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Wealth Management Theory & Practice

A CPWA® certification registered education course (online)

Upcoming Webinar

Intro to Yale’s Online CPWA Course (August 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET): Register

Develop your knowledge and skills, and grow your practice using Yale’s comprehensive and convenient path to CPWA certification.

The Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA) certification administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute® is the standard for competence in the field of wealth management today. Yale School of Management’s fully online program, Wealth Management Theory & Practice, can help you achieve certification and help you take your practice to the next level. 

Key Benefits

  • Learn from leading Yale faculty and industry experts.
  • Complete the certification process faster and more conveniently with our unique, start-to-finish online program.
  • Study materials specifically designed to help candidates prepare for and pass the CPWA certification exam delivered in a variety of tools suited for various learning styles.
  • Earn a certificate of completion from Yale School of Management.

Who should enroll?

Ideal candidates for CPWA certification include: wealth managers and specialists, financial planners and advisors, investment consultants and advisors, retirement specialists, family-office professionals, trust professionals, tax and estate professionals. Note – this program should be considered intermediate to advanced. Program participants are expected to have a foundational understanding of financial planning concepts and applications (e.g., tax, retirement planning, investing, charitable, and estate planning) prior to enrolling.

Why Choose Yale?

  • Ongoing enrollment allows you to begin whenever you are ready.
  • The asynchronous nature of this program allows you to study and complete certification at your own pace. Fast or slow, it’s completely up to you.
  • CPWA candidates from Yale have demonstrated higher pass rates on the certification exam.
  • According to third-party student survey results, program participants give the program an overall rating of 4.84/5.00 for efficacy, 4.85/5.00 for helping them prepare for the certification exam, and a participant support rating of 4.85/5.00.

CPWA candidates may enroll in Yale’s Wealth Management Theory & Practice online program by choosing the Yale option when applying through the Investments & Wealth Institute® website.

CPWA candidates who have already completed a CPWA-registered education course but have not yet passed the CPWA certification exam may enroll in the Yale CPWA program for $4,750. All candidates must complete the education course requirements before being allowed access to the test-prep material, even if they have already completed the course at another university. Interested parties should reach out to Yale Executive Education's registrar, Jaime Willadsen to receive the appropriate enrollment form.

Preview image for the video "Intro to Yale's Online CPWA Course (April 2024)".
Intro to Yale's Online CPWA Course (April 2024 Webinar)

About the Program

This program was developed for wealth management and financial professionals working with high-net-worth clientele who are pursuing the CPWA certification. Wealth Management Theory & Practice is an online course for those who value the high caliber education of Yale and the convenience of digital learning.

The comprehensive Yale CPWA online program includes: study materials to help candidates prepare for and pass the CPWA registered education course and CPWA certification exam.

Built around the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA) certification curriculum and approved by the Investments & Wealth Institute® as a registered education program, this course fulfills the registered education requirement for CPWA certification. This course includes comprehensive coverage of the topics and learning objectives found in the CPWA Core Body of Knowledge (core topics list).

  • Participants gain a better understanding of the CPWA curriculum core topics and learning objectives by mastering concepts and applications specific to serving high-net-worth clients.
  • Participants develop tools and resources to help them improve their businesses by immediately applying new strategies and solutions in practice.
  • Participants prepare for the Yale SOM course tests and the CPWA certification exam by learning from multiple resources, including videos, exercises, and practice questions.

Not only will the Yale CPWA program help you gain your certification, it will help drive your business and build your career.

  • Perform client discovery more efficiently
  • Better understand the changing regulatory environment
  • Use behavioral finance applications to better manage client expectations, decisions, and relationships
  • Learn to work with and serve the family client including the next generation
  • Analyze and recommend tax planning solutions
  • Build and manage more effective investment portfolios
  • Assess client risks and propose appropriate insurance solutions and asset-protection strategies
  • Identify challenges that are unique to executives and closely held business owners and recommend strategies and solutions that meet specific client goals and objectives
  • Master the complexities of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and help affluent clients in the distribution phase of retirement
  • Develop charitable and estate planning solutions to help clients transfer wealth

Wealth Management Theory & Practice walks you through the CPWA curriculum core topics and learning objectives line-by-line. Faculty and practitioners help students better understand the unique challenges facing today’s high-net-worth client, learn how to analyze specific situations, and present appropriate, holistic solutions.

Program participants will consider financial and non-financial applications and strategies while helping HNW clients build, protect, and distribute their wealth. This includes a focus on financial, intellectual, social and human capital.


