MBA v CFA

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 »

Second-year M.B.A. students at a number of schools are holding out for the perfect job, even if that means rejecting safe-bet offers and graduating into unemployment. The attitude reflects a major shift from just a couple of years ago, when business students aimed to lock in their postgraduation plans by winter break and those still looking in April were assumed to be deficient in some way…Bloom Energy, which taps M.B.A. students for 5% to 8% of its new hires, doesn’t recruit on a set schedule and rarely does so for positions more than six months ahead of time. That means those who want to start work after graduation generally only stand a chance at getting a job in the spring. And they’re willing to wait, said Helen Textor, director of global recruiting and staffing at the Sunnyvale, Calif., clean energy firm. “I’m surprised often at how comfortable they are” turning down other offers, knowing a job at Bloom is far from a sure bet, she said. [WSJ]

Once again, as it does every year, US News has released its ranking of the best, not bad, and okay business schools. As this is the sort of thing that inspires unbridled rage over perceived slights like finding out your alma mater dropped one spot or having to suffer the indignity of an inferior institution being too close on the list, and many of your are plain itching to get into a fight, everyone should feel free to do it in this controlled space.

If you’re having trouble working yourself up into a lather but don’t want to be left out of the fun, perhaps consider how it must feel for Wharton to finally have cracked the number one slot only to find out that it’s being split three ways not just with Harvard but with a school that will let anyone in.

104. Northern Arizona University Read more »

One semester under their belts and all of a sudden they’re too good to be consultants. 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 »