CFA – Goods & Bads…


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Considering CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst qualification as your next career step?? Here is a brief listing of some of the main  reasons to pursue a CFA designation and some argument for saying no thanks:

PROS

CONS

Salary bump (potentially even before program completion) Significant time commitment (over 250 hours per level)
Access to a community of CFA Charterholder Relatively costly (around $1,000) per level plus expensive third party educational material (which is almost necessary)
International recognition Opportunity cost (social life, salary…)
Understanding of broad body of knowledge (economics, statistics…) Narrow scope. Useless outside of the investments field
What does not kill you makes you stronger (but it will actively try to kill you though…) 48 months experience requirement before earning the charter
Personal challenge to test your own willpower Few  networking opportunities  while completing the program (as opposed to an MBA)
Bragging rights Most people outside of finance have no idea what the CFA is (while most know the MBA)
Likely paid by your firm if you work in the investments field You are on your own while studying
Difficulty of the program increases the prestige of those who passed Unless you are a genius, some of the theory is pretty hardcore
Flexibility: you can study while keeping your job The curriculum focuses on value investing which may not be very useful for everyone

 

Hopefully, this will help you reach the optimal decision for your career but ultimately pursuing the CFA program or not is a purely capital budgeting decision. Obtaining the title could be a great achievement for your career but you have to be ready to clear numerous hurdles…

 





 

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