The CFA designation has been regarded by many to be a key certification for the investment professionals. This is particularly the case in areas of research as well as portfolio management. However, it’s just among the many designations which are used today. This might lead to some confusion when investors & professionals puzzle out the meaning of each designation and which one is the best. In this article will are going to take a detailed view of the CFA designation. In case you are an expert who is considering the CFA, this article provides the information which you need to start weighing the costs & benefits of your decision. You will also know the tips for taking the CFA exams.
What is CFA Program Exam?
This is basically a series of 3 exams commonly identified as Levels I, II, & III. For the Level I exam, you get basic knowledge as well as comprehension questions aimed at the investment tools. The Level II CFA exam needs more complex analysis as well as concentration on valuing assets. Lastly, the Level III CFA exam will combine all these concepts. These together with analytical methods allows one to have an effective portfolio management as well as wealth planning.
What are the Major Topics of CFA Program?
The LOS commonly known as Learning Outcome Statements and the core concepts in the CFA exams were developed by the CFA Institute. Although the curriculum has been updated for every exam cycle, the three levels for the CFA exam focuses on the conventional ten topic areas. The exam weights differ with the level and might change a bit from one year to the other. Below are some of the topic areas which are covered:
- Alternative Investments
- Corporate Finance
- Ethical & Professional Standards
- Equity Investments
- Financial Reporting & Analysis
- Fixed Income
- Portfolio Management
- Quantitative Methods
Why Get a CFA? Reasons to Become a CFA
- Good Job Prospects
Although nothing on a resume guarantees one a job, the CFA charter is going to boost your financial credentials. Individuals in the industry are aware of the time as well as the discipline it needs to acquire the CFA charter. Earning this charter shows your work ethic, your analytical abilities as well as your ethical grounding to potential employers.
- The Charter is Easily Affordable
When an MBA costs more than $100,000, a CFA charter will only range from $2,400 to $12,000, based on when you registered. This will also be dependent on the available study materials as well as the exams you are looking forward to take. Again, you will not be needed to quit your current job as is the case for some MBA programs. Although hectic, it is still manageable to study the CFA Program as you work.
- Career Advancement Chances
Completing your CFA Program will permit you to be a member of the CFA Institute. This is a global network with more than 135,000 investment professionals. The club is worth joining for networking opportunities. This charter equips you well for different investment jobs like the portfolio manager, a risk manager as well as a research analyst.
- The Charter is Recognized Globally
As we stated earlier on, the CFA Institute has the global network of more than 135,000 of investment professionals. This CFA charter has been recognized by different regulators, universities as well as the certification programs in more than 30 countries as well as territories. You are going to gain some unmatched career resources & relationships. To add to that, you will get access to jobs all over the world which need the CFA charter or even candidacy.
Reasons Why Not Getting the CFA Designation
- You will have no Time for Social Life
When preparing for the CFA exams, you cease being a college student. This therefore means that you let go of the social life among other extracurricular activities. CFA coursework is essentially considered to be a “master’s level” which takes up much of your time.
- Needs Time for Job Hunting
Unless there will be a job which is waiting for you somewhere after graduating, you will be required to dedicate some time and actually hunt for the job. Generally, the study requirement might be a great distraction.
- Takes Time to Get the Charter
The CFA institute calls for one to complete the four years of work experience in order to get the charter. That means that even if you start early, you will not be guaranteed to get the charter after you finish the exam. Patience will therefore be paramount.
The Bottom Line
CFA designation will not distinguish a charterholder from the other practitioners for professionals & investors. A successful CFA charterholder is the one who has proven their ability to stand rigorous testing. They should show some capacity to learn and make a serious commitment in order to conduct their professional life as per the high ethical standards. This is not in any way magic, but watch out since it might be the next big and best thing.