Location Names

Mainland China and Outlying Regions

*Recent process change: All content referencing mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan must be reviewed and approved before distribution by SD Head APAC and SD Manager China.*

The names of many of the regions surrounding China have political implications. When discussing any of these regions—or any group that includes any of these regions—do not use the word “country.” “Market,” “region,” “economy,” and “location” are acceptable.

For example:

The following countries locations have seen strong market growth: China, Taiwan, and India.

Following is our guidance for particularly sensitive areas.

Location Guidance
China Not People’s Republic of China.
Hong Kong SAR SAR should be included in maps and lists. Hong Kong on its own can be used in regular text, just like the other cities on the Associated Press list (see below).

Do not use Hong Kong, China, or Hong Kong (China).

Do not spell out special administrative region in text, figures, or tables. Do add SAR to the Abbreviations list and spell out.

Do not use country in connection with Hong Kong; economy is acceptable.

Macau SAR SAR should be added in all cases in text and figures and tables.

Do not use Macau, China, or Macau (China). Do not spell out special administrative region. Do add SAR to the Abbreviations list and spell out.

Do not use country in connection with Macao; economy is acceptable.

Taiwan Not Taiwan (China). Do not use country in
connection with Taiwan; economy is acceptable.

Please consult the World Bank Editorial Style Guide for further guidelines on official location names, currencies used, and any special treatment.

For specific rules regarding maps of China, please see the Brand Center.

Other Special Cases

The following are some of the other locations for which sensitivity is required when discussing.

Location Guidance
Côte d’Ivoire Never Ivory Coast; note circumflex.
Diaoyu Islands (Chinese name); also called Senkaku in Japanese (claimed by both). Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.
Dokdo Islands (Korean name); also called Takeshima in Japanese (claimed by North Korea, South Korea, and Japan). Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.
North Korea Always use North Korea (not just Korea).
Paracel Islands Also known as Xisha Islands in Chinese and Hoàng Sa Islands in Vietnamese (claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam). Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.
South Korea Always use South Korea (not just Korea).
Spratly Islands Claimed by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and to a lesser extent Malaysia and Brunei. Use with extreme caution. The choice of name used has political implications.


City Names

For cities on the Associated Press list (see below), do not use the state or country name. For all other cities, spell out the state or country name (i.e., do not use the abbreviation). Note that the style for references is different; see the References document.

When referring to our non-US offices, using the city names alone, without country mention, is sufficient (e.g., New York City, London, Hong Kong).

US Cities: No State Required

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Honolulu
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis
  • New Orleans
  • New York City
  • Oklahoma City
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • St. Louis
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC [note the exception to use the abbreviation]

Non-US Cities: No Country or Region Required

  • Amsterdam
  • Baghdad
  • Bangkok
  • Beijing
  • Beirut
  • Berlin
  • Brussels
  • Cairo
  • Djibouti
  • Dublin
  • Geneva
  • Gibraltar
  • Guatemala City
  • Havana
  • Helsinki
  • Hong Kong
  • Islamabad
  • Istanbul
  • Jerusalem
  • Johannesburg
  • Kuwait City
  • London
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Madrid
  • Mexico City
  • Milan
  • Monaco
  • Montreal
  • Moscow
  • Munich
  • New Delhi
  • Panama City
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Quebec City
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Rome
  • San Marino
  • Sao Paulo
  • Shanghai
  • Singapore
  • Stockholm
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
  • Vatican City
  • Vienna
  • Zurich


Organizations take the pronoun “it.”

Example: CFA Institute revised its policy on smoking in 1991.

If a pronoun is referring to an individual and you do not know whether the person is male or female, use the “he or she” forms. You can also vary the forms within a text (i.e., balance the use of “he” and “she” or “his” and “her”).

Example: If an individual places all of his or her assets in one stock, then that portfolio is not diversified. One investor put all his money in stocks; another investor put all her money in bonds.

Consult CMS for guidance on navigating gender bias with pronouns (5.34, 5.222) and special uses of personal pronouns (5.45).

To simplify and keep sentences from being overloaded with pronouns, try to switch to the plural.

