Top 5 Introductory Finance Exams


Joseph Walsh –

In this post, we outline the popular exams for those who want to break into the finance industry. These can be a great addition to a CV, and help to expand upon content that is covered in lectures.

CFA Investment Management Certificate (IMC)

The IMC is the benchmark entry-level qualification into the UK investment profession. It delivers the threshold competency knowledge required by investment professionals involved in portfolio management, research analysis, and other front office investment activities.  The examinations cover the key content areas appropriate for these roles including economics, accounting, investment practice, regulation, and ethics. The qualification is developed, delivered and awarded by CFA UK.

CFA Investment Foundations

The CFA Institute Investment Foundations Program covers the essentials of finance, ethics, and investment roles, providing a clear understanding of the global investment industry. This zero-cost, online learning experience is designed for anyone who wants to enter or advance within the investment management industry, including IT, operations, accounting, administration, and marketing. Candidates who successfully pass the online exam earn the CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate, demonstrating a mastery of core foundational principles of the investment profession.

CISI Introduction to Investments

The qualification covers key financial principles and products in depth including assets and markets, equities, bonds, derivatives and investment funds. It explores the broader economic environment in which the financial services sector operates and looks at how economic activity is determined and managed in different economic and political systems. The qualification offers a first introduction to financial services regulation and ensures candidates are provided with an understanding of ethical behaviour and acting with integrity.

FINRA Securities Industry Essentials (SIE)

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam is a new FINRA exam for prospective securities industry professionals. This introductory-level exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information including concepts fundamental to working in the industry, such as types of products and their risks; the structure of the securities industry markets, regulatory agencies and their functions; and prohibited practices.

Bloomberg Market Concepts

Break down the wall between your classroom and the markets, with perhaps the simplest way to integrate state-of-the-market Bloomberg data, news, and analytics into your coursework. Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) is a self-paced e-learning course that provides an interactive introduction to the financial markets. BMC consists of 3 sections — Core Concepts (includes four modules – Economic Indicators, Currencies, Fixed Income, Equities), Getting Started on the Terminal and Portfolio Management. The sections are woven together from Bloomberg data, news, analytics and television. The course is available through the Bloomberg Terminal at BMC <GO> or through the Bloomberg for Education website. Using the BMC digital courseware as a course companion frees up class time for more advanced topics.