Need some Opinions on CFA.

Hi, i am considering the idea of pursuing a CFA course, and i`m looking for some inputs and opinions from ppl who are already CFAs or are currently pursuing CFA or have some knowledge of CFA. i want to pursue MBA in finance in fall (august) …

Hi,

i am considering the idea of pursuing a CFA course, and i`m looking for some inputs and opinions from ppl who are already CFAs or are currently pursuing CFA or have some knowledge of CFA. i want to pursue MBA in finance in fall (august) 2007 from US..and i wish to do some finance course in the meantime to get a hang of finance.

i`m an engineer and i have no workex or education in finance. so basically i`m looking for the following things from any course that i do:

1. Since i dont have a degree in finance or wokex in finance, i might face difficulty finding jobs in US after MBA. So i`m looking for a course should help me get good internships and jobs in the US during summers or after mba.

2. The course should have some international respect and recognition. while courses from IGDIR, ICFAI, NMIMS are quite good, they are unknown in US. i need an international course which companies in the US will recognize.

3. Lot of my classmates (from engineering) who`ve done MBA finance complain that finance is a completely different field and they find it hard to cope up with so many new concepts. So i`m looking for a course that would give me enough knowledge in advnace to cope up with the complex financial concepts during MBA.

4. In a US mba, most classmates generally have several years of related work ex. so the course should also make me strong enough to be compete with them academically and bring me at par with them in terms of financial knowledge.

after a little research, i have found that the course that best fits the above four requirements is CFA. What do u guys think? Does anyone have any opinions or suggestions in this regard? should i go ahead with CFA? or should i look for something else? is there any better option than CFA in my situation? is CFA managable for someone with a degree i engineering and work ex in IT? i have good knowledge of stock markets and have studied some NCFM modules. i understand derivatives and bonds, and a little bit of mutual funds and investment products. in this situation..can i manage a CFA or will it all be bouncers over my head?

i have heard that CFA is a pretty tough course and requires a lot of effort in terms of studies and preparation. i dont mind putting in any amount of effort or number of hours of study. i just wanna know how feasible it is for a person like me. thanks for any help!

hey CTD
i am pursuing CFA from AIMR USA . You can take up the course from India. Its the world's most recognised course in finance leading to CFA charter. Level 1 exams are conducted in december and June.
The course is tough by any standards. For the first two levels you are tesetd on the basis of multiple choice question. The question paper is very tricky. For more details you could check out www.cfainstitute.org If you have cleared this course you don need to to do an MBA in finance. As its the mother of all fin courses. Later maybe after 5 years of good industry work ex you cud consider the options of an MBA in finance but i don think you would really need it.
A qualified CFA can expect anywhere between $100000-$140000 p.a in USA. (Mind you thats the starting salary).
The ROI is pretty high. Sitting in India you could finish the course for about 2 Lacs considering assumptions that you clear the exams at the first shot. Once you have cleared level 2 exams you could think of going to the states and take a job which would pay you between 50000-75000$ p.a
Many people with IT background are taking the course up in India because its fairly challenging. I am not discounting the fact that life's gonna be tough for u being an engg but nothing's impossible .
Hope i have managed to get a clearer picture.
all the best
btw : I am a CA and currently doung MBA from symbi, pune
Take care

Hello insane_genius,

Since you are currently doing a CFA right now, I would want to ask you to rate the ISMA ( international securities and marketing )course offered. I was told that this course is well known all over the world.
I also have a similar IT background with no previous finance experience.
Im in a dilemma whether to go for a CFA or consider any other finance corses such as ISMA which specialise in investment banking.
Any experts feel free to voice ur opinion
Could you also let me know the oppotunities in say UK compared to US?
Thanks!

wow man...you`re a CA and and MBA and you`re doing a CFA....u must be the baap of finance!

thanks for the details, now i have some specific querries:

1. I work full time and spend 10-12 hours in office. after work i can spend about 2-3 hours for CFA and then maybe 1-2 hours in the morning and 4-6 hours on weekends. now, that amounts to 25 hours a week = 100 hours a month = approx ~400 hours until the level 1 exam in june. do u think this much effort is sufficient for a guy like me who has the basic understanding of finance but no advanced concepts and no finance experience? will i be able to pass with this much amount of experience or should i study the whole year and go for december 2006 level 1? i want to finish it as quickly as possible...so i would like to do it in june if it is possible to pass. otherwise i would do it in december. what do u think?