Example: Change “if an investor wants his or her portfolio to be . . .” to “if investors want their portfolios to be . . .”


General Guidance

See CMS 9.5 for guidance on numbers beginning sentences.

See CMS 9.6 for guidance on ordinal numbers.

See CMS 9.7 for guidance on consistency and flexibility with numbers in sentences, particularly when several numbers appear in the same sentence and refer to the same thing.

Inclusive amounts

When the words “thousand,” “billion,” and “million” are used in inclusive amounts, our style is to give the full amounts and use “to” rather than an en dash. The rationale is that if an en dash is used, the span could be misleading.

Example: “$2 billion to $5 billion,” not “$2–$5 billion”

The reason is that “$2–$5 billion” could be interpreted as “two dollars to five billion dollars.” (See also the section Currency.)

Inclusive years

Used as an adjective: When a range of years is used as an adjective modifying a noun, use an en dash between the years. If the range begins and ends during the same century, the first two digits of the second year are not repeated—except that full four-digit dates should be used in book and article titles for our publications. For all other publications, follow how it looked in the original.

Examples: during the 1940–50 period, in the 2000–02 bear market, the 1801–99 famine, the 1492–1604 age of exploration, “Profit Maximizing: 1940–1950,” The 1963–1990 Period of CFA Institute History

Used as a noun: If the range of years is being used as a noun, use full years and an en dash or spell out the words joining the range and use all the digits of both years.

Examples: the fashions of 1607–1610, from 1492 to 1604, between 1975 and 1985

Numbers smaller than one

In formal writing, when a percentage point is less than 1.0, consider the amount singular (e.g., 3.5 bps but 0.12 bp).

Page numbers

No matter how many digits are in the page numbers, use all digits of the second number (except in References).

Examples: 3–10, 21–29, 46–88, 107–109, 1496–1504, 13480–13482

Note: No commas in page numbers.

Phone numbers

Use the following phone number format:

+country code (area code) xxx-xxxx. EXCEPTION: For toll-free numbers, do not include the country code. That is, use (800) 247-8132.

Examples: Contact CFA Institute at +1 (434) 951-5499. Contact us at (800) 955-2345 from the United States or Canada.

Spelling out vs. using numerals

In general, numbers from one through nine are spelled out in text. Numerals are used for 10 and all higher numbers up to 1 million.

Examples: 47, 102, 3,044, 700,000; three to six months; 30–60 months; two to three times; 20–30 times; a three- to six-month period

Very large numbers (1 million and up) are expressed as numerals followed by the appropriate word.

Examples: 5 million, 3 billion, 7 trillion

To abbreviate million, billion, and trillion in tables, figures, or notes, use m, bn, and trn, respectively.

Examples: 5m, 3bn, 7trn

Numerals are used for units of measurement, including percentages, multipliers, and mathematical terms. Always include the initial zero if the number represented is less than zero.

Examples: 1%, 0.12%, 1 inch, 8 gallons, a price multiple of 2 times earnings (but “the economy grew three times as fast as anyone thought it would”), a standard deviation of 2 (but “two standard deviations”), 40 bps

Exception: Spell out zero when it is used alone (that is, not preceding a unit-of-measurement word), but use 0 when zero is used with other numerals.

Examples: 0%–1.5%; ranged from 0 to 25; returns were below zero


Use a comma in index amounts of four or more digits. (See also the Comma section.)

Example: By 2002, the DJIA was way past 8,000.


See CMS 6.121–6.126 for guidance on lists. Note that this section can be confusing. Please contact Editorial Services if you have any questions.

If the text that immediately precedes the list is a complete sentence, follow CMS 6.124. Here are a few examples of list styles; there are more in CMS.


The chaos arose because the department had certain problems:

  • John’s computer caught a virus.
  • Betty forgot the book’s title.
  • No one sent the proofs to Maria.
  • Robert’s dictionary was stolen.

     Cake has several ingredients:

  • flour
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • butter

  Vladimir Nabokov could lecture on a variety of topics:

  • Lepidoptery
  • American literature
  • The novels of Gogol and Tolstoy
  • Russian history

If the text that immediately precedes the list is NOT a complete sentence, follow CMS 6.125. One exception is that we use “and” or “or” at the end of the next-to-last entry.


