CFA Institute Shatters Fewer Dreams Than Usual In 2014

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To be sure, it shattered a lot of dreams. Dreams whose seeds were planted, for some, as far back as the early nineties, when the Institute was formed. On visits to the hallowed halls of CFA headquarters. In conference rooms, where colleagues discussed the merits of MBA versus CFA. Upon receiving an email from a friend who'd just updated his signature to include those three little letters and a note to "please see my updated credentials," when the urge to vomit was strong, but was no match for the realization, "I want that."

On June 7, 2014, those dreams were still just that: a dream. Today, for a record number of dreamers, they are a reality.

The pass rate for the Chartered Financial Analyst exam’s third and final level rose to the highest since 2006. Fifty-four percent of applicants succeeded, the CFA Institute said in a statement today, up from 49 percent on the June 2013 exam. Passage was the highest since 2006, when 76 percent of candidates made it. The average pass rate from 2004 to 2013 was 54 percent, institute data show. Rates fell as the financial crisis spurred more people to seek the designation amid mounting competition for jobs on Wall Street.

CFA Exam Results [CFAI]
CFA Pass Rate on Level 3 Jumps to 54%, Highest Since 2006 [Bloomberg]

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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. Your studying was worth it, your plans are right on track, the promise land is so close you can taste it. The rest of you are likely feeling less good. Your (hours and days and weeks and months) of studying did not end up being worth it, you're right back where you started, and the path to the quote ultimate honor unquote--the land of milk and honey and stacks of CFA exams in need of grading, as high as the eye can see-- seems littered with insurmountable obstacles. Your family and friends and colleagues told you they never wanted to hear those three little letters in that sequence again but if you need to vent, we're listening. You're safe here.