Annuity Specialist

Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS) is the oldest designation offered by the Institute of Business & Finance.[3] The certification serves as an indication of an individual's expertise in fixed-rate and variable annuities.[4]

Founded eight years ago, the Certified Annuity Specialist title is the most established designation in the annuity industry.[3]

Curriculum

The CAS program consists of six modules. Each module covers various mutual fund related topics and takes 23 hours or less to complete.[5]

Module I – Fixed-Rate and Variable Annuities, Income Taxes: Funds vs. Annuities
Module II – Annuity Features, History, Company Mechanics, Annuitization, Ratings, Income Taxes, Variable Annuity Subaccounts
Module III – Contract Structure, Estate Considerations, and Tax Treatment
Module IV – Reasons to Like Annuities, Annuities vs. Funds, and Living Benefits
Module V – Equity-Indexed Annuities, Fundamentals, Product Design, Considerations, Due Diligence
Module VI – Subaccount Management, Selection, Basics of Asset Allocation, The Efficient Frontier, Optimal Asset Allocation, Core Satellite Strategy, Retirement Income and Living Benefits

Certified Fund Specialist

The Certified Fund Specialist (CFS) certification serves as an indication of an individual's expertise in mutual funds and the mutual fund industry.[6]

The CFS is the fourth oldest financial designation in the financial services industry and the oldest designation in the mutual fund industry, coming into existence in 1988[1]. In total, more than 11,000 financial service professionals have completed the CFS program.[7]

Curriculum

The CFS program consists of six modules. Each module covers various mutual fund related topics and takes 23 hours or less to complete.[8]

Module I – Regulation, Structure, Expenses, and Titling
Module II – Management and Fund Selection, Risk Management, Equities, Fixed-Income & Hybrids
Module III – Tax-Free Bonds, Money Market, Specialty Categories, and Time Value Analysis
Module IV – Asset Categories, Market Indicators, CEFs, ETFs, and REITs
Module V – Risk, Timing the Market, When to Sell, and Taxation
Module VI – Basics of Asset Allocation, The Efficient Frontier, Optimal Asset Allocation, Core-Satellite Strategy, Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT)

Certified Income Specialist

The CIS program consists of six modules. Each module covers various income related topics and takes 23 hours or less to complete.

Module I – Investment Concepts and Principles
Module II – Bond Building Blocks, Convertibles, and Riding the Yield Curve
Module III – Retirement Planning and Planning for Death
Module IV – Income Taxes, Social Security, and Medicare
Module V – Stocks, Utilities, Real Estate, Withdrawal Plans, and Living Benefits
Module VI – ETFs, Closed-End Funds, Conservative Options, Stretch IRAs, and Reverse Mortgages

Certified Tax Specialist

The CTS program consists of six modules. Each module covers various tax related topics and takes 23 hours or less to complete.

Module I – The Individual Tax Return, Gross Income, and Exclusions
Module II – Business Expenses, Retirement Plans, Self-Employed and Employee Expenses
Module III – Itemized Deductions, Incentives, Credits, and Special Taxes
Module IV – Accounting Periods and Depreciation Methods
Module V – Capital Gains and Losses
Module VI – Estimated Payments, Payroll Taxes, Administration, and Tax Planning

Certified Estate and Trust Specialist

The CES program consists of six modules. Each module covers various estate planning techniques and takes 23 hours or less to complete.

Module I – Ownership, Beneficiaries, Children, Wills, Probate, and Living Trusts
Module II – POD Designations, Life Insurance, Retirement Benefits, plus Estate and Gift Taxes
Module III – Ongoing, Tax Saving, Generation Skipping, Charitable, and Combination Trusts
Module IV – Control Trusts, Incapacity, plus Body and Organ Donations
Module V – Estate Settlement, the First Month After Death, and Deciphering the Will
Module VI – Managing Assets and Paying Bills, Taxes, and Trust Termination

Masters of Science in Financial Services

See also

Institute of Business and Finance

References


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