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CAIA lvl 2 and CFA lvl 2

Hi Everyone,

I am currently preparing for the CFA lvl 2 Exam. I also passed CAIA lvl 1 Exam. How do you think is it a good idea to register also for CAIA lvl 2 and prepare both exams simultaneously?  Had anyone simmilar experience? 

I have a quant background and working currently full time as a financial risk consultant. I would like to switch to IB.

Thank you in advance!

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Did you receive your CAIA level 1 result today?

Caveat is I have no experience with the CAIA yet but the CFA level II is very difficult (hardest out of the 3 in my opinion). I would say you want to devote all of your available study time to that if you want to pass. Your quant background won’t help you much either. 

Thanks for your suggestion. Could you please tell me what materials have you used for CFA level 2? Is Schweser notes alone enough to pass with the certainty? As a quant the toughest topics for me is Ethics and second toughest FRA.

I used Kaplan and thought it was pretty good. Focus less on Qbank as you need to practice item set format. Practice tests are the key. Spend the last 12 weeks doing 10 practice exams and reviewing them. If you are constantly scoring mid-high 70’s on those practice exams I’d say you are in very good shape. 

Like Arbguy mentioned, your quant background will mean nothing during CFA exam because there if your way and there is the CFA way.  I used Schweser during all three level and it seems to worked out fine for me.

Below was my sequence:

CAIA 1: September 2017

CFA 1: December 2017

CAIA 2: March 2018

CFA 2: June 2018

luckily I passed all exams. Second levels together felt a bit stretched but Doable. It was a tough decision and doubted myself during 2018 with the time constraint. But now I have a whole year to study for CFA level 3 and the feeling is great. Worth to mention that CAIA 2 helped in Preparing for CFA level 2 specially in Economics, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Ethics and Al. Alot of overlap there.

If you thought the first levels were easy and passed comfortably its worth it to take the decision.

Good Luck!

CAIA Charterholder

I would have a hard time keep the material straight.  Hats off to you guys.

Really? I am considering doing that actually, the Level 2’s at the same time. I hear they are monsters. I am a CPA though, and understand IFRS and US GAAP. 

I think being a CPA is a plus. Equity, FRA and CF are related. I think its doable. Trust your Gut. You will feel great.

CAIA Charterholder

Below was my how I did CAIA w/ CFA:

CFA 1: Dec 2015
Took off CFA 2 June 2016 because I changed jobs.
CAIA 1: September 2016
CFA 2: June 2017
CAIA 2: September 2017
CFA 3: June 2018

I felt like this was very manageable.  Wanted to allow as much time as I could to focus on CFA 2 for June instead of trying to jam in CAIA 2 that March.

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

how hard would you guys say CAIA 2 is vs CFA? 

My personal opinion is the CFA program is more difficult than the CAIA program.

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

I would say CFA levels 1, 2, and 3 are harder than CAIA level 2.  Plus the caliber of candidates in the CFA program is stronger, which makes passing it even tougher than the CAIA.

This Neil guy is a clown. Did you even take any CFA exams? It is well documented that CAIA has better candidates than CFA. The average CFA candidate is not even close to the caliber of CAIA candidates. Do your research.. 

*note: I’m not saying CAIA is harder. 

Show this clown the documentation that CAIA candidates are better.  Don’t make a claim like that without a link to an article or something credible.  Thanks. 

Ranking the designation exams I’ve taken, adjusting for context in which I took them, with decreasing difficulty:

- FRM 2
- CFA L3 (primarily due to the format; essays open a candidate up to a lot more variance than mcqs if a level of understanding is already present across topics)
- FRM 1 / CFA L2 (I think CFA L2 is slightly overrated in terms of difficulty. Someone with a financial background should be able to deal with the calculations, and being purely mcq helps as long as you understand the material and do not shortcut it. FRM 1 was much more quantitative and its calculations involved more steps, also studied for it in 7 weeks after GMAT so that didn’t help)
- CAIA L2 (I don’t think the material is difficult at all, and I didn’t think the exam was that difficult. I do have some issues with the types of questions asked by the exam, but that has nothing to do with the difficulty. Ambiguous questions and overly micro testing create artificial difficulty and do not capture the form of learning I feel a designation should be testing for. This is above CFA L1 because of the essay section. Also only had 7-8 weeks for this)
- CFA L1

Would stand by this even if I end up failing CAIA L2. To contextualise, all of those were first time passes, and the CFA exams were done in 18 months, so I had the worst possible context for CFA L2 (plus 2am nights in the IB) and I still felt that CFA L3, FRM 2 and possibly FRM 1 were above it.