(Source: CPWA Certification Body of Knowledge)

Topic coverage includes

  • Part I: Human Dynamics
  • Part II: Wealth Management – Technical Design
  • Part III: Legacy Issues
  • Part IV: Specialty Client Services

Wealth Management Theory & Practice is an online course for wealth management professionals pursuing the prestigious CPWA 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 CPWA Core Candidate Body of Knowledge.

This program has been developed to help you better understand the concepts and applications found in the CPWA curriculum; help you better serve high-net-worth clients given the unique challenges they face; and help you prepare for and pass the Yale School of Management course exam and CPWA certification exam. 

Topic coverage includes:

Part I: Human Dynamics

  • A: Ethics
  • B: Behavioral Finance
  • C: Family Dynamics

Part II: Wealth Management – Technical Design

  • A: Tax Planning
  • B: Portfolio Management
  • C: Risk Management and Asset Protection

Part III: Legacy Issues

  • A: Charitable Giving and Endowments
  • B: Estate Issues and Wealth Transfer

Part IV: Specialty Client Services

  • A: Planning for Executives
  • B: Planning for Closely Held Business Owners
  • C: Retirement Management

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

  • Orientation videos and notes
  • Lecture videos
  • Yale CPWA program readings library
  • Test-prep overview videos and study recommendations
  • Test-prep summary slides
  • Hundreds of practice questions
  • Discussion board

Participants are encouraged to study 10-20 hours a week. Most candidates should be able to complete the program and certification requirements within approximately 6 months. The difference in study-time needed between candidates depends on several variables including: existing knowledge of the curriculum, study habits, learnings styles and preferences, test-taking ability, etc.

  • Program enrollment is offered on an ongoing basis. Once approved for candidacy by Investments & Wealth Institute you may enroll whenever you choose.
  • All program content is available on demand. Participants can download, copy, save and print whatever they choose. Participants are not allowed to share program materials with anyone.
  • This program is not offered for academic credit and should be considered a "self-study" course.
  • Participants have access to Yale and Dobbs Education staff during traditional office hours (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) for administrative and technology questions.
  • This program is designed to be self-guided, but we know that sometimes a little help is needed. Participants use the discussion board to discuss topics and questions among themselves, and participants can reach out directly for help with a handful of content-related questions as they move through the program. If however, one believes he or she will need help akin to that received in an in-person program, like daily or weekly interaction with faculty and teaching assistants, then this program would not be a good fit.
  • Program fees are due in full upon enrollment. No cancellations or refunds are permitted once you have enrolled, therefore you want to be 100% committed prior to enrolling.

Faculty & Practitioners

Please note that faculty are subject to change.

Jim Dobbs
Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®

Program Director, President, Dobbs Education, LLC

Jim Dobbs has worked with certification education providers on programs including CIMA®, CPWA®, CFP®, and others for the last 20 years. He brings to the Yale School of Management his unique history and experience in helping thousands of candidates through the certification process. Jim Dobbs specializes in designing, developing, and managing financial training and certification programs. Mr. Dobbs served the Investments & Wealth Institute® as director of education where he helped create the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® certification program.

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 served 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.

Mr. Dobbs was a financial advisor for 27 years and created Dobbs Wealth Management Group, LLC, a registered investment advisory company that offered financial planning and investment management services from 1998 through 2017. 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.

Richard Joyner
Richard Joyner, CIMA®, CPWA®, CPA, CFP®, PFS

Yale CPWA Program Instructor (Founder of the CPWA Certification); President, Tolleson Wealth Management

Richard Joyner is President of Tolleson Wealth Management. He oversees key strategic, marketing and policy determinations for the company and its lines of business. Richard also serves on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Investment Committee and leads the company’s family education efforts. He is also President and CEO of Tolleson Wealth Management’s Private Wealth Management Group, where he is active in setting the vision and strategy for Tolleson Private Wealth Management.

Richard works with multi-generational families to address the complex issues of successful wealth transfer. His expertise encompasses such diverse areas as complex income and estate tax planning; family dynamics and education; and investment management. He facilitates numerous family meetings for clients each year, and speaks regularly to families that want to overcome the old adage of “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves” in three generations.

Over the years, Richard has received a number of professional awards, including recognition by Worth Magazine as one of its Top Financial Advisers and by Barron’s Magazine as one of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in the U.S. He served nine years on the Board of Directors of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), including two years as its President (2002-2003). He has served on IMCA’s wealth management committee for more than 10 years and teaches in the Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) program offered jointly by IMCA and the University of Chicago. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Cristo Rey School of Dallas.

