I think it's better I'll start posting as and when i have time than to wait for the time when i can pen down a 10,000 word essay that no one wants to read! So here goes....

Overall, my CFA L1 was disastrous! But as bad as it went, i'm gonna keep hope alive until the results come in about 2-3 weeks and be positive. Plain, simple, straigt-forward advice: DO NOT TAKE THE CFA L1 LIGHTLY. This is NOT your regular school/college exam where you can study and cram for a coupla weeks and then vomit it in the main exam and pass. If you dont have a commerce/eco background or work ex, ou need at least 6 months of consistent preparation with 2-3 hours every single day and full time studies on the weekends. i studied very sporadically. i started in full force in december 2005, which tapered off by feb. Then picked up some speed around late feb and tapered off again around april. I hardly studied in May and by then it was too late. The ideal time to prepare for a newbie is about 8-9 months, assuming he has a job and can snatch a coupla hours here and there. for students (who can devote much more time for studies), i think it'll be ideal to study for 6 months consistently.

the biggest problem i faced was recalling/remembering concepts. There is just SO MUCH to`s really vast. Even if you study hard, your memory might fail you...there was stuff that i had studied, and i was so confident that i KNEW it well...but i couldn`t recall something as fundamental as a formula or a shortcut. I stared at some problems so helplessly coz i couldn`t recall what the concept was, or i spent way too much time on some problems coz i went long way calculating coz i didn`t remember the formula. the only solution is to devote the last one month exclusively for revision, and not go in for anything new in that period.

secondly, i focussed a lot on the textual and conceptual part of the topics and didnt focus so much on the application part. if you study from the prescribed textbooks, each topic is covered in dozens of pages of pure applicaiton, no problems, nothing. CFA asks you to APLLY these theory concepts to solve numerical problems. So do not get satisfied if you feel you've read thru the text and "understood" everything. You HAVE TO know how to solve problems and apply concepts. this is where schwesers, stalla, prep material, etc comes handy. I should have made my studies more exam focussed rather than purely academic.

Thirdly, the calculator! You must be fluent with's quite a complicated peice of machinery! learn to do all that jazzy techno stuff with the calcy and be fluent with it. Input cash flows, calculate IRRs, NPVs, amortization values, etc. This stuff can be done manually as well thru regular arithmatic operations, but knowing ho to use the hi-tech functions of the calcy can save a lot of time.

Fourthly, you have to prioritize and allocate appropriate times to each topic. For example, accounting and asset valuation forms a big chunk of the paper, and for a person without accounting background, it takes ages to get used to the concepts. in contrast, topics such as portfolio management and derivatives are easy to understand, fun to study, can be completed quickly, and carry very little weigtage in the exam. So pick and choose your topics accordingly and prioritize them well. i spent way too much time studying simple topics with low weigtage and rushed thru heavyweights such as accounting.

As for study material, i feel one should try and study from as many sources as possible. I mean, you shouldn`t restict yourself to only schwesers or only textbooks. Schwesers is good from exam point of gives you actual exam questions, application based questions, and problems. but it condenses important concepts and presents them very briefly, so it`s difficult to understand such concepts for a newbie. On the other hand, standard books give you no exam based training and present concepts in plain might understand the concept thoroughly, but may not be able to apply them if you study only from textbooks. A good strategy would be to keep both side by side and study in parallel, referring to textbooks each time you dont understand something in schwesers. Obviously, such a strategy will require a lot of time...6 months along with a job may not be sufficient to implement such a strategy.

that`s all i can think of now. if you have any specific questions, i`ll try and answer those. best of luck!

PS: mojo, i think your style of writing, the flow of language, and word choice is very impressive...not to mention the perfect punctuation!! (i tend to notice such things a lot!)

Hi CTD. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with us as it would be very useful for many new CFA aspirants.
As of your results are concerned, be positive and Godswilling you will clear your CFA L1 soon.
An update regarding CD-roms

Today, i recieved CD-ROM for beta -2 CDs. One for QM, one for FM. Simply incredible !

It contains e-textbook, e-lectures, notes, quiz, articles and additional readings,glossary and mock test with graphical analysis and time limit.

E-lectures is like you are sitting in classroom and a human voice is explaining you chapter while you are looking at slides. I am done with beta preparation, otherwise e-lectures would have been a perfect way to start the chapter.

I am also impressed with mock test. Overall, what a great product from a private university. Can delhi University (DU) , ICAI, ICWA, ICSI match this innovation?

The way ICFAI designed , conceptualised and delivered the CFA product to masses is outstanding. The upgradations which they do every year like CD-roms, internships, CIIA guidance etc is commendable.

