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!

4 comments:

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: http://lifeafternewyork.blogspot.com/
or here:
http://wesleyfogel.blogspot.com/

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.