CFA

Back in December men and women across the globe sat down to take the first exam in a series of exams that they hoped would, one day in the distant future, allow them to place three little letters next to their name, on their business card, email signature, linkedin profile, and maybe even cock: CFA. In practice it would stand for Chartered Financial Analyst, but in theory, oh, in theory, it would mean so much more.

In the weeks since, they’ve tried to put their test out of their minds. Focus. Be in the present. Not agonize over their answer to the question:

Sammy Sneadle, CFA, is the founder and portfolio manager of the Everglades Fund. In its first year the fund generated a return of 30 percent. Building on the fund’s performance, Sneadle created new marketing materials that showed the fund’s gross 1-year return as well as the 3 and 5-year returns which he calculated by using back-tested performance information. As the marketing material is used only for presentations to institutional clients, Sneadle does not mention the inclusion of back-tested data. According to the Standards of Practice Handbook, how did Sneadle violate CFA Institute Standards of Professional Conduct?

Trying not to think about how they’d done was a fool’s mission, of course, as was attempting not to let their mind wander during particularly boring conference calls, about how they’d react upon receiving a passing score. They’d want to be humble, sure, but a confident humble. After all some of their friends probably would not be so lucky and they’d want to come off as sensitive, even though internally they’d be screaming “Hosanna!” from the mountaintops.

Waking up this morning, however, a sobering thought passed over them: what if they failed? What if the hours, days, weeks, and months spent planning were all for naught? What if the money spent was money down the toilet? What if the significant blows to their personal lives were made in vain? What if they had to return to CFA test prep school with their tails between their legs? What if the week they’d blocked off in their Outlook calendar for CFA Camp 2018 was premature? Read more »

For 49% of the June test takers, this is the greatest day of your lives. You have spent years chasing after those three little letters. You have sacrificed time, sleep, relationships, and money. Money not just spent on books and prep courses but on the jacket sitting in the back of your closet, still in the garment bag, with the gold stitching on the breast pocket. “You want it to say what after the name?” the guy in the store asked? “C-F-A,” you said. “All caps.” “What’s CFA,” he wanted to know. “It’s designation, for investment and finance professionals,” you told him. “It’s three little letters that give confidence to investors worldwide.”

“Oh, kind of like a CPA?”

“No not like a CPA at all. This is…so much more.”

You knew you were jumping the gun getting the coat before you’d even taken the Level III exam, but you just couldn’t stop yourself. And it’s not like you wore it around town. It just sat there, behind a bunch of crap. Somehow just knowing it was there gave you hope and on nights when you needed a little extra motivation to finish a particularly grueling practice test, unzipping the bag and running your finger across the crushed velvet lapel and over the fine buttons helped get you through it. Read more »

  • 23 Jul 2013 at 3:33 PM

Let’s Talk About: CFA Results

Thirty-eight percent of Level I takers and forty-three percent of Level II’ers are likely feeling prettay, prettay, prettay good at the moment, probably on account of the celebratory breakfast drinks and/or the realization that the promise land is so close that they can taste it. The rest of you have nothing to live for. Read more »

  • 22 Jan 2013 at 11:52 AM

Let’s Talk About: CFA Level I Results

Are you among the 37% of candidates who passed the December 2012 exam? Are you going to celebrate by allowing yourself one night off from studying and then cracking the Level II books first thing tomorrow morning? Read more »

Yesterday, at approximately 10:30AM, scores of financial services employees breathed a collective sigh of relief. Relief that months of studying had paid off in the form of a passing score on the Level I and II CFA exams. Relief that, even though months of studying had been a total waste of time with nothing to show for it, they could get on with their lives and stop wondering. One guy was less lucky. He’s in a CFA holding cell right now pending an investigation, thanks to some supposedly suspect fidgeting and a couple proctors with itchy trigger fingers, possibly hoping to impress their superiors. Read more »

Thirty-eight percent of Level I takers and forty-two percent of Level II’ers have reason to feel pretty good about your lives this morning. Read more »

CFA 2012: Good Luck To All

As those of you who took the week off to study are well-aware, Saturday is CFA exam day, for all levels. And while we have complete confidence in each and every one of your abilities, some people have expressed feeling a bit jittery about the test. For the vast majority, those fears, while normal, are unwarranted. You just need to talk it out and should consider this space a safe place to do so. For a smaller group of people, though, your fears are totally founded because, statistically speaking, you will fail. Having said that… Read more »