God bless ICFAI and CFA's too

hey babu, that simply sounds great. But i would like to know from you that did u paid anyhting extra for those CD Roms and e-learning package? as i guess u too have enrolled at the same time when i enrolled that was around march last year. And I suppose we both paid the same fees that is Rs 45,800. Now if there is some discrepancies in the above information please clear my doubts.
thanks a lot.
hello every1,
i have completed my graduation in economics from DU this year.
im plannning to do CFA(distance learning) from ICFAI.
a lot of people are discouraging me to pursue this course as they say its not reputed, ill not b able to find a good job and blah blah blah.......
i really need help as to what kind of job will i be able to get.
is distance learning less reputed from a regular one.....will this affect my job prospects....

hi dear,
first of all congrats on completing ur graduation.
now regarding the reputation of CFA course, i dont have to speak much about it as this course speaks for itself.
Still i would quote here that this is a wonderful course if you are considering finance as ur specilization area. it gives you the indepth knowledge about the subject.
dont get discouraged by the comment of the people whi knows nothing about it as they would definitely try to defame this, but rather ask the opinion of the people who are pursuing this course. i'm doing this courrse and is perfectly satisfied by this course.
regarding job prospects and other quires u can read the previous posts as there u can get the full explanation of your queries.
If u want to know anything else, just shoot here.
Ek ghalib ki shayari likh raha hoon bahut hi pyari hai..........

Kyun na lipat kar tujhse main soun aiey kabr;
Kyun na lipat kar tujhse main soun aiey kabr;
Aakhir maine jaan de kar tujhko paaya hai.

apologies to ghalib, but i think it can be edited this way too.

Kyun na lipat kar tujhse main soun aiey kabr;
Kyun na lipat kar tujhse main soun aiey kabr;
aakhir main saath chodney ka dar toh nahi.
Today i read in education times Trump and gates article how to crack Acturial exams. I liked one line in that article:

'Your studies should be Exam oriented"

I feel this is the best hidden secret for CFA exams too. You might end up studying Robert J vanderbei Linear Programming or Avtar Singh Company law books but there is a possibility you will not be able to solve questions in the exam. Make sure while doing CFA:

1) You get basic concepts i.e the larger picture.

2) You practice questions the way it is framed in the exams.

These 2 things will help you to clear CFA with first division as well built a solid foundation for Investment Research career.

Remember , it is not short cut studying. It is smart studying.

Please post your experiences how you are preparaing for L 1/L 2/ L 3 July 06.

Warm Regards,

hey babu,
Thanks for taking inititative and putting a smart effort in road to preperation of CFA. these small things/strategies will really come handy at exam time. Keep posting stuff like this.
DEAR crash_Test_Dummy,
what is the total cost of CFA program, including books and fees for all the three levels. i am about to take my final exams. should i register for next exam of level 1? which would be more helpful- self study or joining a coaching of stalla at pune?kindly advice.

hi dear. are you online at this moment? if possible can u mail me at . we can discuss somtething abt CFA at the moment. plz reply fast if possible.
Anand- Do you have papers in hard copy or electronic version. In case if you have latter, then do let me know. I will PM you my email. You can send the papers to me as well to ritesh.

Warm Regards,

Hi Babu. me having papers both in hard and softcopy. yaar my PM is not working properly if if u can tell ur mail id i can mail those to u. i had already mailed those to ritesh today.


Rs 100 is really too much. I am thinking not to download any papers for L 1.
I am focussing on work books. Questions in work books are based on examination format and it is really helpful to score high. I was doing Management accounting 1 today morning and found Cost allocation very boring chapter. But quickly after reading the chapter, i solved questions in workbook and that was not boring.
How you guys preparing?

hi Babu and Ritesh. yaar me busy with summers so don't get ample time to study but still trying to do my best. yes i m having off on weekends. wat abt ritesh? and i m having papers of both gamma and delta of janurary & april. so need to worry for downloading of that, u can get them from me.
Ritesh and Anand have lot in common. MBA + delhi + summers + both of you giving gamma and delta in july

Ritesh, i have also opted for Karol bagh centre. So i will meet you on july 9

Rightly said Babu, we both have a lot in common, but not lucky with the center.:( anyways ritesh i m doing MBA from NDIM (New Delhi Institute of Management). Still hope to meet u guyus in between as we all three are from delhi. hope that will make things better for us.
jainritesh152 Says
Hi Babu......i stay in munirka in delhi........

hi ritesh i m anand and doing my MBA from Delhi. i m also doing CFA and will be aappearing for group Gamma & Delta. howz ur preperation going of the 4 subjects? and which center have u choosen in delhi?