CFA

…some argue that students who have completed all three levels and won the right to put the three letters CFA after their names and be called a chartered financial analyst have an advantage over those with an MBA. “I think there might be a crossing point soon – I think the CFA in the financial industry might soon eclipse the MBA,” says Mark Shackleton, professor of finance and associate dean of postgraduate studies at Lancaster University Management School…While it can be very difficult to get into a top-flight MBA programme, once accepted, students can be confident they will finish. “If people sign up for an MBA qualification, there’s an expectation that they are going to get through or be helped through,” says Prof Shackleton. [FT]

As many of you know, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute is a group that takes itself extremely seriously. While MBA programs may be content to have any old degenerate representing them, Team CFA holds its members and would-be members to a much higher standard. The organization has zero qualms about throwing one of its own out on his or her ass, and in the past has stripped charterholders of their designations or “publicly censure[d]” them (via CFA Institute Magazine), and rained down fury on people in the midst of attempting to earn their charter, for infractions that include:

So it probably shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise that this had to happen: Read more »

As no one needs to be reminded, tomorrow is judgment day for 150,000+ financial services employees hoping to one day add 3 little letters to the bottom of their email signature. If you’re feeling prepared, confident, and calm, that’s nice for you. If on a scale of 1-10, 1 being “I have zero anxiety whatsoever about tomorrow’s exam” and 10 being “I’m screaming into a pillow right,” you’re somewhere between 9-15, take heart. Read more »

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 »

As those of you who’ve spent the last 4-5 months in a hermetically sealed bubble of test prep books know, tomorrow is the CFA exam for levels I, II, and III. Read more »