MBA v CFA

  • 29 Jul 2014 at 11:07 AM

Let’s Talk About: CFA Results

On a Saturday in June, men and women around took a couple of tests. They were the Level I and II of the CFA and while outsiders, family members, MBA grads and the like would never understand how much these exams meant, test-takers knew all too well. Hundreds of hours of studying. Thousands of dollars in test prep books and classes. Social lives sacrificed. Memorial Day weekends uncelebrated. Relationships with neighbors on the receiving end of multiple requests to “Shut the hell up in there I’m trying to study!” more than a little be strained. Episodes of Ladies of London never watched. The downside would be that it was all for nothing. The up? The thrill of one day putting those three little letters next to their name.

The ensuing weeks have undoubtedly been torture. Going over the answers in one’s mind and then going over them again. Comparing notes with a friend only to find you put down the exact opposite, comforting yourself with the knowledge that this guy is the dumbest person you know, only to wake up in a cold sweat with the terrifying thought that he might be an idiot savant whose brilliance lies in taking standardized tests about asset valuation, financial reporting and analysis, and portfolio management techniques.

So while today, and the days leading up, have been full of nerves, it also brings sweet relief. No more second-guessing. No more excusing yourself during conference calls to go throw up. No more alienating your friends by trying and failing to explain to them the concept of CFA Camp.

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Tomorrow at 9AM EST, lives will be forever altered. Some for the good, some for the bad. The former will learn that they passed the Level I or II CFA exam given in June; their prize will be the opportunity to buy more books and spend hundreds more hours studying for the next test in the series. The latter will forced to look within and ask some hard questions, like, “Where did I go wrong?” “Should I try again?” and “Maybe I’m not CFA material?” Read more »

Harvard and Kellogg MBAs (well, four of them, anyway) love to make a few million by day and catch some college hoops/eat beef sandwiches together by night. Penn State, Princeton, UT and USC alums, too. For Whartonites, two years at West Philadelphia’s College of Capitalism were more than enough time in each other’s company. Read more »

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 »

To most of the world, June 7th is just another summer Saturday. To those sitting for the Level I, II, or III CFA exams, it’s the day that determines if months of sacrificing their personal and professional lives– and in many cases, general standards of hygiene– in exchange for study time paid off. For those taking I and II, successful performances will dictate if they buy the books for II and III, or slink back to their old test prep rooms as if nothing happened. Those who pass III will be one step closer to mecca. Read more »

In the spring of 2001, though he didn’t know it at the time, Mathew Martoma made a horrible mistake. After being expelled from Harvard Law School for falsifying his transcripts, Martoma (né Thomas) applied, was accepted to, and ultimately chose to attend Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. While having an MBA on his resumé may have helped Martoma in the short-term, years later it would cause him immeasurable heartache, when Stanford stripped him of his degree, deciding that it was too good to have a convicted insider trading among its alums. One business school not too good to embrace a person convicted of securities fraud? University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Danny Kuo found this out when he was looking for some sort of diversion to keep his mind off of the possibility of going to prison in 2012. Read more »