Investment Management Theory & Practice

Build your business with Yale’s comprehensive and convenient path to CIMA certification

A CIMA® Certification Registered Education Course (online)


Investment: $4,500
Format: Video lectures supplemented by proprietary study materials to enrich learning. Participants are given access for one year, but most should complete the entire process (Level I, II and III) within 4-6 months.

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Jim Dobbs, Program Director

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The prestigious Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA) certification can be a key advantage for investment professionals. Yale School of Management’s fully online Investment Management Theory and Practice program can help you ensure you’ve positioned yourself for success.

  • Learn from leading Yale faculty and industry experts.
  • Complete all three levels of the certification process faster and more conveniently with our unique, start-to-finish online program.
  • Study materials specifically designed to help prepare for and pass each CIMA level exam delivered in a variety of tools suited for various learning styles.

Who should enroll?

Ideal candidates for CIMA Certification include:

  • Investment advisors
  • Investment consultants
  • Financial advisors
  • Financial planners
  • Asset and wealth managers
  • Financial services professionals

CIMA candidates may enroll in the Investment Management Theory and Practice online program at any point during candidacy – given current status as a CIMA candidate in good standing. CIMA registration number required at time of enrollment.  If you are not yet a CIMA candidate in good standing, please start the process here.

Graduates of Yale’s CIMA® registered education course who took the Level III certification exam for the first-time in May (2017) had a pass rate of 70% compared to the 57% national pass rate for first-time testers in the same testing window. The Yale student pass rate was calculated using data collected from students and confirmed using the “Find a CIMA Professional” search tool on IMCA’s website. 

program details styles

  • Overview

    Crafted for investment professionals pursuing the CIMA certification, the Investment Management Theory and Practice is an online course for those who value the high caliber education of Yale and the convenience of digital learning.

    The comprehensive Yale CIMA online program includes: study materials to help candidates prepare for and pass the qualification exam (Level I), a CIMA registered education course and exam (Level II), and study materials to help candidates prepare for and pass the certification exam (Level III).

    Built around the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA) certification curriculum and approved by the Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) as a registered education program, this course fulfills the initial education requirement for CIMA certification. This course includes comprehensive coverage of the topics and learning objectives found in the CIMA Certification Exams Detailed Content Outline (core topics list).

  • Topics covered

    Investment Management Theory and Practice is an online course for investment professionals pursuing the prestigious CIMA certification.

    This program, led by Yale Professor Tobias J. Moskowitz and financial certification specialist and Program Director Jim Dobbs, includes comprehensive coverage of the topics and learning objectives found in the CIMA Certification Exams Detailed Content Outline.

    It has been developed to help you better understand the concepts, calculations, and applications found in the CIMA core topics list; help you prepare for and pass the Yale School of Management course exam and CIMA qualification and certification exams; and help you take your practice to the next level. 

    Topic coverage includes:
    • Ethics and regulation
    • A review of financial fundamentals (including statistics, time value of money, and economic analysis)
    • Risk management
    • Performance measurement and analysis
    • Traditional and alternative investments
    • Portfolio theory and models
    • Behavioral finance
    • Investment consulting process (including client discovery, investment policy, portfolio construction and management, manager search and selection, and portfolio review)
  • Curriculum

    Investment Management Theory and Practice walks you through the core topics and learning objectives found in the CIMA certification curriculum line-by-line. The faculty team helps participants navigate the complex and sometimes confusing world of investment thought and application.


    (Source: CIMA Certification Exams Detailed Content Outline)

                IMCA Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards of Practice
                Regulatory Considerations

                Statistics and Methods
                Applied Finance and Economics
                Global Capital Markets History and Valuation

    Portfolio Performance and Risk Measurements
                Attributes of Risk
                Risk Measurements
                Performance Measurement and Attribution

    Traditional and Alternative Investments
                Traditional Global Investments (Equity and Fixed Income)
                Fixed-Income Vehicles
                Foreign Exchange Market
                Alternative Investment
                Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives
                Tools and Strategies Based on Technical Analysis

    Portfolio Theory and Behavioral Finance
                Portfolio Theories and Models
                Behavioral Finance Theory

    Investment Consulting Process
                Client Discovery
                Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
                Portfolio Risk Management Strategies
                Manager Search, Selection, and Monitoring
                Perform Portfolio Review and Revisions Process

