CFA Institute To Crush Thousands Of Dreams Come Saturday

Are yours among them?
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For some people, this coming Saturday represents nothing more than the first Saturday in June. For others, it's the culmination of months spent telling friends "I can't come out, I have to study for the CFA" and allowing personal hygiene to fall by the wayside. And here's the kicker: for about 50% of the smelly, it won't even have been worth it.

On the first Saturday in June, more than 170,000 investment management professionals in 91 countries will attempt to climb what has been called the “Mount Everest of Finance” by taking a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam—a six-hour battery of tests with rigorous questions covering topics like quantitative analysis, accounting and ethics...passing is not an easy task. Usually, more than half of all those taking any level of the exam fail. They then have to wait as much as a full year to take the same level again. Candidates can spend hundreds of hours over the course of several months studying for just one test.

If you're feeling calm, cool, collected, and ready to show the CFA Institute who's boss, congratulations. If on a scale of 1-10, 1 being "I have zero jitters whatsoever about this thing" and 10 being "I'm losing my god damn mind," you're somewhere between 12 and 17, feel free to let out anxieties here. We're listening.

170,000 people are about to take Wall Street's toughest test [Yahoo]

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CFA 2012: Good Luck To All

As those of you who took the week off to study are well-aware, Saturday is CFA exam day, for all levels. And while we have complete confidence in all of your abilities, some people have expressed feeling a bit jittery about the test. For the vast majority, those fears, while normal, are unwarranted. You just need to talk it out and should consider this space a safe place to do so. For a smaller group of people, though, your fears are totally founded because, statistically speaking, you will fail. Having said that... Back in January, after Matt found out he'd passed Level 1 (with a perfect score), a conversation occurred at Dealbreaker HQ that went something like this: Me: So are you going to sign up for Level 2? Matt: Eh, I don't think so...I mean, I don't really feel like spending the next 5 months of my life studying, y'know? And then what am I going to do? Wait around another year to take Level 3? Me: Uh....YES, I thought that's exactly what I thought you were going to do. Don't you want to be a CFA charterholder? Don't you want to go to CFA Camp? Matt: Meh. Fast forward to last Thursday, when we're sitting around l'office shooting the shit and someone casually mentions, "I wish I were taking the CFA next week." Unfortunately, said someone is not because he choose not to sign up, strangely forgetting how much he loves standardized tests. That being said, if anyone is scheduled to take Level 2 but a) is suffering performance anxiety and b) wants the opportunity to read another recap of how things panned out for an editor of this site, Matt is happy to go in your place and pass it for you. With two nights of studying he gives himself a 50 percent chance (I think it's closer to 75), you'd get those 8 hours back, and it'd make him really, really happy. If he doesn't get to take Level 2 he's considering the idea of the Connecticut Bar in July. Let him have this.

Let's Talk About: How Many Of You Are One Step Closer To CFA Camp?

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.