How to Become a CFA® Charterholder

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:27:24 PM

Earning the CFA® charter is a great way to set yourself apart in the financial industry. Not only will your job prospects improve with the charter, but you’ll gain global recognition and real-world expertise that will help you better serve your clients for the rest of your career. The path to becoming a CFA charterholder is challenging, but it can open new doors to you in global finance.  

There are four components to getting the CFA charter, which we have outlined below.

Pass the Exams

If you are considering the CFA charter, you have probably heard about the CFA exams you have to pass first. There are three exam levels (I, II, III) with unique topic and learning focuses. The topics include investment tools, asset valuation, and portfolio management. Each exam will test different learning focuses. The Level I exam focuses on knowledge and comprehension, while Level II is more application and analysis based. The Level III exam focuses on synthesizing information and making evaluations.

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Topics: CFA® Exam, CFA Institute, CFA

What Can I do with My CFA® Charter?

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:27:11 PM

The CFA® charter is a globally recognized financial designation that serves as a badge of knowledge, commitment, perseverance, skill, and hard work. Earning your CFA charter sets you up well for growth in your career as a finance professional. But exactly what kind of a finance career can you get as a Chartered Financial Analyst®?

CFA Institute conducted a survey of all charterholders to determine their most commonly held job functions. Based on their findings, we’ve detailed the most common job functions of CFA charterholders below to give you a clear picture of what type of career you could pursue if you choose to earn the CFA charter.

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Topics: CFA

5 Reasons to Become a CFA® Charterholder

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:26:17 PM

If you’re interested in a finance career, odds are you are considering the alphabet soup of financial certifications. If you’re looking for a cost-effective certification that will give you global recognition and a deep understanding of finance, the CFA® designation might be for you. This article explores 5 perks of deciding to become a CFA charterholder.

1. Better Job Prospects

While nothing on your resume guarantees you a job (even the CFA charter), the charter will boost your finance credentials. People in the industry know the time and discipline it requires to become a CFA charterholder. Earning the charter demonstrates your work ethic, analytical abilities, and ethical grounding to employers. The CFA charter is not the golden ticket to landing your dream job; however, it will give you deep knowledge in the areas of investment analysis, asset management, and ethics. It will also speak volumes to your credentials and work performance. Firms that focus on the “buy side” (investing institutions like mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance firms that buy large portions of securities for money-management purposes) prefer CFA charterholders to MBAs

According to CFA Institute, the top ten employers of CFA charterholders are: 

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Topics: CFA

CFA® vs MBA: Which Direction is Right for Me?

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:25:43 PM

It’s a popular question, and there is no shortage of opinions on the topic. But deciding between the CFA® Program and an MBA program is a very personal decision. As a finance professional, you would likely be very well served to pursue either. This comparison is not meant to call one out as a clear winner. There are a lot of variables that dictate which one might be the better option for you. And the truth is, many finance professionals choose to pursue both at some point in their career… although we wouldn’t recommend pursuing them both at the same time, at least while working a job as well.

This article is intended to look at particular characteristics of both paths, and help you determine which is best for you, your lifestyle, and your career plans. Below, we’ve detailed a list of questions you’ll want to consider when deciding between the CFA Program and pursuing your MBA.   

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Topics: CFA

Do You Have What it Takes to be a CFA® Charterholder?

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:25:18 PM

Anyone who has gone through the CFA® exam preparation experience will tell you it isn’t for the faint of heart. The CFA exam is challenging…but like most difficult things in life, it’s challenging because it’s worth it. According to CFA Institute, the CFA charter is the most respected and recognized investment management designation in the world.

If you’ve considered completing the CFA Program and earning your charter, you’ve probably wondered, “What skills do I need to be successful?” We recently surveyed a large population of CFA charterholders and asked that very question. Here’s what they told us it takes to successfully earn the CFA charter and perform the functions of a Chartered Financial Analyst® in the day-to-day business world.

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Topics: CFA® Exam, CFA

I Failed the CFA® Exam: Now What?

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:24:43 PM

So, you failed and need to retake a level of the CFA® Exam. It happens sometimes. And when it happens to you, it can be a frustrating feeling. But all is not lost. You have experience on your side, and you can retake the exam with confidence. You just need to keep a few things in mind as you prepare for your retake.

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Topics: CFA

Designing a Strategy to Retake the CFA® Exam

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:24:18 PM

When preparing to retake of the CFA® Exam, at any level, it can be difficult to determine where to start. This three-step guide will help you focus on the areas where you need the most work, and devlop a plan for preparing to successfully retake the CFA Exam. 

Step 1: Review Your Banding

Along with your results notification, if you have been unsuccessful, CFA Institute will have given you a banding. The banding shows your decile within the fail population.

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Topics: CFA® Exam, CFA

9 Reasons People Fail the CFA® Exam

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:23:47 PM

A step many students give very little thought to, but one that can really help you shape your CFA® Exam retake strategy, is to consider why you were unsuccessful.

Understanding the root cause for failing the exam will help you avoid the same pitfalls at the next attempt and manage your time in the most effective manner. Typically, unsuccessful candidates will fall into the following groups.

Here are nine reasons students fail the CFA Exam, and some advice for achieving a better result on your next attempt.


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Topics: CFA® Exam, CFA

Passing the CFA® Exam: Video Tutorial

Posted by Kaplan Schweser on Jul 22, 2016 2:22:32 PM

Kaplan Schweser's expert instructors provide information on what you need to know to pass the each level of the CFA® exam. Each video includes level-specific study tips, exam strategies, and important topics to help you in passing the CFA Exam. 

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Topics: CFA® Exam, CFA

Self-Study vs Live or Online Class for the CFA® Exam

Posted by Tim Smaby on Jul 22, 2016 2:21:53 PM

The CFA exam requires a significant commitment of your valuable time and your scarce financial resources. So the first decision you have to make (after you decide to sign up for Level I and use the services of an exam prep provider) is how you are going to make it through 300 hours of study over a period of 6 to 9 months and give yourself the best chance of success. That means deciding whether you are going to attend a live or online class, or go it alone, so to speak. In the following, we will explore the main differences between self-study and guided instruction.

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Topics: CFA® Exam, CFA

Kaplan Schweser Resource Center

This is your single source for news, research, and exam information related to professional financial designations. 

We aim to help you:

  • Learn more about the process of earning specific designations
  • Discover the benefits of designations in your career
  • Efficiently and effectively prepare for your exams

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