German shepherds have served many people as

  • search and rescue dogs;
  • guard dogs;
  • police dogs, also known as K-9s; and
  • service dogs for the blind.

The board praised the staff for

  • working hard,
  • drinking all the old coffee, and
  • cutting down on travel.

Dates and Times

If days and months or days, months, and years are written, use the international date style—that is, day, month, year or day/month/year. If the month is to be abbreviated (consult Editorial Services’ figure styles and tables document), always use the three-letter abbreviation. Do not use a zero before days:

Examples: 3 October 2002, 3/Oct/02, 7 December 1889, meeting on 30 March.

For abbreviations with quarters and years, use the following format:

Example (long-form abbreviation): Q1 2014, Q2 2002.

Example (short-form abbreviation): Q1/14, Q2/02.

Use your discretion for well-known dates.

Examples: 11 September 2001 or September 11 remembrance; 4 July 1776, or July 4 parade, or Fourth of July celebration.

See CMS 10.42 for guidance on formatting times of day.


See CMS 9.21–9.26 for guidance on referring to amounts of money in text.

Spell out currencies in text unless the currency is being used with a numeric amount or in a foreign exchange relationship. See the Location Standards Excel file for a list of currency names by country.

Examples: for US-dollar-based investors; the yen fell in 1991; the German mark was strong until conversion to the euro. The USD/JPY rate was erratic during this period.

Use of Currency Symbols

For numeric amounts, use the symbols for currencies (e.g., $5, £2,000, ¥10,000).

Use a dollar sign for dollars but the word “cents” for cents. Do not hyphenate a numeric amount and the word “cent” (e.g., 50 cent cigar).

When needed, the historical symbols for eurozone G–7 countries are as follows: Italy = L, France = Fr, and Germany = DM. Note that the preferred form of German currency from reunification to introduction of the euro is “the German mark” rather than the “deutsche mark.”

Minus signs (en dashes) and parentheses representing a negative currency amount go outside the currency symbol.

Example: –US$250; –C$500; (€1,223)

Currency symbols (€, $, ¥, SFr, HK$) are closed up with the amounts following them. For amounts in millions, billions, and so on, use one space between the symbol and the word (e.g., US$ billions, SFr millions).

To indicate an exchange rate, such as the US dollar to the Japanese yen, use words (e.g., dollar/yen) or use symbols (e.g., $/¥) if symbols are being used throughout the publication or the foreign exchange abbreviations (e.g., USD/JPY) as explained in the next section.

Foreign Exchange Abbreviations

For a publication that makes extensive use of international currencies and foreign exchange rates, the editors may choose to use the foreign exchange (FX) abbreviations instead of currency symbols. A complete list can be found at www.ratesfx.com/resources/symbols.html. Examples are as follows:

CAD = Canadian dollar
CHF = Swiss franc
EUR = euro
GBP = British pound
JPY = Japanese yen
USD = US dollar

In publications that use the FX abbreviations throughout, for numeric currency amounts, use the FX abbreviation closed up with the amount.

Examples: EUR5,000, USD900, JPY40 million

En dashes are used to denote a span in currency except when words are used—usually, “million” or “billion.” (See also “Numbers, Inclusive amounts.”)

Example: $5–$10 but $5 million to $10 million; €65–€105 but €65 billion to €105 billion; CHF300–CHF3,000 but CHF1.3 million to CHF3.0 million

Courtesy Titles and Names

See CMS 8.7–8.17 for guidance on how to treat names from specific countries.

When using a courtesy title to refer to a woman and a man, use “Ms.” and “Mr.,” respectively, unless “Professor” or “Dr.” is appropriate. In speaker or author biographies and letters to the editor, use the courtesy title on second reference to an author. “Professor” should be used only if the speaker or author is currently teaching at the college level. Use “Dr.” if the person has a PhD but is not teaching.

Example: Katrina Sherrerd, CFA, received her PhD from the Darden School at the University of Virginia; Dr. Sherrerd began her career . . . ; David Anthony manages the Country Risk Service. Mr. Anthony previously served as . . .

