FAQs for Fundamentals of Alternative Investments

All your questions about the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program answered. Can't find what you need? Contact us anytime.

What is the difference between the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program, and UniFi by CAIA™?

Launched in April 2022, UniFi by CAIA™ is a learning platform designed to provide education for professionals across the private wealth management industry. New learning pathways will be introduced throughout 2022 and beyond. The Fundamentals of Alternative Investments® program represents the first certificate available on UniFi by CAIA™. For more information on UniFI by CAIA™ and future developments on the platform, please click here.

Are there any prerequisites, continuing education, or membership requirements for Fundamentals?

No. There are no prerequisites for the course. Once you complete the certificate, you are not required to pursue anything further. However, we encourage you to stay updated on the latest topics available on the newly launched UniFi by CAIA™ learning platform

Can I earn continuing education credits by taking the Fundamentals of Alternative Investment course?

The Investments and Wealth Institute (IWI) accepts the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program for 20 hours of IWI-sponsored continuing education hours for the CIMA®, CIMC®, and CPWA® designations. CE credits will only be awarded for completing all program modules. No partial credit will be given. Participants will have 11 months from the date of purchase to complete the course. Visit http://investmentsandwealth.org for details.  

In addition, the Fundamentals program is accepted by the CFP Board for 20 hours of CE credit for CFPs and NASBA for CPAs.  

Will I be a CAIA Member when I complete the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments program and earn my certificate?

No. CAIA Association Membership eligibility (PDF) is available only to CAIA Charterholders. Learn more about the CAIA Charter Program here.

You will receive a certificate of completion at the successful end of the Fundamentals program, and you will also receive notification of a digital badge being issued to you via our partnership with Credly. Learn more about digital badging here.

How is the certificate structured, and will I need to take an exam?

The curriculum includes 20 modules, each of which are recorded videos, approximately one hour long. We have added three “bonus” modules that are not required for you to earn the certificate. The platform may be accessed from your home, office, or mobile device. At the end of each module, there is a ten-question quiz that assesses your knowledge of the topic covered. You must pass each open-book quiz (earning 70% or greater) before moving on to the next module. You are not required to take an exam at a test-center to earn the certificate.

How much time will I have to complete the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program?

Once enrolled in the program, you will have one year to complete it.

Is the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program a prerequisite to the CAIA Charter program?

No, the two programs are independent from one another. However, CAIA offers those who have completed the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program a $500 discount off the standard exam registration fee* for a CAIA Level I exam in the CAIA Charter program.   

If you have completed the Fundamentals of Alternative Investment certificate program and are interested in this discount, please reach out to candidate@caia.org.  

*Only available for new CAIA Candidates. Not available for retake exams.

Should CAIA Charterholders consider taking the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program?

The Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate program is based on the CAIA Charter Level I curriculum and is not intended for CAIA Charterholders. The UniFi by CAIA™ platform will offer valuable continuing education opportunities to complement your CAIA designation. Visit UniFi by CAIA™ here

What is covered in the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments® program?

The Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate offers a foundation of the fundamental topics in alternative investments. There are 20 modules that are required to earn the certificate, and three “bonus” modules on emerging topics in the industry. 

The required modules to earn the certificate are:

  • Traditional vs. Alternative Investments 
  • Investment Returns and Risks
  • Correlation & Efficient Frontiers
  • Portfolio Management & Asset Allocation
  • Due Diligence
  • Risk Management
  • Hedge Funds 1: Structure, Categories & Biases
  • Hedge Funds 2: Relative Value & Event Driven Strategies
  • Hedge Funds 3: Macro & Managed Futures Strategies
  • Hedge Funds 4: Equity Strategies
  • Hedge Funds 5: Funds of Funds
  • Real Assets 1: Timberland, Farmland & Intellectual Property
  • Real Assets 2: Real Estate Equity & Debt Markets
  • Private Equity 1: Introduction & Performance Analysis
  • Private Equity 2: LBO, VC & Debt Strategies
  • Commodities 1: Markets & Inflation Protection
  • Commodities 2: Beta Products, Alpha Products & Benchmarks
  • Structured Products 1: Credit Default Swaps
  • Structured Products 2: Collateralized Debt Obligations
  • Capstone: The Risks and Rewards of Alternative Investments

The three optional emerging topic modules are:

  • Liquid Alternative Investments
  • Opportunities in Private Credit Investments  
  • ESG Investing: History, Approaches, and Integration

Who pursues the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments certificate?

The Fundamentals of Alternative Investments® certificate program is designed to develop a foundational understanding of alternative investments. The profile of a typical certificate holder varies, but some of the common job functions include:  

  • Wealth managers, financial planners, and consultants 
  • Sales and marketing personnel 
  • Administration/operations professionals  
  • Students  
  • Lawyers, legal counsel, and compliance professionals
  • Accountants  
  • Journalists and media professionals

I see a due date and an expiration date. Which one is correct?

Your due date is 1 year from the day you enrolled in the Fundamentals program. However, we offer a 90-day window to complete the course after your due date. The later date, the expiration date, is when your access to the Fundamentals curriculum will be no longer be available. 

What are the payment options for the Fundamentals program?

You can pay with a credit card when registering for the program.   

If you require an invoice before purchasing or if you would like to pay via check or wire, please email a request for an invoice to unifi@caia.org.   

I am interested in purchasing Fundamentals for my entire team. Is there a discount for purchasing multiple courses?

We offer group pricing for organizations enrolling a large team in the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments® certificate program. Please reach out to us at unifi@caia.org to learn more.

I am a student. Do you offer student pricing?

We offer student pricing for enrolled, full-time students at a rate of $295. Please reach out to unifi@caia.org using your school email address if you are interested in enrolling at the reduced rate.

How do I get started with the Fundamentals program?

It’s simple. To start the program, go to: https://unifi.caia.org
1) Click “Enroll in Fundamentals”
2) Click the price of “Fundamentals of Alternative Investments – Individual” and “Added to Cart” 
3) Click “Proceed to Checkout”. 

If you do not have an account, click “Sign Up” and then click “Proceed to Checkout”

I registered for the Fundamentals program, but I am having problems logging into my account.

Once registered for the Fundamentals you will need to verify your account before starting the program. Please review your email to verify your Fundamentals account. If you do not see the email, please check your spam folders. Contact us at unifi@caia.org if you are still experiencing difficulties.

I logged into my account at www.caia.org but cannot get access to the Fundamentals program, why?

The Fundamentals program can be accessed from the UniFi by CAIA™ platform available at https://unifi.caia.org. Please sign up and login there to access the Fundamentals program.