Richard earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Wake Forest University. In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant* (CPA), he holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA), Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designations, and is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) practitioner.

Michael Kitces

Yale CPWA Program Instructor; Head of Planning Strategy, Buckingham Wealth Partners

Mr. Michael E. Kitces, CFP, MSFS, MTAX, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, is Head of Planning Strategy at Buckingham Wealth Partners. Mr. Kitces has earned graduate certificates for estate planning and for financial asset management.  In recognition of his work across the broad spectrum of the financial planning industry, he was recognized as one of five financial planning practitioner "Movers and Shakers" in the financial planning profession for 2006 by Financial Planning Magazine, and was named one of the top 20 "Rising Stars in Wealth Management" by Institutional Investor News in 2007. He serves as a Member of Advisory Board of BrightScope Inc. Mr. Kitces holds the Certified Financial Planner professional, a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Registered Health Underwriter, a Registered Employee Benefits Consultant, a Chartered Advisor of Senior Living, and Certified Wealth Preservation Planner designations. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College with a BS in Psychology. Mr. Kitces earned an MS in Financial Services from the American College and an MS in Taxation from the University of Tulsa.

Tobias Moskowitz
Tobias J. Moskowitz

Dean Takahashi ’80 B.A., ’83 M.P.P.M. Professor of Finance

Tobias “Toby” Moskowitz was named the inaugural Dean Takahashi ’80 B.A., ’83 M.P.P.M. Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management 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 Times, Financial Times, U.S. News & World Report, Money 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.

Learn more

John Nersesian
John Nersesian, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®

Founder, Nersesian Wealth Education, LLC
Head of Advisor Education, PIMCO

John Nersesian currently serves PIMCO as head of advisor education and was formerly managing director of wealth management services at Nuveen Investments, where his group provided wealth management and practice development education and consulting support to advisors. His experience includes working 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 former chair of IWI’s Board of Directors for the 2014–2015 term. He joined the Board of Directors in 2006 and has served on several IWI committees.

Steven Siegel
Steve Siegel, J.D.

Yale CPWA Program Instructor; President, The Siegel Group

Steven G. Siegel is president of The Siegel Group, which provides consulting services to attorneys, accountants, business owners, family offices, and financial planners. Based in Morristown, New Jersey, the Group provides services throughout the United States. Mr. Siegel is the author of many books, including: The Grantor Trust Answer Book (2013 CCH); CPA’s Guide to Financial and Estate Planning (AICPA 2013); and Federal Fiduciary Income Taxation (Foxmoor 2013).

In conjunction with numerous tax planning lectures he has delivered for the National Law Foundation, Mr. Siegel has prepared extensive lecture materials on the following subjects: Planning for An Aging Population; Business Entities: Start to Finish; Preparing the Audit-Proof Federal Estate Tax Return; Business Acquisitions: Representing Buyers and Sellers in the Sale of a Business; Dynasty Trusts; Planning with Intentionally-Defective Grantor Trusts, Introduction to Estate Planning; Intermediate-Sized Estate Planning; Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: Explanation and Planning Strategies; Subchapter S Corporations: Using Trusts as Shareholders; Divorce and Separation: Important Tax Planning Issues; The Portability Election; and many other titles.

Mr. Siegel has delivered hundreds of lectures to thousands of attendees in live venues and via webinars throughout the United States on tax, business and estate planning topics on behalf of numerous organizations, including The Heckerling Institute on Tax Planning, CCH, National Law Foundation, AICPA, Western CPE, the National Society of Accountants, Cohn-Reznick, Foxmoor Education, many State Accounting Societies and Estate Planning Councils as well as on behalf of private companies.

He is presently serving as an adjunct professor of law in the Graduate Tax Program (LLM) of the University of Alabama and has served as an adjunct professor of law at Seton Hall and Rutgers University law schools.

Mr. Siegel holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University (magna cum laude, phi beta kappa), a juris doctor from Harvard Law School, and an LLM in Taxation from New York University Law School.

Gal Zauberman
Gal Zauberman

Joseph F. Cullman, 3rd Professor of Marketing 

Areas of Expertise: Behavioral Economics, Consumer Behavior, Creativity, Decision-making Methodology, Online Marketing

Professor Gal Zauberman studies judgment and decision making, and behavioral economics. He has researched the factors that affect individuals' evaluations, preferences, and choice, with specific interest in the role of time in decisions and experiences. He has published articles in leading marketing and psychology journals and received international media coverage, including the New York Times, Scientific American, and others. He won numerous awards, including the William O’Dell and the Paul Green best paper awards, and the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Consumer Psychology.

