AuthorTopic: CFA with no finance background
Robherman
@2015-07-01 09:01:48
Hi,

I have a bachelor of laws degree, but no relevant finance/economics/business degree. I have 2 years background in the back office of a funds management firm, so I have some knowledge of markets, securities and the investment industry.

My question is: how long will it take me to get through the material for Level 1? I learn pretty quickly, but can I be prepared for the December exam or should I go for the June one next year?

Cheers,
Rob
cissych
@2015-07-02 15:31:18
Nobody knows the answer to this question for you. Prep time ranges from two weeks to pass to a year to fail. Why don't you get the books and see how long you think it will take to get through them based on all the factors in your life.
eclipse
@2015-07-04 21:23:22
Rob, while I agree with cissych, I can help a bit. I am a lawyer, with some securities regulator experience, and currently in compliance. No finance background. I'm about 10% of the way through studying for L1. Ethics (the first part of the materials) was relatively easy given my experience, although not a pushover. The rest of the material is and will be more challenging. I am managing, but it will require some diligence and a good investment of time. I'd be very cautious if I were you, although as Cissych suggests, I'm not in a position to say yes or no for you.

The other potential issue for you (and all us December writers) is this. Would you plan on writing L2 in June 2016? If after writing L1 you're unsure whether you passed, will you wait for your resultsto know whether you have to re-study for L1, or whether you start studying for L2? If it's the latter, you'll have a compressed study schedule which will probably be even tougher than starting now for L1. On the other hand, if you write L1 in June then you have a good break before knowing what you're writing in June 16.

Food for thought.

BTW, get the analyst pro package: well worth the money.
crystalpool
@2015-07-04 23:03:35
if you want to do it, do it. it's that simple. i started studying for L1 last august with exactly zero finance, accounting or economics knowledge and passed in December. it was a lot of work, but it can be done.
glacier
@2015-07-20 23:01:11
I have seen people in my company who have came from History and Sociology backgrounds (UnderGrad) and now managing funds worth of 450 Millions but they are CFA.
leftcoast
@2015-08-25 09:40:27
I'm sure you've already decided what you're going to do, but in my experience writing level 1, I would have been a lot more comfortable taking a year to get through the material. I got through just fine in less than 6 months and passed, but I wasn't very confident and that is with a decent amount of experience.

My biggest problem was it took a month or so just to figure out how to study for the thing. It takes time to understand just how much information you are responsible for knowing, and how to best allocate your time, because literally every paragraph in every chapter of every book has something worth memorizing. And seeing as that is not necessary, or possible, it takes time to realize what you have to do to pass.

CFA Discussion Topic: CFA with no finance background

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I am happy to say that I passed! Your study notes certainly helped prepare me for what was the most difficult exam I had ever taken.
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Andrea Schildbach