Yale School of Management

Wealth Management Theory & Practice

A CPWA® certification registered education course (online)

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

[Upcoming Webinar] Intro to Yale’s Online CPWA Course (April 1 at 4:00 PM EDT): Register


Program Fee: $6,995 for Investment & Wealth Institute® members, $7,390 for non-members
Includes institute application and testing fees
Location:  Online course
Format:  Video lectures supplemented by proprietary study materials to enrich learning.
Participants are given access for one year (365 days), but most should complete the entire process within 6 months.

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Continuing Education Credits: Completing the Yale CPWA course requirements qualifies for 28 CFP CE hours and 40 hours of CIMA CE.


For content-related questions, please contact:
Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®
Yale CPWA Program Director

For registration-related questions, please contact:
Emily Kuzma
Yale Executive Education Operations Coordinator

The  Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA) certification administered by the Investments & Wealth Institute® (formerly IMCA) 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.

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 an elementary understanding of financial planning concepts and applications prior to enrolling.

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 (formerly IMCA) website. If you are not yet a CPWA candidate, please start the process here.

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 a discounted tuition. Interested parties should reach out to Kevin Allison (kevin@dobbseducation.com) to learn more about this specific option and receive the appropriate enrollment form for this special offer.

  • Overview

    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 (formerly IMCA) as a registered education program, this course fulfills the education requirements for CPWA certification. This course includes comprehensive coverage of the topics and learning objectives found in the CPWA Core Body of Knowledge (i.e., the curriculum).

  • Topics Covered

    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
  • Agenda

    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 Core 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


    In addition to the guidance provided by the 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:

    • Online learning management system
    • Coverage of all 500+ topics found in the CPWA Candidate Body of Knowledge
    • Learning module videos
    • Class lecture videos, notes and outlines
    • Custom compilation of wealth management readings
    • Discussion board and access to subject matter experts
    • Exam prep tools including test-prep videos and questions
    • Practice questions, course tests, and mock-exam for self-assessment

    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.

  • What You Can Expect
    • 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 exam and the CPWA certification exam by learning from multiple resources, including videos, exercises, and practice questions.
    • 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.
    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
  • Faculty & Practitioners

    Please note that faculty are subject to change.

    Jim Dobbs, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®
    Yale CPWA Program Director and Instructor
    President, Dobbs Education, LLC

    Jim Dobbs has worked with certification education providers on programs including CIMA, CPWA, CFP and others for the last 15 years. He brings to 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 Investments & Wealth Institute® (formerly IMCA®) 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 has been a financial advisor for 25 years and created Dobbs Wealth Management Group, LLC, a registered investment advisory practice, where he 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.

    Tobias J. Moskowitz
    Yale CPWA Program Faculty Advisor and Instructor
    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.  

    Michael Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, REHU, REBC, CASL, CWPP
    Yale CPWA Program Instructor
    Director of Wealth Management, Partner
    Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc.

    Mr. Michael E. Kitces, CFP, MSFS, MTAX, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, is the Director of Wealth Management and Partner at Pinnacle Advisory Group, Inc. and was previously the Director of Research. 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 B.S. in Psychology. Mr. Kitces earned an M.S. in Financial Services from the American College and an M.S. in Taxation from the University of Tulsa.

    John Nersesian, CIMA®, CFP®, CPWA®
    Yale CPWA Program Instructor
    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.

    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.

    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
    Yale CPWA Program Instructor
    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.

  • Video Recordings
    Intro to Yale's Online CPWA Course
  • Student Testimonials

    “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.

    “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.

    “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.

  • Student Survey Results
    • CPWA program overall score: 4.7/5.0
    • Online course ease of use score: 4.8/5.0
    • CPWA exam-prep material score: 4.8/5.0
    • Student support score: 5.0/5.0