2. i have the basic knowledge of finance. i know stuff like time value of money, NPV, derivative spreads and pricing, options etc. all this i have learnt by reading magazines and websites. i am also pretty good at math and quantitive skills. now based on this background...will i be able to pass at least level 1 in june 2006 or will it be a waste of money?

3. if u think i can pass and i should attempt it, can u give me the exact steps as to how to register for the exam and get membership to the cfa institute? i would like to know the exact amounts involved and how/where to pay up.

thanks for your help man!

Hi
I will answer it question wise. See whether you take the exam in june or december you will cover cfa in the ssame time( assumption u clear at first attempt) Coz level 2 exam areconducted in june only.But yes if you clear in June 2006 then taht would give you 1 year to prepare for level 2 in june 2007 . But if you take exam in dec 2006 then six mnths for level 2. Now regarding your time calculations. Hmmm really doubt you would be able to give in the tikme u saying. But yes if you give in taht much time i am sure its enough to cover the content. Clearing exam is about ur aptitude.
Now my suggestion would be that if you don hav fund shortages then take the exam in june 2006 ideally and god forbid if u don clear u still would have time in dec 2006. But yes if you have fund shoratge then give ur best attempt in dec 2006 but then you will be making life raelly tuff for urself in level 2
See the detailed steps for registartion is availabe on cfainstitute.org if you have a credit card its a 5 min online registration. Exam fees depends on when u register. The next slot is for feb 15th. So i suggest that you get the books and start studying. If you think taht you are getting a hang on the prep then pay the fees on feb 15th and take the exam in june or otherwise register early for dec 2006 exam and save a lot of money. The earlier u register the cheaper the exam is for u
Hope i have answered your queries . Please feef free to ask for more queries. Its always a pleasure to answer a fellow pgite
take care

hey leo
i am really sorry i have not done much research on the ISMA course but from what i have heard the course is sought after and worth the call. But it isn't as recognised as cfa. also i have not done any research for fin courses in UK so sorry about not being able to help you
take care

hi

Well, I am also in the same boat. Want to pursue finance first before going onto the MBA if needed. I went through the AIMR website and got the feel of it but still have many queries.

1) It says that a minimum of 3 years work ex. is needed as investment professional for
" charter" which is the major stumbling block.

2) Also it says that the condition on work ex would be extended to 4 yrs from 2007 which
aggravates the problem more.

3) If work exp. is needed that means we cant get charter and hence can not be called
CFA as such, so will we get jobs even if we complete first two levels?

4) could u plz tell me the registration fee??

5) One another problem is how to get books for CFA? If we order them, it would cost a
lot, so is there any way we can get alternative books in India?

6) Last but not the least, could u plz share ur profile and the level at which u r currently??

It would be really wonderful if u could answer the queries.
Thanx in advance.

hey Ankit,
i am have mentioned my profile in the earliar post on the same thread. I have given my level-1 exams in december.
You are a qualified CFA once you clear all the three level. But you become a charter holder only after 4 yrs of relevant work-ex. You can write in your CV that you have cleared all the three levels whcih is sufficient for you to get an amazing job. People in USA do get a job even after level 1 but obviously at a lower level. Level 2 cleared students do manage to get jobs in good Investment banks but the pay scale is lower than levvel 3 cleared students (which is but obvious)
The fee details are listed on the AIMR website. So why don you check it there. Getting books can be a very expensive affair. Many people in mumbai sell books and notes at much cheaper rates. For details you could search yahoo groups for aimr cfa india and you can join the groups for info on books, calculator , tutions and other resources.
Hope your queries have been answered.
Take care

hi insane...thanks for the valuable info and suggestions!

