I’m curious whether or not going through the CFA process makes sense for someone wanting to start their own business rather than work for an I-bank or in proper finance. More specifically, I’m interested in starting a consultancy/research firm that would provide market info/research/analysis on a specific sector of China’s economy. I’ve lived in Beijing for 6 years, speak Mandarin and am working for an MNC now, but doing policy research and analysis rather than financial analysis. I don’t have a background in finance, so what I basically want is to be conversant in financial analysis to be able to analyze companies’ balance sheets, evaluate listed companies in the industry, write detailed industry reports (of which financial analysis would be one part) on this sector and hopefully sell them to investors/clients interested in this sector where I already have a lot of background and good connections.
In other words, I’m interested in the CFA to give myself some background in finance and some credibility with potential clients who would buy my research. I’ve been studying Swisher notes for L1 exam for 2 months (still haven’t officially signed up), but am enjoying the material. Would taking the L1 exam equip me with some of these skills/credibility? Would I need to become a Charter member for the CFA designation to mean anything in the eyes of, say, a potential hedge fund or investment client? Do I simply need to learn the skills and not even bother with the test?
Any other comments or advice about how feasible this sounds?