DEFINITION of 'Certified Fund Specialist - CFS'

A certification indicating an individual's expertise in mutual funds and the mutual fund industry. These individuals advise clients on which mutual funds best suit their particular needs. The CFS designation does not license individuals to buy or sell mutual funds; however, in many cases Certified Fund Specialists do have this license, which enables them to buy and sell the funds for their clients.

BREAKING DOWN 'Certified Fund Specialist - CFS'

The CFS is the oldest designation in the mutual fund industry. Training is provided by the Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) in the form of a 60-hour self-study program. Course topics include, but are not limited to, portfolio theory, dollar-cost averaging and annuities. The course includes a final exam, administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers, and an open-book case study.

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