Sunday, June 3, 2007

CFA Level 1s

Oof, what a rough day. Starting your weekend with a 6-hour test is never a good thing to do. But that's what I did today. I had to take my CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1s today. There are 3 levels, and once you pass all 3 levels, you obtain the designation of CFA, which essentially means you get the merit badge that deems you worth to manage other people's money professionally.

The CFA is a tough designation that most financial analyst of any rank or experience is trying to obtain, because inherent in the designation is a large amount of prestige, and more importantly, a quick way to boost the salary (we're talking probably $20-40K differences, all else the same).

So how tough is it? Well, according to the CFA website, only 39% passed the level 1s last December, and unlike the SATs, people who take this test actually want to be there. That is a scary statistic considering the pass rate hovers at 40% year to year.

Although at the test, I did notice about 50% of the available seats were not filled, implying that there were supposed to be more people there. I hope that the low pass rates include those who don't even show. If anyone knows how the pass rate is calculated, please tell me!


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you did well on Level 1. Thought you might want to consider revising your reference to the CFA as a noun, and slight exaggeration...i.e. Section 7 of the Standards.

Wesley Fogel said...

Neat blog and nice post about the CFA. I also sat the Level 1 exam yesterday and didn't know exactly what to expect but was relieved it didn't take too much out of me. Back to work tomorrow after all!

I also work for a 'large' bank in London and have a similar amibition to earn my own money independently. I'd be happy to share any thoughts.

I'm usually here:
or here:

Finance Guy said...

TO Anonymous, you're probably right about the grammatical usage of CFA as a noun, and I think the slight exaggeration is to the salary comment. I do believe however if you dig deep into the CFA site, there is a place that talks about the salary differences, and I thought it was that big.

Riggins said...

I just took the CFA level 1 as well. Between the 1st section and 2nd section after the break about 40% of the people never came back. I was sad to hear that these scores don't get counted. It's like they never even took the test. Good luck to you guys.