Job opportunities for CFA L1??

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
puneet_singal2003@yahoo.com's picture

I from India and I am interested to do job/work experience in the field of Private Equity and Venture Capital or as a Financial Analyst in Singapore or HongKong which has better work opportunities and global exposure 

Cleared Level 1 in Dec, 2011 and registered for Level 2 in June, 2012

Can anyone guide me regarding the job opportunities in Singapore or HongKong (Does CFA help in getting good jobs)?
I have a work experience of about 10 months.

Please please people provide me guidance on this matter.. Extremely important for me..

puneet.

Watch Peter Olinto, JD, CPA introduce you to the Elan Guides CFA Learning System
itera's picture

Congratulations on passing level 1. You are probably the 20th Indian person asking if passing level 1 will get you a great job somewhere. The answer is no, level 1 is not enough

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

CFASac's picture

For private equity or venture capital, passing all three levels isn’t enough, let alone passing level 1. 

Mr-Z's picture

Family member who is in a senior role at PE or VC Firm > Friend who is in a senior role at PE or VC Firm > Existing PE or VC experience > MBA from Top-tier b-school > CFA chartholder > Passing Level 1 of CFA Exam.


CFASac's picture

Oh and in HK, you need Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. In Singapore you just need Mandarin and English. Those are often the prereqs for finance jobs in general. 

itera's picture

Hot girl with stellar rack > well educated average looking guy from top school > passed level 1 CFA

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

bchad's picture

CFA is better than no CFA, but not really all that helpful for PE and VC, as I understand it.  Those guys want either equity research experience (which is in the CFA curriculum, but there’s lots of other stuff too that is not so relevant to PE), or they want a large list of connections and deal-making experience.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

CFASac's picture

bchadwick wrote:

CFA is better than no CFA, but not really all that helpful for PE and VC, as I understand it.  Those guys want either equity research experience (which is in the CFA curriculum, but there’s lots of other stuff too that is not so relevant to PE), or they want a large list of connections and deal-making experience.

In that sense, anything is better than nothing. A BA in music is better than not having one, but the relevancy is just not there for PE/VC. 

Is equity research really the preferred route? I would have guessed i-banking for all the valuation work you do. 

puneet_singal2003@yahoo.com's picture

Suppose I clear Level 2 in June, 2012, then wat are my chances for Job opportunity in Singapore or HongKong??

Basically a finance profile like Financial Analyst, not necessarily in Private Equity or Venture Capital Firm

puneet.

CFASac's picture

I know more about HK than SIngapore, so I’ll tell you what I know and hopefully help you decide.

Assuming you pass level 2, and you are just looking for a financial anlayst role, your chances are a lot better than PE/VC. Would it be easy? Probably not. If it were a few years back, I would say your chances are pretty good. But the financial job market in HK has been flooded with applicants, and it’s nowhere near as easy nowadays to get a job. In HK, you typically need to speak both Mandarin, Cantonese, and English to get the best jobs. They target English speaking countries, and mainland China. 

I would imagine passing level 2 means signifcantly more than passing level 1, but you have to remember it’s Asia. Those kids study for exams like their lives depended on it (I would know since I lived there and researched there during undergrad).

It’s a pretty daunting challenge to take to just fly there and hope someone would offer you a job and visa. There pay is also very low (at least compared to similar jobs in the US, I don’t know the equivalent in India), and they’ll work you to death. I have a friend at MS in HK working up to 120 hours a week. 

Another thing, their views on education is US > Europe > HK, China, TW > rest of the world. I don’t know where you did your schooling, but that’s something to keep in mind. 

itera's picture

120 hours a week?!?! That’s not humane! I agree about the low pay over there and the required languages

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

FrankArabia's picture

the only opportunity after L1 is L2……that’s it……

infinitybenzo's picture

I like bchadwick’s and Frank’s responses.  The former is more constructive and complete and the latter is short and not so sweet but I agree with both.

Anyways, I think passing level I means very little to any employers or HRs.  But it should be better than nothing even if it’s marginal.  Good luck! 

itera's picture

^ I believe that’s called confirmation bias. You’ll get to that at level 3

Seriously, CFASac answered in far more detail directly related to the question OP was asking from direct experience working in Asia.  What’s so special about “Yes CFA is better than No CFA” really? and “you get to take L2 for passing L1” again really? I’m not putting these 2 guys down, those are just fine answers, but it seems you’re disregarding anything negative.  What’s so great about misleading OP and giving him false high hopes??

There have been quite a few people who only take in what they want to take in (the positive comments), and realize they’ve passed L3 and still nothing.  Then they come back to AF and complain how they wasted their life and how useless it was.

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

JonnyDee's picture

Ah, the CFA jaded. They put such high hopes in allure of the CFA program to only be left jilted by a cold mistress.

infinitybenzo's picture

It’s not about giving false high hopes iteracom.  Just saying that it is hard or the odds are stacked against you but it is doable and giving the OP advice on how to give him a better chance is far better than… oh you won’t do it. 

To the OP, this is probably not the best source to consult about your career or how to get there.  Contact from your alumni or a mentor figure and that person will give you guidance and insights to increase your chances instead of half jokes such as girls with nice racks > avg guy with stellar MBA blah blah blah…. It’s funny and is true in come cases but I don’t think you were looking for jokes or laughs.

