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At CSI, the well-being of our valued learners and staff is our highest priority. Learn more about our response to COVID-19 and changes to our exam delivery format.

Advanced Investment Strategies (AIS)


Upon completion of this course, you will gain the knowledge needed to help clients make smarter investment decisions and ultimately, reach their goals.

What skills will students gain by taking the AIS course?

  • Identify client lifestyle expectations and income needs
  • Determine risk tolerance
  • Conduct investment product due diligence for both traditional and alternative investments
  • Implement allocation techniques to help optimize assets
  • Manage a portfolio of managed products
  • Develop wealth accumulation strategies
  • Assess the benefits and risks of international investments
  • Select, build and implement strategies that protect client portfolios
  • Understand the taxation of personal investment income from an international perspective

What benefits will you get with CSI's online learning system?

  • Textbook readings available in PDF, ebook and printed format
  • Learning objectives that keep you focused
  • Interactive tools to help you evaluate and apply course material
  • Online post-chapter review questions to assess your progress
  • Course updates to ensure you’re learning the most current and up-to-date practical material in your studies
  • Online discussion forums and assistance from CSI's academic support specialists

What's New

  • Chapter 9: Deleted wording for commodity pools
  • Chapter 11: Revised wording for FTSE TMX
  • Chapter 14: Revised and deleted wording related to U.S. exit¬†taxes
  • ¬†

What You'll Learn

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Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • What Is Wealth Management?

  • What are Wealth Accumulation Classification Schemes?

  • What are Age Cohorts?

  • What are Wealth Accumulation Stages?

  • What are Life Stages and Life Transitions?

  • What Is the Impact of Wealth Transfer on Wealth Accumulation?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Objectives-Based Planning Approach to Discovery

  • How To Discover Needs at Each Accumulation Stage

  • How a Wealth Advisor Can Discuss Risk With Clients

  • How a Wealth Advisor Can Market their Business to Today’s Wealth Accumulators

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • What Is Behavioural Finance?

  • The Relevance of Behavioural Finance to the Wealth Advisor

  • Risk Tolerance Questionnaires and Their Limitation

  • What Are Investor Biases?

  • What Are Investor Personality Types?

  • How a Wealth Advisor can Apply Bias Diagnoses When structuring an Asset Allocation Program

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • How Investment Portfolios are Managed

  • How a Wealth Advisor Can Develop a Client’s Asset Allocation by Accumulation Stage

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • What is Fundamental Analysis?

  • What is Economic Analysis?

  • What is Industry Analysis?

  • Difference Between IFRS and GAAP

  • What is Company Analysis?

  • What Is Financial Statement Analysis?

  • How are Resource Companies Analyzed?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • What Are the Basics of Technical Analysis?

  • What Is Chart Analysis?

  • What Is Statistical Analysis?

  • What Are Sentiment Indicators?

  • What Is Intermarket Analysis?

  • How Can Technical Analysis Be Used?

  • How Can Technical Analysis and Fundamental Analysis Be Used Together?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • How are Debt Securities Analyzed and Selected?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • How are Mutual Funds Analyzed and Selected?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • What Constitutes an Asset Class?

  • What are Alternative Investments and why Invest in Them?

  • Overview of Hedge Fund Strategies

  • Overview of Commodities

  • Overview of Real Estate

  • Overview of Private Equity

  • Overview of Collectibles

  • Ways to Invest in Alternative Investments

  • How Commodity Producers Manage Financial Risk

  • Ways to Invest in Real Estate

  • Ways to Invest in Private Equity

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Theoretical Basis for International Investing

  • The Size of the Global Equity Market

  • The Major International Equity Benchmarks

  • The Primary Advantages of International Investing

  • The Primary Disadvantages and Risks Of International Investing

  • Foreign Investment Vehicles

  • The Skills Necessary for Effective International Investing

  • Do Asset Allocation Models Correctly Assess International Investment Opportunities?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Main Categories of Portfolio Solutions Programs

  • The Role of Portfolio Solutions in Client Investments

  • How Can an Advisor Take an Active Role in Asset Allocation?

