CFA, CAIA or FRM.

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Nikolai Boboshko's picture

Hey, I am a 4th year economics major trying to decide what I want to do after graduation. I browsed the websites and looked at the relevant careers and would just like some additional opinions on the available designations. Is there anything I should know about that is not advertised? For example; How tough is the CFA? How usefull is the CAIA? How popular is the FRM? 

One more thing. Apparently I can start CFA is my 4th year, which is usefull since I can’t take accounting courses at my school (different department). But what about FRM and CAIA? They don’t explictly mention that I can or can’t start. 

Thanks for any help. 

dvictr's picture

The CFA is the only one that matters.. if you can get the charter by the age of 26… the value is many times more greater than a career underachiver going for it at 35.

if you pass level 1 in dec and level 2 net year after graduation you will be a hot shot fresh grad

itera's picture

The other 2 are FAR easier to get in comparison to the CFA.  You can always go back for those, no problem.

If going the CFA road, do it EARLY. 

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

Nikolai Boboshko's picture

Thanks for the tips guys!

Getting a lv.2 CFA a month or two after graduation would be awsome, but I don’t think that’s possible. I need post-secondary degree to take lv.2. The registration deadline is in March, but I am not going to graduate till May. So even though the exam is in June, I can’t take it. That being said I am going to go to my local CFA organization just to be sure. If I have the time maybe I could do a level of FRM in addition to CFA. Just need one more sponsor. 

I am curious, why is it recommended to do the CFA early? 

itera's picture

Many reasons.  1) coming out of school, you’re accustomed to taking big tests

2)  no family duties (wife, kids..)

3)  pass rates have been on the decline

4)  faster you get the CFA, more value to you to employers

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

ohai's picture

Why the f is there a smoking guy picture now? 

Anyway, I agree. Do CFA first. Even “progress towards CFA” is more valuable than FRM or CAIA. 

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

Nikolai Boboshko's picture

Thanks for the advice guys! Going to try to start my CFA as soon as possible, hopefully get a level of FRM in too.

Just a few more questions, can anyone clear up this statement from the CFA website about entering the program:

“or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program at the time of registration”

http://www.cfainstitute.org/cfaprogram/process/Pages/index.aspx

I am just a bit confused about the difference between enrollment and registration. Is registration after the 8 to 10 week processing period? Also, I am not sure if I can enroll now or have to wait till September. 

Finally, how friendly are the local (in this case Toronto) CFA societies to visitors with questions? For Toronto, I have to fill out a contact form and wait for them to respond, but it feels like its taking a long time. Should I just wait?

itera's picture

Doesn’t seem confusing to me at all.  You must be a senior when you submit the online exam registration form…

When you registered and paid, then you’re enrolled.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

Nikolai Boboshko's picture

My university has just credit requirements, so its not important if I am senior or a sophomore. Anyways, I wanted to know if summer registration counts as a 4th year or if it has to be a standard academic year. Contacted them and turns out I can register in the summer if I take a sinlge course. 

The Righteous Hacksaw's picture

you pay your good to go.  these guys aren’t gonna be on your ass about this.

No Homo

Millview's picture

I don’t know your ability to study but I would have thought that if you are in your final year, you have your hands full with final exams etc? If you do then I don’t know how you are going to find the time to do that and the CFA and one level of the FRM at the same time. Maybe I am missing the point.

One other point I would make is that do not think that the FRM is an easy option. It isn’t. I have done all three and personally I think that content wise the FRM is as tough as (if not tougher than) the CFA. You can get the designation more swiftly because it is two exams and there are two sittings a year, but it is not exactly a breeze.

itera's picture

It depends on what school you go to.  I have a friend who goes to local worthless school for a master’s in finance, and I was doing all his HW, and it’s stuff you see in Level 1.  That’s how sad it is

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

sok454's picture

What school is that?  IS it online Masters too????

Get after it study hards!

http://nickelroadgifts.com/

mansoor08's picture

CFA first then you think about FRM and CAIA. In fact if you can achieve CFA first, FRM and CAIA will become easy. But my advise is not start anything before finishing at least L2. 

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