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CAIA stackable credential pilot program

ya don't know what ya don't know until ya know it.

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A tad too late for us… but, I think Level I CAIA gave us some know how which was not covered in CFA or CAIA II… if you are looking for the full knowledge there is a possibility you may miss out on some knowledge base… but then again they may change some of the content to tailor this…

Agreed. If someone wants credential X, they should take and pass all of the requirements like everyone else. College already has all sorts of BS exemptions and carve-out’s for reasons A-Z, which is why I pursue respected credentials over the diploma mills today’s universities have become.

no bueno.

Yeah, I saw this today while I was on the CAIA website.

Not thrilled about it as I agree with the above comments.  With all due respect for the CFA Charter, CAIA level I depth is not covered within the CFA curriculum. Additionally, I think it waters down the credibility of the designation (which is typically measured by the amount of efforts that must be put in to achieve the designation, like the 3-4 years with the CFA Charter). What is really interesting is that the CFAI never offer a free ride to any other designation or even postgraduate  degrees, even if you have a PhD in finance!! this is what earns the CFA its high reputation. I do not think it is fair, my 2 ¢ .

I personally think they should have consulted with current enrolled candidates first before deciding on this. They also should have consulted current charterholders to get their views. The university linkup I feel is great.

I also feel CFA does not delve into certain topics to grant an exemption and agree that CFA will never grant any exemptions.

It seems to be going the CIPM route where you get exemptions for L1 exams.

CAIA Charterholder

+1 here.

I think it is good to share this feedback with CAIA.  I would encourage us to reach out to them directly.  I have already done so.

Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

First impression - upset and unimpressed 

they have really cheapened the designation imo.   CFA was and remains the gold standard.   I had hoped the CAIA could eventually become a solid B level.  

It now seems that if you complete the CFA you essentially get the CAIA at half off.  Does it come with fries? Lol They will increase the number of people getting it but at a huge loss of respect for it.  It seemed to me they were increasing the difficulty of the CAIA and have reversed course.  Maybe they just fold it in to CFA as like a specialty module 

I am upset because I don’t have the CFA and really don’t want to get it based on my job function and career position. I was looking for a solid credential related to what I do and thought I had found it.  Now i fear I have wasted time and effort on something. Hope I am wrong 

https://caia.org/sites/default/files/stackable_credential_pilot_program_...

only allowing 500 per exam sitting.  2-8 exam cycles so I read it as maximum of 4000 candidates this way. 

CAIA Charterholder

500… but how many people take CAIA per exam sitting? They never release that info, but my guess is that it’s not as many as you think.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. 

I’m pretty miffed by this and wholeheartedly agree that CAIAA should have polled existing charterholders as well as candidates to get their feedback prior to completely devaluing the designation without consent. It’s essentially a money grab, if you think about it.  Every CFA charterholder i’ve spoken to about this that has yet to sit for a CAIA exam basically mirrored each other’s sentiment in that they “have” to take the CAIA now given that it’s only one level, essentially.  Removing a hurdle is not synchronous with a renowned designation; it cheapens the face value and diminishes the hard work of others.

I could be overreacting, sure. However, unless CAIAA significantly bolsters the difficulty of L2, i feel that this is a pretty unsavory move, in my humble opinion.

ya don't know what ya don't know until ya know it.

I wrote an email to CAIA and am trying to get a call schedule.  I will keep everyone posted if I hear anything.  I would encourage everyone to do the same.  It is important they hear this feedback.

Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

I am writing an email to CAIA right now. MrNoFear, how do you get a call scheduled with them and with whom so I can do the same?

I agree that we need to let them hear our voices and our frustration. Keep pressing.

I just reached out to the team through their website:

https://caia.org/get-in-touch

There is an option specifically tagged with the Stackable Credential Program.  Maybe try replying to the email that was sent out as well.  Usually, the team is fairly quick to respond.

Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

Well, as a CFA charterholder who just passed level 1 of the CAIA … this sucks!

This really, really cheapens the designation, if not making it as totally worthless as the CIPM! 

One would hope that it can be rectified somehow. In principle, this is perhaps a bad omen about the direction the CAIA board wants to take this, their values and their strategy for the accreditation.  They are also launching the CADA accreditation, instead of building it into CAIA they are just inventing a new accreditation. Combined with the stackable CAIA program it looks like the focus now is on generating membership fees under a bunch of similar accreditations by the easiest means necessary, rather than building value in a single accreditation and giving it time to mature naturally and grow.

It would be difficult to put this horse back in the barn for them now that they have made a big public thing about it. I would hope it is possible however, within a time period that allows them to save face without broadcasting this was perhaps an ill advised strategic decision by their board members.  My 2 cents.

Thanks MrNoFear. I just requested a call. I am drafting an email and will be emailing it tonight. This is really frustrating. even if it is a pilot program, this will dilute the credential in both the short and the Long term, if they decided after the Pilot that it is profitable enough. 4000 level II candidate (under the new pilot program) x $1150 (early registration and Level II exam fees) = $4.6 Million, Pretty lucrative ”Pilot”.

If this is the new way of doing things - let’s just let anyone w/ a 4 year finance degree and a 3.0 GPA go to the level 3 of the CFA!

Gogo40 wrote:

4000 level II candidate (under the new pilot program) x $1150 (early registration and Level II exam fees) = $4.6 Million, Pretty lucrative ”Pilot”.

This. I see the move as a way to quickly increase membership and therefore fees/dues. By making the program more attractive (easier to attain) to current CFA charterholders, more people will be lured into the program, therefore increasing revenue for the CAIAA. They’re also piggybacking on the goodwill of the CFA designation, as people taking advantage of this program will now have , CFA, CAIA  on their busines cards, email signatures etc.