Learn more

Per the Investments & Wealth Institute® policy, all faculty who teach in the Yale CPWA program have not been involved in recent development, review, or approval of the CIMA certification examinations.

Registration Information

  • Program fee: $7,295 – Includes institute application and testing fees.
  • Location: Online program
  • Format: Video lectures supplemented by proprietary study materials to enrich learning. Participants are given access for 365 days or whenever they complete the certification process (whichever comes first), but most should complete the entire process within 6 months.

Most Yale program participants report spending 150-200 hours of total study time to complete the Yale course and prepare adequately for the certification exam. Study time depends on many factors including industry experience, current knowledge of the topics, study habits, test-taking skills, etc. This program is not offered for academic credit hours and is not built or priced to offer the same level of interaction with faculty as courses that are offered for academic credit. While this program should be considered “self-study,” participants are able to reach out for content-related help a few times when needed. If one believes he or she will need more help than that, then this program would not be a good fit. Yale has a strict no-refunds policy for this program, so you’ll want to be 100% committed before enrolling.

Please note: CPWA candidates may enroll in Yale’s Wealth Management Theory & Practice online program by choosing the Yale option when applying through the Investments & Wealth Institute® website.

*INVESTMENTS & WEALTH INSTITUTE® is a registered mark of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. (“IMCA”) doing business as The Investments & Wealth Institute (“The Institute”).  CPWA® and CERTIFIED PRIVATE WEALTH ADVISOR® are registered certification marks of IMCA d/b/a The Institute.  As described in the CPWA Candidate Handbook, completion of an executive education program offered through a Registered Education Provider does not result in attainment of the CPWA certification nor does it award use of the certification marks.  Completion of an executive education program results in a candidate becoming eligible to sit for the CPWA Certification Exam and thereafter to complete the remaining steps for certification. 

Participant Testimonials

“I feel like the Yale program helped train me ‘at altitude’ for a sea-level race. Challenging for sure, and that helped me feel strong going into the cert-exam which I passed on my first attempt. I have absolutely gained more confidence in applying your material in client and prospect meetings.” – Leonard R.

"I would estimate that the course requirements took me 30 hours.  I would estimate that I spent 80-100 hours (over 32 days) on test prep, including the test prep videos, test prep slides, practice problems, readings, practice exam, etc. You guys are fantastic, and I would highly recommend your program to anyone." - Jay B.

“Thank you! I will say it was one of the most challenging exams I have taken professionally. The Yale course materials and videos, content, structure, and guidance were on point. I am glad you emphasized multiple times in your videos that “application” of the material is key. Also, your weekly notifications and candor in your test-prep videos really helped me refocus when needed. I thought my experience would get me through most of it, but I was wrong.  The content of this course is not something I have used on a day-to-day basis, nor many of the strategies i.e. trusts, executive options, etc. I was familiar with most, but never had to do a deep dive in those areas. So, the instructions on how to study and what you will need to know were very helpful. Most of all, I learned a lot and have begun to discuss strategies we reviewed in the program with clients that could benefit – that is exciting and very useful to our practice as we begin to work with ultra-high net worth clients. Thanks again and cheers.” – Sherry H. 

“Thank you! I very much appreciate the coursework and prep material, and closely followed the recommendations that were outlined in the material about how to approach the course – and the exam prep in particular. I was obviously very pleased with the result! Above all, I can say with certainty that going through this course armed me with knowledge and confidence about the complex topics that are very relevant to help our team better serve our clients. I’m most thankful for that. Thank you again for your note, and for the outstanding course and exam preparation. I’m very appreciative!” – Alyce Z.

“Thanks again for a great program. I really appreciated being able to do it at my own pace – watching the lectures at my leisure and re-listening on my phone while on walks or during the commute. The Yale practice test and final exam were hard which gave me the right amount of fear to push harder. For sure it has already made me a better advisor.” – Ben J.

“I felt well prepared when I took the CPWA certification exam. I don’t really see how anyone could pass the Yale course and then not pass the certification exam.” – Clinton G.

Participant Survey Results

  • CPWA program overall score: 4.81/5.00
  • Online course ease of use score: 4.81/5.00
  • CPWA exam-prep material score: 4.80/5.00
  • Student support score: 4.89/5.00