Are you planning to become a portfolio manager or a research analyst or seeking a profession in the investment industry? Even if you are not, CFA, a globally recognized investment credential, is worth knowing about as it might just help you figure out the career path for you.
For becoming a CFA Charterholder, you need to complete exam levels (Level I, Level II, and Level III) and have 4 years (or 4,000 hours) of relevant work experience or a combination of education and work experience of 4 years. Only after finishing the aforementioned requirements, you can add “CFA” after your name.
The topics covered by the three exam levels remain the same but their weightage varies across the different levels. The 10 topics are:
- Ethical and Professional Standards
- Quantitative Methods
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Corporate Finance
- Equity Investments
- Fixed Income
- Alternative Investments
- Portfolio Management
These topics provide the candidates with thorough financial knowledge, bolstering their investment analysis skills. It is also ensured that the candidates are taught about the ethical standards based on which work should be done.
To register for level 1 examinations, you need to have completed your bachelor’s degree or be a final-year student in your undergraduate program. You are also eligible to apply for level1 exams if you have a full-time work experience of 48 months or a combination of education and professional work experience of 48 months. So yes, even if you are not pursuing undergraduate studies , you can still earn a CFA credential if you have required work experience.
The exam pass rates are below 50% for level I and level II, and for level III it is 56%. Each level needs to be individually passed in order to proceed onto the next level. CFA levels being difficult also mean that there are only 167 thousand CFA Charterholders in the whole world, making this credential quite rare and hence, valuable.
The CFA Institute through its 156 societies across the globe helps hundreds of candidates every year to appear for the CFA exam levels. They offer different types of scholarships:
- Access Scholarship
- Women’s Scholarship
- Student Scholarship
- Professor Scholarship
- Regulator Scholarship
- Media Scholarship
For Access Scholarship holders, the exam registration fee is reduced to USD 250. The recipients of all the other types of scholarships have to pay USD 350 for their exam registration.
This professional qualification allows the candidates to gain graduate-level knowledge and is a great investment for those who want to build a strong career in the financial world.