Maybe I’m jaded because I’m one of those CFA charterholders who just passed Level 1 CAIA in March as well. A heads up would have been nice.

Announcement made a day after receiving a pass on level one..how bittersweet..nah, actually just bitter now!! Just sent an email to CAIA as well..

What the hell is CADA? Is it supposed to teach data science or something? What is going on with this organization???

Frustrating. Having just passed CAIA LI it was good for career but bad for amount of time I spent away from kids.

Lunchbox wrote:

This. I see the move as a way to quickly increase membership and therefore fees/dues. By making the program more attractive (easier to attain) to current CFA charterholders, more people will be lured into the program, therefore increasing revenue for the CAIAA. They’re also piggybacking on the goodwill of the CFA designation, as people taking advantage of this program will now have , CFA, CAIA  on their busines cards, email signatures etc.

Maybe I’m jaded because I’m one of those CFA charterholders who just passed Level 1 CAIA in March as well. A heads up would have been nice.”

+1

I couldn’t agree more.  The CAIA now feels like a “nice add-on” instead of a stand-alone, challenging curriculum.  I think it is important we continue to communicate our concerns with CAIA.

Pay close attention to the people who don't clap when you win.

The priority of the organization now is just make more people taking the exam in order to collect fees…I don’t even think they think that far as what was discussed above in this thread…

I don’t even know if I passed level 2 yet, but if this goes through and the designation therefore becomes easy/useless, then I will simply not pay the dues and not use the designation on my resume. Or, if I failed level 2 I would not be motivated to take it again to pass. I’m not paying $350/year in dues for a junk designation! 

Sweet! Good thing I decided to take some time off rather than going straight to the CAIA.

laugh

Now that’s just ridiculous. I am assuming they don’t have enough candidates, hence the stack of BS. If they would lower the fees, I am pretty sure there would be more people registering.

In any case, this is cheapening the designation - I mean, how can you take it seriously after this? I regret wasting time and money on CAIA right now.

And what about this:

The pilot program will also be open to students in the soon-to-be-launched Masters in Alternative Investments program at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, one of the original founders of the CAIA curriculum. This program was selected for the pilot based on its adoption of the learning curriculum from CAIA’s Level I textbook. In the future, other academic programs using CAIA’s curriculum in their teaching may also be added to the stacking initiative.

Masters in AI at some random university (Masters in AI, WTF!!!!!), ARE THEY KIDDING?

***CORRECTION***

I referenced that the cost for registering and taking the L II directly will be $1150. This is Incorrect since I did not add the $400 first time Registration Fees, which you know will be charged. If you take a simple average between early and late registration this will account for $1600 x 4000 Candidate = $6.4 Million.. Really Really Lucrative Business.

I also agree with everyone here that we should be communicating our frustration with CAIAA. It looks like CAIAA did not want to float this idea before announcing the decision to avoid “THIS KIND OF REACTION” we are having. So I think we ought to still deliver our “VOTE” to them, maybe there is a change to save such a dilution to the CAIA designation and maybe our voice actually count.

I sent them a lengthy and detailed email and have my call scheduled, how about you? 

I have spoken to them, they are resorting to “consultant speak” which sort of conveys to me they unanimously greenlighted this in their echo chamber and now have turned off their critical thinking.  It felt a bit like getting feedback from an airline customer service representative or chatbot… I don’t want to be unkind and perhaps this is a bit unfair or reflective of my emotional state of mind… but still it did feel that way.  Long flowery sentences filled with consultant semantic lingo that says essentially nothing, and wanting to speak with me “to communicate the thesis behind it, but not to try to persuade me against my beliefs” and yadda yadda yadda yadda. Like if Bain or McKinsey partners were at the helm of the Titanic at the crucial moment, explaining in five syllable words to the crew why the ship is definitely not in danger of sinking and there is nothing to concern yourself about. But I can imagine they well recognized there would be a backlash, they are prepared to defend against it given they probably send the same long emails cut and paste to all of us who contact them.  They apparently are implementing a plan for CAIA to become the “cow” in the McKinsey business model chart rather than the “star” in the same chart.

CAIA was founded out of the UMASS Isenberg School of Business in conjunction with AIMA. So perhaps do a bit of research before knocking the initiative. In fact, CAIA partners with several universities around the world who teach alternative investments as part of their finance (either undergrad or grad level) degree programs…this one is just focused on alts exclusively. 

To clarify nobody is talking about whether UMASS Isenberg School of Business has a good or a bad program, at least as far as I can tell from here.  We are talking about whether one 200 hour exam separating someone from the rest of the finance world can truly be called a charter, or whether it’s just a certification in reality. Several of us on this forum have studied for CFA and/or FRM (the other 2 accreditations covered by analystforum).  Waaaaaaay different in terms of time commitment and effort now that CAIA is only 200 hours for most of us on this forum to take now.  The angst is that CAIA just became CIPM by another name, when we approached this whole thing from the point of view of getting a charter not a certification (such as CIPM is), we didn’t sign up for a quicky certification or plan to pay annual fees around that.  We came for the real stand alone charter accreditation thing, the sort of thing that differentiates you by more than 2 months from the rest of the world at large.  So some disappointment is to be expected, no offense meant to anyone.  But man… just man.

Does anyone think the above will have any knock on effect whatsoever of the pass rate % for those that took level 2?

Also if a CFA qualified student failed level 1 this sitting does that mean they can sit level 2 in September?