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While the use of innovative technology along with elemental training are essential, top financial advisors recognize the importance of obtaining elite professional designations. With stringent experience, education, exam and ethics requirements, the exclusive Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) designation is reserved for select advisors – as of 2018 there were fewer than 2,000 CPWA® practitioners nationwide.* The certification isn’t just fancy letters after a name, it aims to provide real value to clients. That’s why team members at BWM Financial in San Diego completed the rigorous curriculum necessary to obtain Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) designations.

Benefits of Collaborating with a Certified Private Wealth Advisor®

High net worth individuals have unique financial planning and investment management needs. The Certified Private Wealth Advisor ® (CPWA®) is an advanced professional certification issued by the Investments & Wealth Institute™  targeted to help advisors address those sophisticated needs. The program offers seasoned financial professionals an education in the latest techniques for analyzing and addressing the specific challenges wealthy clients face.

Specialized Strategies for Complex Issues

The CPWA® program targets four categories of advanced wealth management:

  • Client Specialization

    • Executives: stock options (taxation, exercise and integration strategies), deferred compensation plans, concentrated stock positions (tax implications/strategies, regulatory rules, 10b-5(1) plans)
    • Closely Held Business Owners: financing methods, exit strategies and succession plans, entity structures, buy-sell agreements, valuation methodologies, private annuities
    • Retirement: qualified retirement plans, accumulation strategies, distribution projections, net unrealized appreciation (NUA), asset location, Roth conversions, post-death planning
  • Wealth Management Strategies

    • Tax Strategies and Planning: executive stock taxation, alternative minimum tax, charitable deductions, pass-through entities, tax deferral strategies, trust taxation, income shifting strategies
    • Portfolio Management: tax-aware investing, gain/loss harvesting, alternative investments, socially responsible investing
    • Risk Management and Asset Protection: asset protection strategies and entities, transfer techniques and strategies
  • Legacy Planning

    • Charitable Giving: rules/limits, maximizing deductions, donor-advised funds, charitable trusts
    • Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer: evaluation, gifting, incapacity planning, asset titling, estate tax, gift tax, generation skipping transfer tax, legacy wealth transfer through trusts and insurance
  • Human Dynamics

    • Ethics: conduct, confidentiality, and fiduciary standards
    • Applied Behavioral Finance: neuro-economics, behavioral biases and coaching, investor personalities
    • Family Dynamics: challenges and opportunities, alignment of goals, family mission statements

How does the CPWA® differ from other designations?

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), financial professionals can choose from over 100 professional financial designations or certifications. The most widely recognized is the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation, which is broad-based in focus. By contrast, the CPWA® targets in-depth, specific knowledge of high-level planning and wealth management for high net worth individuals and families.

Designations are a delineating factor

Completion of financial designations and study programs can be a clear indicator that a team is dedicated to their craft and diligently earned those marks. In an industry that prohibits published “testimonials,” certifications help to distinguish those advisors who are held to a higher standard in certain specialties.

Our experience indicates the challenges faced by high net worth clients are diverse, complex and evolving. To address those challenges head-on, we’ve raised the bar with education and training at BWM Financial. The CPWA® designation is a value-added component to our team’s experience, specialties and ongoing training.


*Source: Investment & Wealth Institute 2018 Press Kit