AuthorTopic: CFA - 50 things that you should know
@2009-09-11 23:22:34
Take it with a pinch of salt!

wrote it after I passed level 3 this yr.

I started preparing for CFA when it had been 6 months into my first year at B School. CFA seemed to be that great qualification which was very difficult to attain and thus very much respected. It seemed to be the magical gateway to $100,000 jobs and it was an accepted fact that it required very hard work and that hardly anyone cleared the exams in one shot. That was January 2007. Today is August 2009. I have cleared all three levels in my first attempt. I think now having gone through the program, i can write decisively about the myths and realities surrounding it. Here's 50 insights in the program

1) Its not that tough that they make you believe. CFA is very do-able.

2) CFA is 80% hard work and 20% intelligence.

3) An average joe can clear the program provided that he/she does not give up hope.

4) CFA is difficult because you'll have to give up on your social life for the three years that you're doing it.

5) It is much more difficult to clear the exams while you are working

6) Thus, if possible take atleast 1 ( better 2) levels while you're still in college

7) Clearing only 1 level or clearing only 2 levels does not carry any weight. You have to clear all three levels before you can make the exams work for you.

8) CFA alone will not catapult you to the $100,000 job 99% of the times.

9) It is expensive. Abt $2500 to be precise

10) It will cover all topics in finance, but it is more suitable for equity research type of roles

11) it is not a substitute of FRM ( and vice versa)

12) You're not going to seem attractive to chicks in a bar only because you hold a charter

13) People don't get that much impressed that you're a CFA unless they are CFA level 1 candidates

14) the feeling of passing level 1 is the great, level 2 is good and level 3 is just ok

15) The happiness of passing Level 1 lasts 1 week, level 2 lasts 2 days and level 3 lasts a few hours.

16) Schweser and AnalystNotes are the best

17) Study atleast 2 hours everyday

18) start Preparing at least 4 months before the exam

19) refer to CFAI textbooks only when in need for level 1 and level 3

20) Use CFAI textbooks often in level 2

21) you'll forget what you studied by the time you complete your course.

22) in View of 21, revise at least thrice before the exam

23) you mock test scores in AnalystNotes are the best indicators of your expected score

24) Doing AnalystNotes review questions and doing CFAI past years qns is a very good idea

25) take free CFAI sample exam 3 weeks before the exam

26) take CFA mock exam 10 days before the real exam

27) apply for a 2 week leave before the exam , well in advance .

28) try to understand the material rather than mug it

29) Ethics is BY FAR the most scoring and important topic in exam ( especially in level 1)

30) take lots of tests

31) If possible, study from some videos for L2

32) Everyone who studies for at least 300 hours for L1 shall pass that exam

32) NOT Everyone who studies for 300 hours for L2 shall pass that exam

33) L2 is very difficult. Abt 4 times more difficult than L1

34) If possible, form a study group

35) Don't start hitting on the girls in the study group. If prone to such activities, study alone

36) Talk to your friends regularly on weekends. take out 1 hour on both days for this purpose. This will ave you from burning out

37) Have a beer when you're frustrated of this F&&&& exam

38) If extremely bored of preparation, take a weekend off. Go on a trip/ read Calvin & Hobbes/ Gossip with friends. After 1 weekend, hit the books again. Without fail

39) Don't let people fool you into thinking that you can pass the exam in 2 weeks. That won't happen unless you're John Nash.

40) Join

41) It makes immense sense to talk to someone who has cleared your level (recently) before starting actual preparation

42) Don't be afraid of the numerical. They're not that difficult

43) for L1 - FSA , ethics are Imp

44) For L3, having a holistic view is important

45) For L2, Everything is important

46) Do not send the picture postcards you received with CFA registration to anyone, that'll instantly classify you as nerd

47) Its better to complete one book before moving to another one, that way you'll always have an idea about how much syllabus you've covered

48) Once you pass, don't boast about the CFA program. That's one of the most stupidest things to do.

49) If you fail once, don't give up. If you fail twice, continue if situations were outside your control. If you fail thrice, leave it.

50) Degrees, Education, Charters, Exams are all of zero importance if you do not maintain good relationships with people. That's the single most important thing that i've learnt over the three years in this program

@2011-10-12 06:07:11
Nice one bhaiyyu. Helps me get mentally ready for my big one (L2) in next June.

Also, ran thru your other blogs quickly. Liked the one posted on 12 Feb. Would come back to your site sometime.

Also congrats to you for clearing all levels.
@2013-04-06 13:19:24
Thanks for sharing. Still true now. Preparing for L1 in June.
@2019-07-05 07:51:15
Too many things to remember! But thanks anyway.

CFA Discussion Topic: CFA - 50 things that you should know

To post a new topic or reply to a topic, please log in or register for a free user account.

I am using your study notes and I know of at least 5 other friends of mine who used it and passed the exam last Dec. Keep up your great work!