    Curriculum  Documents 
                CIMA Curriculum    
             CIMA Formula Sheet


    In addition to the guidance provided by the faculty, the Yale CIMA online program includes materials specifically designed to help candidates prepare for and pass each CIMA level exam – materials unlike any other program.  Candidates learn by leveraging proprietary tools and resources that fit their own, unique learning styles and preferences, including:

    • Online learning management system
    • Class lecture videos, notes and outlines
    • Learning module videos
    • CIMA Certification Exams Detailed Content Outline
    • CIMA Certification Formula Sheet
    • CIMA textbook and supplemental readings
    • Hundreds of practice quiz and test questions
    • Sample tests, exams for self-assessment
    • Team activities

    Participants are encouraged to study 10-15 hours a week.

  • What you can expect
    • Participants gain a better understanding of the CIMA  curriculum core topics and learning objectives by mastering concepts, calculations, and applications.
    • Participants develop tools and resources to help them improve their businesses by immediately applying new strategies and solutions in practice.
    • Participants prepare for the CIMA qualification exam, Yale SOM course exam and the CIMA certification exam by learning from multiple resources, including videos, exercises, and practice questions.
    Not only will the Yale CIMA program help you gain your certification, it will help drive your business and build your career.
    • Perform client discovery more efficiently
    • Develop investment policy statements for individual and institutional clients
    • Identify and measure performance and risk more accurately
    • Analyze and recommend appropriate traditional and alternative investments
    • Perform successful manager search and selection 
    • Manage investment portfolios more effectively
    • Use research in behavioral finance to better manage client expectations, decisions, and relationships
    • Develop a formal review and revisions process
  • Faculty

    Please note that faculty are subject to change and not all faculty teach in each session of the program.

    Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®
    Program Director
    President, Dobbs Education, LLC
    President, Dobbs Wealth Management, LLC

    Jim Dobbs has worked with certification education providers on programs including CIMA, CPWA, CFP and others for more than a decade. He brings to Yale his unique history and experience in helping thousands of candidates through the certification process. After having developed the first online CIMA education course at MIT Sloan, he now brings his experience, wisdom and content to Yale School of Management.  

    Jim Dobbs specializes in designing, developing and managing financial training and certification programs. Mr. Dobbs served Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) as director of education where he helped create the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® certification program. The CPWA registered education program is delivered through the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business where he serves as program director.

    Mr. Dobbs helped develop the Advanced Investment Strategist program in portfolio risk management; led a project to help update and revise the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA) certification program curriculum; and currently serves as chair of IMCA’s Technical Advisory Board.

    Prior, Mr. Dobbs founded and managed the CFP Board registered financial planning certificate programs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and The University of Texas at Austin where he was program director. Later he served Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. as director of education.

    As president of Dobbs Wealth Management Group, LLC, a registered investment advisory practice, he has offered financial planning and investment management services since 1998. Before founding Dobbs Wealth, he worked for several financial services firms, including Mercer; IDS (now Ameriprise); Harris, Webb & Garrison (now SMH Group); and Citigroup.

    He earned an Executive MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business (with a specialization in asset and wealth management) and holds a master’s degree from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in partnership with Swiss Finance Institute. He earned a Post-Baccalaureate Award in Taxation from UCLA Extension and is a graduate of the Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) Program offered through UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (majoring in financial services and planning) from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

    Tobias J. Moskowitz
    Dean Takahashi ’80 B.A., ’83 M.P.P.M. Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management

    Tobias “Toby” Moskowitz was named the inaugural Dean Takahashi ’80 B.A., ’83 M.P.P.M. Professor of Finance at Yale SOM in 2016.

    He was previously the Fama Family Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he had taught since 1998.  Professor Moskowitz was recognized by the American Finance Association with its 2007 Fischer Black Prize, which is awarded biennially to the top finance scholar in the world under the age of 40 in years when one is deemed deserving.  The award cited his “ingenious and careful use of newly available data to address fundamental questions in finance.”

    His work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesFinancial TimesUS News and World ReportMoney magazine, and a 2005 speech by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.  He has also appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell and Squawk Box, CNN, FOX, and Bloomberg.  

    John Nersesian, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®
    Managing Director, Wealth Management, Nuveen Investments

    John Nersesian is managing director of wealth management services at Nuveen Investments, where his group provides wealth management and practice development education and consulting support to advisors. His experience includes work as a financial advisor to corporate executives, affluent families, and nonprofit organizations.

