What Is a Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)?

Chartered investment counselor is a designation awarded by the Investment Adviser Association. Chartered investment counselors must work in an eligible position for an Investment Adviser Association member firm, uphold a code of ethical conduct and submit professional and character references.

Understanding Chartered Investment Counselors (CIC)

The chartered investment counselor, or CIC, refers to a designation awarded to individuals with qualifications and experience consistent with those outlined in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This includes the fiduciary and ethical responsibility the adviser has to his clients as well as his experience and skills.

The Investment Advisor Association awards the CIC designation to individuals who are currently working as investment advisers, have demonstrated investment counseling and advanced portfolio management skills, often by overseeing large accounts and mutual funds, and who hold the chartered financial analyst designation. The purpose of the award is to identify individuals with significant experience as investment counselors and portfolio managers.

Qualifying as a Chartered Investment Counselor

As fiduciaries, chartered investment counselors must provide personalized, unbiased advice that is in the client's best interest. The CIC designation also requires at least five years of eligible work experience. Eligible occupations are those in which more than 50% of job time is dedicated to ongoing investment counseling and portfolio management. Chartered investment counselors must be re-certified annually.

As part of the application process, candidates must identify their job responsibilities, such as economic research and securities analysis. Candidates must also provide work and character references and complete an ethics questionnaire. Applications are reviewed twice each year, with deadlines for consideration being April 1 and Oct. 1.

The Investment Adviser Association

The Investment Adviser Association is a not-for-profit association that exclusively represents the interests of federally registered investment advisory firms. Founded in 1937, the association played a major role in the enactment of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Its membership consists of more than 640 firms that collectively manage in excess of $20 trillion for a wide variety of individual and institutional investors.

The stated purposes of the Investment Adviser Association are:

  • To promote high standards of integrity, public responsibility and competence in the investment advisory profession.
  • To provide effective, quality representation of the investment advisory profession at all levels of government with respect to the development, formulation and enactment of legislation, rules and regulations relating to investment advisers.
  • To provide benefits, services, and products that assist and add value to member firms in their course of doing business.