In all other circumstances, use the last name only on second reference.

Example: Milton Friedman’s analysis of . . . ; Friedman then went on to explain . . .

Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister . . . ; Thatcher’s economic policy . . .

Always use “chair” as the title for those who chair CFA Institute boards or committees.

Example: CFA Institute Board of Governors Chair Aaron Low, CFA; Aaron Low, CFA, chair of the Board of Governors…

When a person has an endowed (named) chair, use initial caps for the whole title (without “the”).

Example: Robert Brooks, CFA, is the Wallace D. Malone, Jr., Endowed Chair of Financial Management at the University of Alabama.

CFA Institute Name, Trademarks, and Designations

General Guidance

Our brand represents who we are, what we stand for, and what we have to offer the profession. If we do not protect our brand, we run the risk of losing all this. As writers and editors, we are guardians of the brand. And although the rules may seem trifling, when enforced, they carry significant weight in courts of law.

To protect CFA, CIPM, and Investment Foundations, use them only as adjectives. Do not use them as nouns; do not use them in the plural; do not use them in the possessive.

The first time one of our marks—such as “CFA”—is used in a publication, it should be followed by the registration symbol (®).

Organization Name

The organization’s name is CFA Institute. Do not make it possessive, and only precede it by “the” when used as an adjective.

Examples: CFA Institute announced the June 2004 exam results. (NOT The CFA Institute announced the June 2004 exam results.)

The CFA Institute Board of Governors will meet in November. (Use of “the” OK because the organization name is an adjective.)

The mission of CFA Institute is to promote . . . (NOT CFA Institute’s mission is to promote . . .)

When writing out the URL, format it as http://www.cfainstitute.org (i.e., do not try to cap anything).

CFA Institute Research Foundation should always be referred to by its full name, with no “the” preceding the name.

CFA Designation

The registered mark “CFA” is placed in commas after the person’s name. When used this way, the registered mark ® is not used.

Example: John Doe, CFA, is president of XYZ Investments.

In all other cases, the mark must follow the rules just mentioned: Use it only as an adjective, do not use it in the plural, do not use it in the possessive.

Examples: “holders of the CFA® designation,” “holders of the CFA® charter,” “a CFA® candidate or charterholder”

Do not use the CFA designation for authors cited in footnotes or reference lists.

Other CFA Institute Designations and Trademarks

As with the CFA designation, all of our trademarks must be used as an adjective, not as a noun, and not in the possessive. Following is a sample of some of our trademarks:

  • CFA®
  • CFA Society®
    • When referring to a specific society, avoid this general trademark and use only society name–e.g., CFA Society Nevada
  • Chartered Financial Analyst®
  • CIPM®
  • GIPS®
  • Investment Foundations®
  • Financial Analysts Journal®
  • CFA Institute Global Body of Investment Knowledge (GBIK®)
    • GBIK is a registered trademark; the words represented by the acronym are not.
  • Let’s Measure Up.™

Note that for the GIPS trademark, the preference is to use the phrases “the GIPS requirements” or “the GIPS recommendations” except when referring to the entire set of standards—for which we need to say “the GIPS standards.”

We prefer for “CFA” to only be used only with this short list of nouns (e.g., CFA Program curriculum, not CFA curriculum):

  • CFA® Program
  • CFA Institute
  • CFA® charter/charterholder
  • CFA® designation
  • Level x CFA® exam (for CFA Program exams)
    • Example: I just registered for the Level II CFA® exam.

Note that we do not use the registered trademark symbol with the organization’s name except in approved logo lockups.

Non-CFA Institute Proprietary Material

We are not required to use another company’s trademark. Because we may not know which brand names, for example, are trademarked, the best approach is not to use a trademark symbol but to use the company’s name that owns the brand name or proprietary mark.

Examples: JPMorgan’s RiskMetrics system; Stern Stewart’s economic value added (EVA) approach

Commas go AFTER the registration symbol:

Example: The Financial Analysts Journal®, published four times a year, is a magnificent publication.