MrNoFear, how long did you study for CAIA L2?

CAIAguy1 wrote:

This Neil guy is a clown. Did you even take any CFA exams? It is well documented that CAIA has better candidates than CFA. The average CFA candidate is not even close to the caliber of CAIA candidates. Do your research.. 

*note: I’m not saying CAIA is harder. 

I seriously hope this is a joke

I personally found the September CAIA II exam much more difficult than any CFA exam.  Not the material but the actual test (CFA material is by far broader and longer to get through).  The level of minutia and ambiguous questions/answer choices on the September CAIA II exam were never part of my CFA exams.   Note that CFA would never expect one to recall very specific facts in the essay section as is required in CAIA. I also finished the CAIA multiple choice morning session just in time and always had significant time to review my answers on the CFA exams. 

Maybe this is partially because I’m better in analysis and the CAIA exam seems to be rooted in due diligence versus true analysis of alternative investments. The few problems you need a calculator on in CAIA II were easy. Wish there would have been more as Ive mentally prepared for a fail after studying nearly 250 hours. 

See, I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think that counts as difficulty in the sense that an examination is supposed to test a candidate’s proficiency and understanding of the material. A tough but fair question, for instance, would require the calculation of portfolio standard deviation before using it as an input into another calculation instead of giving it to you directly. Asking about random factoids that require rote memorisation, or even worse, doing the same but in the essay section, does not make an exam difficult in the way it should be. I never once had that feeling during any of the FRM or CFA exams, and the only reason I think I will likely pass CAIA L2 is because I realised that rote memorisation was necessary. It devalues the charter in my opinion.

DELETED

Aerfally wrote:

MrNoFear, how long did you study for CAIA L2?

I probably logged between 200 and 250 hours.  I wanted to be over-prepared to make sure I only had to do it once.

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

Ugh can someone describe a hypothetical example of required memorization? That sounds awful (I’m obv not asking for actual exam questions)

arbguy wrote:

Ugh can someone describe a hypothetical example of required memorization? That sounds awful (I’m obv not asking for actual exam questions)

Ethics

I think the most challenging were FRM I&II, CIPM II, CAIA II

I thought the CFA was broad but not as useful, it’s just general finance info for a second to third year undergrad; didn’t add much for me.

I have great respect for the FRM achievers.

Mounther Barakat, PhD, CFA, CIPM, FRM, CAMS

@mhbarakat@gmail.com, I saw you studying with CAIA association, does that mean you use the official study guide without using Kaplan and Upper mark? How do you feel the study process so far? Thanks 

I did the exam this past September. Yes, I used the CAIA book, did the CAIA mock and of most importance the exercise problems in the CAIA workbook - very important. https://caia.org/content/curriculum-study-tools

best of luck

Mounther Barakat, PhD, CFA, CIPM, FRM, CAMS

I didn’t do the workbook but in hindsight I should have. I’ll complete it when I likely retake…… Curious if others who completed the workbook found it helpful and representative of the exam?  Or would you say it’s about the same as Schweser end of chapter questions that I found kind of spotty on materiality? 

FRM II

FRM I

CIPM Expert

CIPM Principles

CAIA II

CFA3

CAIA I

CFA II

CAMS

CFA I

Mounther Barakat, PhD, CFA, CIPM, FRM, CAMS

I did this, failed caia l2 spring and passed Cfa l2 June. Caia l2 is hard in my experience and difficult to prepare for adequately in that the test isn’t a good reflection of study materials, and memorization driven vs concept.