AuthorTopic: My CFA Story
@2014-10-13 22:12:07
Hi all, I am posting here for the first time. Just wanted to share my story and hope it could be helpful for others. I completed L3 in 2013 and finished all three levels on my first attempt.

After completing my undergrad degree in commerce (from a college in India), I worked in trading operations for a big investment bank's India operations for 2 years. However, I realized that a higher qualification is a requirement for better opportunities in Finance. I chose CFA over MBA since it was more specific to finance and investments and I also did not want to burden my family with expenses related to MBA.

I took the decision to quit my job a few months before giving my Level 1 exams in June 2011 since 60+ hours at work was taking a toll on me and I could not focus on my CFA studies. For the next 2.5 years I worked at a local firm in my hometown where I was a financial advisor. I spend very less time at office and dedicated this period for CFA, staying at home. Apart from CFA studies, I also spent time watching movies, hanging out with friends and traveling to avoid the fatigue associated with full-time studying.

In spite of having a lot of time to study, I chose analystnotes over CFA since I found CFA books long and not focused on the exam. Studying from analystnotes gave me time to complete a couple of rounds of revision before exam-day. But I made it a point to do all end-of-chapter and blue-box problems from CFA books. I also made notes on my laptop while studying which was very useful towards the exam-day. Attempting sample exams were critical for L3 but not so much for L1 and L2.

Looking for a job in August 2013 after passing Level 3 was a difficult task due to the economic crisis and recession fears. I did not get any interview calls from the big banks or money managers. My experience-gap of 2.5 years did not help either. But I managed to find a job as an equity analyst for a KPO firm (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) in India. We prepare equity research reports, financial models, market updates etc. for investment banks and money managers across the world.

Just to give you folks an idea, I make around $1000 a month, working 45 hours a week. This is not my dream job but it is better than my trading ops job which was $500/month working 60+ hours per week. I would eventually like to do something more interesting and rewarding, like working for an asset manager. Please let me know your thoughts and comments on my story. Thank You!
@2014-10-14 21:00:56
so you quit a job in back office operations to study full time for the CFA exams because the job was too demanding?

That right there says I should never hire you. You don't have the drive for this business.
@2014-10-15 14:01:27
I to am confused what you hope to obtain? You quite a finance job to get a finance certification to get..? a finance job? I know i'm generalizing but work experience will trump the CFA card - the combination of both is what would help you get what you want.
@2020-01-16 03:17:05
i could be wrong but I think what he was getting at was that 60+ hours a week for 500/month was not as good of a use of time as just quitting and studying for the CFA

If you are living poor and having to cut corners (but IDK how time-consuming this lifestyle would be in India) I could see how hard it would be to study for the CFA?perhaps nearly impossible.

CFA Discussion Topic: My CFA Story

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You have a wonderful website and definitely should take some credit for your members' outstanding grades.
Colin Sampaleanu

Colin Sampaleanu