DEFINITION of 'Chartered Market Analyst - CMA'

Chartered Market Analyst (CMA) is a globally recognized certificate awarded by the CFA Institute, formerly the American Academy of Financial Management.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chartered Market Analyst - CMA'

In addition to holding a relevant bachelor’s degree, and a minimum of four years of qualified professional experience, Chartered Market Analyst (CMA) candidates must pass of series of challenging exams. According to, historically, 32 percent of those who take the exams require four attempts to pass.

Challenging in this respect refers to three, six-hour exams. The first focuses on basic financial concepts and can only be taken in June or December. The second explores analysis skills and accounting procedures, and the third attacks decision-making and portfolio management skills. All three also tap into ethics. The final two exams are only offered in June, so if candidates fail either, they’ll have to wait an entire year for a second chance.

Chartered Market Analyst Topics

The study program to become a CMA covers topics such as profitability analysis, valuation techniques, pricing options and fixed-income derivatives, using software to solve financial problems, and more.

Successful applicants earn the right to use the CMA designation with their names, which can improve job opportunities, professional reputation and pay. Every year, CMA professionals must complete 15 hours of continuing education.

Once all those hurdles are crossed, there are several roles available within the financial industry, including portfolio manager, money manager, financial advisor, investment firm manager and financial risk analyst, etc. CMAs can work as independent contractors for large financial firms or be on the payroll of one.

A sense of prestige is associated with a CMA designation. It assumes that this professional will follow the same industry-wide ethical standards as the more than 95,000 chart holders in over 135 countries.

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