Prepping for the CFA Exam: Determining What’s Important

I certainly had more questions than answers when beginning my journey, but after going through it, I figured out what was truly important and what isn’t. I hope to shed some light on what you need to know before embarking on the path to becoming a CFA charterholder and I will also highlight some common misconceptions.

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Frank Carson
The CFA® Program: Why I did it, and why I encourage other women to pursue it, too!

Women remain significantly underrepresented in the finance community, and there are challenges to advancement. In my opinion, the main challenges include getting in the door at top firms and gaining the respect of our male colleagues. Holding the CFA designation helps provide knowledge and personal conviction from having accomplished such a difficult goal, as well as many other important skills and success criteria.

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Joanna Horowitz
How to Study for the CFA® Exam as a Parent

It sounds pretty ominous: A 300-hour study commitment over the course of four to six months, which works out to be roughly between 12.5 and 18.75 hours per week. Oh, and that 300-hour assumption is an average; any individual might need to put in considerably more effort in order to master the material well enough to pass the test.

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Pete Baksh
The CFA Difference

Preparing for the CFA® certification process involved devoting a year and a half of my free time to pursuing a single goal with very narrow margins for success at each stage across three exams. Although I completed the process with the fastest timing possible—namely, December for Level I and June for Levels II and III

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The CFA® Charter as a Transition Tool

I began my career in the bond market research department of a major sell-side investment bank. At that time, "Wall Street" was run by firms whose salespeople, traders, and research teams established the markets’ liquidity and dictated market prices to clients.

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Sidney Hardee
Why the CFA® Charter Worked For Me

When I saw a request go out for help sharing my experience and insight by contributing a guest post to a new blog, I thought it would be a great opportunity to shine a light on a smaller group in the CFA charterholder community.  I am a CFA charterholder, and I do not work in the money management or financial services industry.

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Randy Johnson
Twists, Inversions, Shape Shifters—Three Theories

The time or term structure of interest rates, often referred to as “yield curves,” moves continuously as bond prices respond to changes in interest rates. The yield curve graphs this relationship between bond yields (change in price reflected in yield) and bond maturity (time or term).  

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Gayle Buff
CFA® Program and the Challenge of Motherhood

When I left a well-known consulting firm in Paris and moved to Toronto, I knew immigrants in Canada usually struggle to get their first job because of the lack of Canadian experience or Canadian education. I had neither of these, so naturally I felt lucky that I was able to land my first job quite easily. Even though I had what was considered a good experience in treasury risks, hedge accounting, and financial risk management in general, I felt that I needed an additional asset education-wise to fully compete in the Canadian job market on Bay Street.

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Aline Ndeme
A Mindset for Success in the CFA Exams

I’d like to share some mindset hacks helpful in passing the CFA exams, along with some pointers on how to approach this daunting and rewarding experience. As a charterholder myself,  I’ve had the privilege of mentoring candidates through all three levels, and I hope this helps you in your studies.

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Peter Baksh
Portfolio Construction Using the Bloomberg

"Portfolio Construction and Revision" is a sub-heading of "Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning" (Part X of CFA Institute Candidate Body of Knowledge, or CBOK).  As portfolio management and wealth planning are significant disciplines that CFA® candidates and charterholders find themselves engaged in on a day-to-day basis, it is useful to explore functionality within the terminal setting that can be applied to these tasks.

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Scott Kamenir
Is global financial crisis closer than expected?

Since the last recession which was crystallized by financial crisis in 2008, the US and global economies have experienced sustained growth. Major market indicators such as S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow Jones have gained in excess of 280%, 400%, and 250% respectively. The number of stock market analysts predicting recession is increasing by the day.

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Tunji Adeniran
When Life Gets in the Way of Studying

While it certainly may feel like your entire existence is engulfed by this test for six months out of the year, it is naïve to think that the rest of the world cares or it will place itself on pause until you are less busy studying.

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Alex Knapp
My Keys to Success

I went three for three on the CFA® exams. There was (no question) some level of luck and good fortune, I do believe there were a few things I did that aided my success, and maybe some or all can help you on your own successful path.

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Derek Dedman