DEFINITION of 'Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)'
A professional designation given out by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association to establish an educational standard for individuals that specialize in the area of alternative investments (such as hedge funds, venture capital, private equity and real estate investment).
In order to receive the designation, individuals must have at least one year of professional experience, a U.S. bachelor's degree and must pass two levels of curriculum that include topics ranging from qualitative analysis, trading theories of alternative investments, to indexation and benchmarking.
BREAKING DOWN 'Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)'
Because the realm and scope of alternative investments is dramatically different from conventional investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, a specific designation was necessary to distinguish those individuals who are best qualified in dealing with this class of investments.
Similar to the Chartered Financial AnalystTM designation, possessing the CAIA designation provides individuals with access to jobs, member chapters and sources of education.