    Nersesian previously was a first vice president at Merrill Lynch Private Client Group, where he was a leader in comprehensive wealth management strategies and business development practices training. He earned a BS in business and economics from Lehigh University. Nersesian has authored numerous articles on a variety of financial matters, speaks regularly at industry conferences, and has contributed to various media outlets. Nersesian is chair of IMCA’s Board of Directors for the 2014–2015 term. He joined the Board of Directors in 2006 and has served on several IMCA committees. He is a faculty instructor in IMCA’s Certified Private Wealth Advisor ® (CPWA®) program, which is offered in collaboration with The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

    Scott Thayer, CIMA®
    Director of Institutional Consulting, Graystone Consulting, Morgan Stanley

    Scott Thayer is currently Consulting Director, Financial Advisor, Institutional Consulting Director at Graystone Consulting. He was previously senior vice president–Investments and Institutional Consulting director for Citi Institutional Consulting in Santa Rosa, CA, where he started in 1983. His office focuses primarily on middle market foundation and endowment clients. Previously, Thayer taught within the Department of Finance at Chico State University. Thayer earned a BS in finance from California State University, Los Angeles, and a MBA in finance from California State University, Chico. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Investment Consultants (APIC) and is a frequent lecturer and speaker.

    Thayer began serving on IMCA’s Board of Directors in 2008. He has also served on IMCA’s Endowments and Foundations Committee and Practice Management Committee. Thayer also taught in the Endowments and Foundations Certificate Program and CIMA Level II Program. He has contributed regularly to Investments & Wealth Monitor and the Journal of Investment Consulting.

    Lorenzo Caliendo
    Associate Professor of Economics

    Professor Caliendo’s research is focused on understanding and quantifying the economic effects of international trade and migration. His work follows three main strands. The first strand focuses on the determinants of the trade and welfare effects of commercial and migration policy. Of particular interest to him are the propagation effects, via input-output linkages, across spatially distinct labor markets. The second examines how a firm’s growth and how foreign trade competition affect a firm’s organizational structure, the wage structure inside a firm, and a firm’s productivity. The third strand deals with understanding the macroeconomics effects of international trade and growth.

    Gal Zauberman
    Professor of Marketing

    Professor Gal Zauberman studies consumer judgment and decision making, time in decisions, financial decision making, and memory for emotions and choice. In his research, He has published articles in leading marketing and psychology journals on topics that include: factors that affect individuals' evaluations, preferences, and choice, with specific interest in the role of time in decisions and experiences. He recently started investigating the role of photography in experiences. He won numerous awards, including the William O’Dell  and the Paul Green best paper awards, and the 2007 Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Consumer Psychology. His research received international media coverage, including the New York Times, Scientific American, and others.

    X. Frank Zhang
    Professor of Accounting

    Professor Zhang's research focuses on empirical capital market researches, including stock anomalies, fundamental analysis, investor and analyst behavior, management incentives, and corporate financial reporting. He is interested in both rational and behavioral approaches in studying stock anomalies and cross-sectional variations in stock returns.

    Per IMCA’s policy, all faculty who teach in the Yale CIMA program have not been involved in any development, review or approval of the CIMA certification examinations.

  • Video recordings
    Intro to Yale CIMA Course
    Yale CIMA Info Session: Why CIMA

    Yale CIMA Info Session: Why Yale


I can’t imagine that I would have been prepared to pass the QE if I was relying solely on the CRC content.  The Yale prep material was a must-have for me.” 
 Nathan C.

I wanted to let you know that I PASSED today...THANK YOU so much for all your support and guidance throughout the entire program!! I will never forget it.”
Rodrigo G.

I took the Certification Exam on Friday and passed. I found the Yale exams to be more difficult than the Level III exam, which helped me to be much more prepared. And more importantly, I got a lot from the material and lectures that I can apply in my career. You have a great program; I won't hesitate to recommend it if I have a colleague ask about doing the CIMA.”
Kevin C.

Wanted to let you know that I passed the CIMA certification exam today! Cannot thank you enough for being such a great resource throughout this process. The practice questions on the quizzes and tests in your program were BY FAR the most helpful tool for studying and preparing. Yale School of Management was an excellent experience and I appreciate all your help!" Kyle Z.