  • The Fee Structures for Portfolio Solutions

  • The Selection Criteria for Portfolio Solutions

  • Monitoring and Evaluating the Performance of Portfolio Solutions

  • Tax Considerations for Portfolio Solutions

  • The Dos and Don’ts of Portfolio Solutions

  • What Is Overlay Management?

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • What Are Investment Risks?

  • Measuring Investment Risk

  • How Diversification can Reduce Investment Risk

  • How to use Options to Reduce Investment Risk

  • How to use Futures Contracts to Reduce Investment Risk

  • How to use Contracts for Difference to Reduce Investment Risk

  • How to use Principal-Protected Notes to Reduce Investment Risk

  • How to use Segregated Funds to Reduce Investment Risk

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The Burdens of Wealth Accumulation

  • Tax-Minimization Portfolio Management Strategies

  • Tax-Efficient Investments

  • Inflation-Sensitive Assets

  • Cost-Efficient Investments

Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • International Tax Conflicts and Double Taxation

  • Sources of International Tax Law and How They Interrelate

  • Jurisdiction to Tax

  • Source Country Taxation

  • Residence Country Taxation

  • Most Commonly Used Offshore Entities

  • Use of Tax Havens

  • Anti-Haven and Anti-Avoidance Measures

  • Measures to Prevent the Non-Declaration of Foreign Assets

What are the approximate hours of study?

Approximate Hours of Study**
Hours of Study 60 - 80 hours

** In order to provide some guidance to course participants as to the length of time it will take to be sufficiently prepared to write the final examination, CSI has prepared this estimate of the number of hours an average participant could possibly expect to spend studying for a course. Please note that these are only recommended hours of study developed based on research and our course content, however, this does not mean that some students with exceptional backgrounds would not take less time than recommended or that students with no background at all in finance or economics would not take longer than the maximum.

(weightings are approximate)
The Canadian Wealth Management Market 1%
Understanding the Client 13%
The Portfolio Management Process 5%
Fundamental and Technical Analysis 15%
Analyzing and Selecting Debt and Mutual Fund Securities 12%
Analysis of Alternative Investment Products 13%
International Investing and Taxation 11%
Portfolio Solutions Fundamentals 12%
Protecting Client's Investments 9%
Impediments to Wealth Accumulation 9%
Exams 1
Exam Format Proctored (remote or in person at a test centre)
Exam Duration 2 Hours
Question Format Multiple Choice
Questions Per Exam 75
Attempts Allowed Per Exam 3*
Passing Grade 60%
Assignments None
Enrolment Period 1 year

On successful completion of this course you will be able to download a Notice of Course Completion available through your student profile. This will remain on your profile as formal confirmation of course completion.

CSI will mail you a wall certificate within 4 - 6 weeks of course completion. Frames to display your certificate are available. Please ensure that your First and Last Name on your profile match your First and Last Name on your Government Issued Photo identification - this will ensure you receive an accurate certificate.

CSI will be pleased to issue an Honors Certificate to all student who obtain a final course mark of 85% or higher.

* The first attempt is included in the course enrolment fee. Further attempts incur fees.

†Please note: Access to your online materials will close 2 weeks after successful course completion or course expiry (whichever comes first). This course can be extended by 1 year provided you have not exceeded the attempts allowed  for each exam. You can view CSI extension fees here . Your enrolment period can only be extended one time.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Click the links below or the buttons at the top of the page on the right side to access CE accreditation information. To search for specific course information, press Ctrl + F and then enter the course name to search the document for the information you are interested in.

National/Provincial (Excluding Quebec)
Download CE Chart (PDF, 163 kb)

Quebec (IQPF/CSF)
Download IQPF/CSF Chart (PDF, 182 kb)

Please note: While CSI makes every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date, we are unfortunately unable to fully guarantee its accuracy. The information listed in the charts above may be subject to change.

More detailed information on CE Credits are available.