Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on August 10, 2023

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What Is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst?

A Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst or CAIA is an individual who is designated by the CAIA Institute as having the necessary abilities to research, analyze, and manage alternative investments.

Alternative investments or AI are those which do not fall into the traditional categories of equity, income, or cash categories. Examples include private equity, commodities, real property, and hedge funds.

The distinction of CAIA is important to the industry because AI is minimally regulated by the SEC.

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CAIA Certification

To become a CAIA, candidates must pass two standardized tests including the fundamentals of risk and return for AI and a practicum on alternative investment portfolio management.

Due to the unregulated environment of AI, ethics and the professional environment also comprises 15-25% of the exam.

CAIA Designation

The CAIA designation is relatively new and came about in the early 2000's when alternative investments, especially private equity, grew as a mainstream investing practice.

CAIA's are mainly tasked with setting the standard for AI best practices and furthering the knowledge of the profession. They are able to analyze the risk-reward tradeoff of AI and determine how they fit into portfolio goals.

CAIA Career

Similar to a Chartered Financial Analyst, career paths of CAIA's include investment analyst, portfolio manager, investment manager, credit structurer and Senior Vice President at private equity or other investment firms.

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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