i dont have any money problems, if i dont clear it in june i dont mind registering again in december and paying registration charges again. my only concern was that if it is IMPOSSIBLE for a guy like me to clear it in june, then i shud probably not go for it. if you say it`s possible to clear it in june with some hard work, then i`ll definitely go for june 2006.

yes maybe i am overestimating the number of hours. let me revise it: 2.5 hours a day on an average (if i finish work early, i`ll put in 4 hours...if im very tired on some day, i`ll put in 1 hour, so average 2.5 hours is a safe bet!) = ~70 hours a month = 250~300 hours till june...hope that is sufficient!

so i`ll follow ur suggestion: i`ll start studying soon and see how it goes. if i`m able to put in the number of hours that i think i can and if i`m able to grasp concepts quickly, then i`ll go ahead and register for june 2006, otherwise i`ll delay it until dec 2006 and study leisurely.

initially i thought that i can give level 1 in june 06 and level 2 in june 07, but i dont think level 2 can be prepared for within 6 months...it`s pretty difficult! so if i end up giving level 1 in dec 2006, i dont think i can manage level 2 in june 2007. i think u have the option that u can give the level 2 and 3 exams anytime in your life right? i mean, i can give level 1 in 2006, give level 2 in 2008 and level 3 in 2009...etc etc. am i right, or is there some restriction on that?

can u tell me how much YOU personally spent on level 1? (all expenses including registration, fees, books, calculators, coaching (if any))...i just wanna get an idea.
i think the membership fee is around 16,000 and registration fee for each exam is around 20,000 if u enroll in the "middle deadline" (not an early bird, and not too late either).

can u please comment on the above insane_genius? and thanks for all the info...it is really helpful for all of us! great job!!

hey ctd
yeah u r rite . You can give level 2 and level 3 exams anytime in your life. But i still suggest that please go thru the website to check because i hav not researched it myself and am relying on info heard from some one else.
I guess the time estimates sound more reasonable now and also gives u some cushion time. You are rite abt the fees. The calculator was for abt 2500 .. i did not take any coaching so have no idea about it... The books and study notes were borrowed from a friend .. Search aimr cfa india on yahoo groups for detailed info on resources.
Take care , all the best

hello mverick leo
i think isma is a good university for ib.but u should know what u want to do with ur degree. if u want to come back to india it is grt course .but if u want to stay in uk and work then i think u should try with some more reputed universities as the brand name plays a big game in uk to get u a job.(these are completely my views-might be i am wrg so just confirm it with someone in uk or is presently studying at isma to get a better picture of the situation in uk).
u could also visit teh following websites if u want togo to uk for u future studies:
1)www.ibtalk.com
2)www.the studentroom.co.uk

for crash_test_dummy.
i thougt u have a grt gmat score and u should apply this year only,but its u wish only
as per u cfa query i think giving 150 hrs is enough for a guy who has no idea abt finance to clear cfa level 1(atleast this is what i have read on cfainstitute ka website)plz check for u self!!!!!!!!!!!!!
u and ankit 3 k the guy who wants alternate books for cfa could visit the follwong forums :
www.analystnotes.com
www.analystforum.com
so guys keep pouring u queries.
hoping that we could help each other in order to each our own dreams.

Manan..Plz check ur pm

Hi, i`m back with some more querries about prep material

the official "recommended reading list" on the CFA website mentions a set of about 12 different textbooks to be referred to. at the same time, there are so many prep books and courses and notes available on the internet and in the market. Which of the two are more suitable to prepare from?