CFASac's picture

infinitybenzo wrote:

It’s not about giving false high hopes iteracom.  Just saying that it is hard or the odds are stacked against you but it is doable and giving the OP advice on how to give him a better chance is far better than… oh you won’t do it. 

To the OP, this is probably not the best source to consult about your career or how to get there.  Contact from your alumni or a mentor figure and that person will give you guidance and insights to increase your chances instead of half jokes such as girls with nice racks > avg guy with stellar MBA blah blah blah…. It’s funny and is true in come cases but I don’t think you were looking for jokes or laughs.

I gave my honest opinion not to hurt OP’s feelings or ruin his hopes. On the contrary, I respect him as a person, so I’ll give him the most honest answer I know. If you think what I said was mean or rude, the finance career would give him a rude awakening. 

What I stated was my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. However I am involved with one of the finance programs at a large university in California. I deal with many exchange students on a regular basis who are trying to find finance jobs in the US. And the issue is none can get the sponsorship necessary to start a career here. The supply way outnumbers demand, and OP’s resume just doesn’t provide any incentive for a company to sponsor his visa as opposed to hiring many equally (or more) deserving first years. 

My advice to OP: try to get a position at an internationally recognized company in India, and start there. If nothing comes up that way, try going back to school. If you were at LSE, you should have done your networking while you were there. 

infinitybenzo's picture

I am sorry if I sounded critical…. I am just saying that staying positive is key.  Even if it’s an inflated hope, I believe it is essential.

Just look at the definition of hope on Iteracom’s profile.

CFASac's picture

infinitybenzo wrote:

I am sorry if I sounded critical…. I am just saying that staying positive is key.  Even if it’s an inflated hope, I believe it is essential.

No problem, no offense taken. 

puneet_singal2003@yahoo.com's picture

After reading all the answers it seems like CFA isn’t a big deal, so could anyone guide me regarding how to get a good financial job in HongKong or Singapore??

puneet.

Stevie Ray's picture

When I read comments like those in this chain, it makes me wonder if CFA is worth it.  If it really is no big deal, what is the point of spending so much time pursuing the designation?  For those above making comments like this, can you let me know why you are spending your time and energy with the CFA program?  I am not at all criticizing, just trying to understand.

itera's picture

The critical point people need to understand is that to fully realize the value of the CFA program, it needs to be combined with the necessary experience.  It may help you move up faster in your current job, it may open more opportunities for greater responsibilities and higher pay, but the key is:  Experience >>> passing CFA exams

The CFA charter is well known and admired, true. But a lot of people think that because this is true, then passing the tests must automatically open doors.  This is a big mistake.

One can argue: “well, finance is what I want to do, and I’ll eventually go for the CFA exams anyway, then I’ll do it early.”  That’s fine. Just don’t expect a flood of doors to open and tons of job offers when you pass L1/2/3. 

The only way to get that kind of response is a top MBA program. 

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

CFASac's picture

Stevie Ray wrote:

When I read comments like those in this chain, it makes me wonder if CFA is worth it.  If it really is no big deal, what is the point of spending so much time pursuing the designation?  For those above making comments like this, can you let me know why you are spending your time and energy with the CFA program?  I am not at all criticizing, just trying to understand.

CFA is a big deal, but only in certain contexts. OP got his degree from a school no one has heard of (besides the one class from LSE). Imagine you are an employer in the US. What does OP bring to the table that makes it worthwhile for you to go through all the trouble of sponsoring his visa, paying an immigration lawyer, filing all the paperwork, possibly paying for his room and board while you do 3 rounds of interviews (with the possibility of telling him “no thanks, have a nice trip back”), etc. It’s a much safer bet for an employer to just find a first year amongst the many US students who have also passed CFA1, and have much more recognizable backgrounds than someone from India. 

This is depressing to talk about. I hate to be so pessimistic, but it’s just a tough situation for him. 

puneet_singal2003@yahoo.com's picture

But I really wanna work abroad and gain some good experience, so how to go about it??

Please guide me

puneet.

puneet_singal2003@yahoo.com's picture

Abroad mean outside India. Eg: UK, USA, Europe, Australia, HongKong, Singapore

Please please guide me

puneet.

Stevie Ray's picture

Okay, points taken.  Great to have and well respected, but it will not take you from IT position in India to portfolio manager in the U.S. in six months.

Off topic question since top school MBA brought up.  If I were to go for an MBA from Columbia or NYU whle working, is this much different in terms of employer recognition than going full time to these schools?  My impression has been that the full time MBA from good schools is much more valuable because it is harder to get in as a full time student. 

itera's picture

Part time is far less respected vs full time. In many schools, the part timers don’t even get the campus recruitment opportunities , or at best get the crummy leftovers
Full time is far more valuable if your goal is to really break out and move into something different.

A lot of people stuck in a dead end job go for part time because they don’t want to give up a salary, and that’s understandable, but it doesn’t help as much as they hope

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

puneet_singal2003@yahoo.com's picture

What about job opportunities as a financial analyst in Europe for an Indian like me?? (Like Germany, France, Switzerland)

Currently registered for CFA Level 2 Exam in June, 2012.

I have done PGDBM (Finance), B.Com.

Have work experience of about 1 year as a financial analyst

puneet.

Subscribe toComments for "Job opportunities for CFA L1??"