CFA

  • 29 Nov 2011 at 6:35 PM

The OCC And I Work Hard To Guarantee Investment Returns

This is shaping up to be CFA week for me, and with my impending triumph/humiliation I’ve pretty much stopped thinking about much else. I’ve also stopped reading about much else, putting aside Trotsky temporarily to focus on those six stupid books. Yesterday was corporate finance – I can now unlever and relever betas like a champ – and portfolio management, which I got about halfway through before falling asleep. Today is equity and fixed income. The end is in sight!

But there’s still occasionally time to think about blast-from-the-past favorite topics, like the slow-motion disaster that is the US regulatory effort to end official reliance on ratings agencies. The latest is the OCC, which released a proposed rule today that will change the definition of “investment grade” securities, which banks can invest in, from “rated in one of the four highest rating categories by two or more NRSROs” to this: Read more »

  • 28 Nov 2011 at 6:50 PM

Things I Did Not Know About The CFA Exam

Attentive readers may recall that a while back I signed up to take the CFA Level I exam, in order to (1) pursue my passion for standardized testing,(2) expose the secret behind-the-scenes workings of America’s trillion-dollar financial-analysis-certification business, and (3) have a major institution to stand behind my guarantees of consistent above-market investment returns. I wrote a post about it, and then mostly forgot all about it.

Thinking that the exam might be sometime in December, I looked into it a bit more this weekend. Here are some things that I learned that I didn’t previously know, though you might have:

1. The exam is given using pencil and paper at the Javits Center. I had vague visions of the anonymous computer lab where you take the Series 7 on computers from the mid-1980s. Now I have to go buy pencils.

2. All of its contents. Actually I’d read maybe 100 pages of the ethics reading but then I got bored and stopped.

3. It’s this Saturday. Oops! Read more »

If yes, did you get the plain boring old one or the one with the tassels? Read more »

In a few short weeks, many financial services employees will begin the soul-crushing, life-sucking process of studying for Level I CFA exam given in December. So you that you don’t look back and realize you wasted 4+ months of your time on earth, most of you are probably hoping to pass. And sure, that’s a good goal. Cute, even. But if you want to really make a name for yourself and not be had by a would-be lawyer, you’re going to have to do better than that. Like going into labor during the exam better. Read more »

  • 26 Jul 2011 at 9:49 AM

Let’s Talk About: CFA Results

Thirty-nine percent of Level 1 takers and forty-three percent of Level II’ers are likely feeling prettay prettay prettay good at the moment, possibly on account of celebratory morning drinks or the realization that the promise land is within reach. The rest of you are probably in not as great a place, on account of having just thrown away the last 4-6 months of your lives. Read more »

Until 2007, investment manager Andrew Oberwager and his girlfriend Karolina Stefansi were a happy, highly educated couple in love. Oberwager was a PM at Columbus Circle Partners, who had earned the right to not only put the letters C, F, and A after his signature, but M and D as well, having graduated from Harvard Med school before getting into investing. Stefanski, left, was a former Playboy model from Germany, who had earned her journalism degree from Suffolk University (the $33,000 tuition for which Obes covered). Thing were good. Then MDCFA maybe supposedly started an affair with a chick from Texas he met online, a relationship Stefanski was not cool with even though it probably meant nothing to Oberwags (i.e. he didn’t put her through vet school) and she took it to mean that upon breaking up, she was entitled to write herself a check from his account for $80,000.

Stefanski…contends the blank check was for her personal use. She wrote it out for $80,000 when she decided to return to Germany….Attorney Kurosh Marjani is arguing, however, that Stefanski had no authority to write out a blank check for $80,000. The blank check was meant to pay for household expenses, Oberwager testified Tuesday

Also? He wants the $33,00 back, too. Plus interest. Read more »

For the vast majority of those on the quest to become a Chartered Financial Analyst, there are three tests to be conquered and then they’re set. They’ve gained the keys to the kingdom. Three tests, they think, and you’re in. That’s because these people are not true children of the CFA. If they were, they’d spend their nights, weekends and holidays hosting CFA trivia night with friends, they’d scour eBay for CFA collector’s items, such as the first exam ever given, and they’d know that passing Level III? Doesn’t mean jack. Because after III comes the ultimate test: Level IV, AKA gaining access to Camp CFA.

What is CCFA? A weeklong “retreat” wherein the ultimate charter holders gather to decide who will be given the green light to spend the next 6 months of their lives studying for the next level and who will be punted back to square one. Whereas Levels I, II and III have pass rates that range from (ballparking it) 29 to 53 percent, i.e. anyone can get in, Camp CFA changes the lives of a mere 15 percent of people. And make no mistake, being chosen to attend Camp CFA is viewed as a life changing event. Some might even call it an honor. Read more »