As i see it, the textbooks are standard foreign author books which explain all the details of the topic and are excellent source of knowledge. Since the same textbooks are recommended at all three levels (only the chapters to be referred to are different at different levels) it would be a good investment to buy the textbooks once and use them for all three levels in the coming 3 years, and then for the 2 years of MBA (if i do MBA at some point in the future). so basically, by purchasing textbooks, i`m making an investment for 5 years, plus i`m preparing from the "official recommended reading list", and getting good knowledge.

i`ve heard that the textboks are too vast and i`ll have to study thousands of pages on and on if i study from the recommended standard textbooks. also the textbooks are general books and they`re not exam oriented, so even if i study from the recomended textbooks, i might face difficulty in the exam. someone told me that it might not be possible to complete all topics before june if i study from the textbooks. if i want to clear it in june, i HAVE TO go for notes. Also, the notes will prepare me for the exams much better than any textbooks. The notes are very exam oriented, but they wont be much of a long term investment since i`ll have to keep buying new notes for different levels.

should i go for a combination of both? as in, should i purchase textbooks for some important and complicated topics and study the remaining topics from notes? in this case, which textbooks should i buy?

I would appreciate any advice in this regard....insane genius and fellow PGs, please help!

what is the purpose of acquiring so many qualifictions. CA, then MBA(Finance) and then CFA?????? the second thing that takes me by surprise is that at 23 you have CA and MBA(Finance), how?

ocean Says
what is the purpose of acquiring so many qualifictions. CA, then MBA(Finance) and then CFA?????? the second thing that takes me by surprise is that at 23 you have CA and MBA(Finance), how?


he has just now completed cfa level 1 and is still doing his MBA, and CA can be done at an early age if you manage to clear the exam...so i think 23 is an "achievement" rather than a "surprise". i`m myself planning to do mba after cfa, if i feel the need to do it. a course like CA or CFA gives u the depth of finance by teaching u complex financial topics...whereas a course like MBA trains you in the managerial and leadership concepts. together, they form a very good combination. CFA also gives an international dimension to a person`s career.

insane_genius, please answer my previous querry about study material soon! thanks in advance.

hi,

My name is Shalabh. i m giving my first level in June '06. I got the new books. well it quit simple and 250 hr is more than enough to prepare for the exam. Well you can finish the course in 200 hr and in rest of the time u can fine tune yourself and gain knowlage in the areas in which u r weak.

you dont have to be a master in finance becaz CFA is not only abt Finance rather it is a mix bag of Finance, Ethics, Eco etc. So go through the books and then enroll for the course


Shalabh

hi,

My name is Shalabh. i m giving my first level in June '06. I got the new books. well it quit simple and 250 hr is more than enough to prepare for the exam. Well you can finish the course in 200 hr and in rest of the time u can fine tune yourself and gain knowlage in the areas in which u r weak.

you dont have to be a master in finance becaz CFA is not only abt Finance rather it is a mix bag of Finance, Ethics, Eco etc. So go through the books and then enroll for the course


Shalabh


hi shalabh, which new books have you bought? prep material/notes or standard textbooks? can u tell me the titles u`ve bought, where`d u buy them from and the cost associated? are u already a finance/commerce guy or are starting fresh? where u from?
Could u also answer my specific querries in my previous post?
(sorry for so many qustions!)

hi

I m using Stall. it is simple so dont need to work.

I m a comm grads in fact BMS so even i have not done finance in detail. I m from Mumbai and working right now

Thanks
Shalabh

hi
I m using Stall. it is simple so dont need to work.
I m a comm grads in fact BMS so even i have not done finance in detail. I m from Mumbai and working right now


cool, thanks. i`m hunting for stalla myself, maybe i`ll be getting a xerox from one of my friends...and we might be sharing the costs. i think the new edition of stalla from the net costs around 27,000 right? if i save money thru xerox, then i`ll also buy some recommended textbooks. i`m from mumbai too...aiming for june 2006.