#CFAskAnything : Introduction

29 Apr 2020

Always wanted to get a CFA but don’t know how to even navigate this seemingly complicated and convoluted journey? We’re giving you the ultimate guidebook for this, so you’ll get to cut the clutter and get to your end-goal faster. We can’t promise that it’ll be easy, but that Life After CFA will infinitely open up more possibilities. Let’s go:


What is Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation about?

It’s an accredited professional qualification for investment management professionals by the CFA Institute. This non-profit organisation supports aspiring and current investment professionals with an education, a code of ethics to follow and several other relevant education programs and certifications.

The internationally recognised qualification is a testament to your understanding of advanced investment analysis and portfolio management skills and is aimed to help advance your career, especially if you are a professional that is primarily involved in any part of the investment call process!


Why would employers hire CFA certified professionals?

The CFA® designation represents more than just a title to add into your curriculum vitae or resume. It is also a representation of the diligence, effort and the perseverance to attain the accreditation.

Employers look out for great talent that demonstrates strong technical capabilities and a winning attitude in the market. With less than 20% of aspiring candidates that manage to make the mark, this illustrates the cream of the crop for investment individuals. Furthermore, possessing the grit to go through the grueling hours of the program testifies towards the individual’s positive character traits – now which employer does not want to bring a good combination of the two onto their team?

Who should consider pursuing this qualification and are there any other similar accreditation?

The program is aimed at investment management professionals who are active in the investment decision-making process – such as fund managers, research analysts on both the buy and sell side, traders, etc; in asset management firms such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate investments, traditional funds, investment advisory services, etc.

However, this now goes beyond front-office related functions and more middle to back office fund operation professionals are taking it up to enhance their career. Beyond the buy and sell side institutions, some service providers are elevating their services to fund managers by  better equipping themselves with the education to service better.

If you are an employer, read here to find out more benefits of the CFA program it has towards your firm.


When are the CFA examinations happening and when can I complete this program?

The CFA Program comprises a series of three exams; Levels I, II, and III. 


All exams are offered annually in June and the Level I exam is also offered in December. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, CFA has postponed all June exams till further notice, but not for CFA level I candidates! 

The Level I exam that is happening on 5th December 2020 is still on – remember to take note of certain dates pertaining to the registration for the exam!
The program is just like pursuing any educational program and would estimate an average of over 4 years to complete all three exams! Definitely not a quick fix to any ailing careers but an enhancement for career advancements.


How does this (or any other similar) qualification benefit me?

There are many similar qualifications to the CFA program, to name some of the popular alternatives:

  1. Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  2. Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)
  3. Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

While the above programs target different investment professionals, the one thing in common that all these offer is the enhancement of your career paths through education. Possessing any of these globally recognised qualifications strengthens your resume which increases your earnings by up to 39% and opens new windows of opportunities in your career search!


Ultimately, the decision is YOURS to make, but what better time then now?


In this series of #CFA, we look forward to growing through the CFA levels I, II and III exam journey with you and what is Life like after attaining this accreditation. Have fun, and happy answering!