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CAIA stackable credential - CFA Charterholder POV please

I am wondering if anyone who took the level II CAIA exam under the stackable credential program can give insight into their experience.  Was the material similar to the CFA curriculum in Alts/Quantitative Analysis/Ethics?  Your opinion on exam difficulty?  Hours studied?  General advice?

I am thinking of registering for the September exam and want to hear from other Charterholders before I do.  Thanks in advance for any info!

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I received my CFA charter back in 2008.  Saw this stackable program and debated in my head for a while if I could do it.  Want to give all I have on the first try (meaning applied the CFA-style of discipline toward CAIA LII).  Well, I passed with ease.  However, I feel the program doesn’t compare to the rigor of CFA.  Material is bit all over the place, I feel that CAIA didn’t develop the curriculum, instead, they gathered up some reading and put them together.  But, if your question is about if a CFA charterholder can take on Level II of CAIA without LI; then the answer is 100% yes.  

Thanks for the info.  Definitely the answer I was looking for.

^You are suffering from confirmation bias. :)

I got my CFA charter in 2016 and wen I signed up or CAIA last year I only noticed the stackable programme after it was already paid so I couldn’t use it.

Anyway I sat level 1 and it was way too easy. Of course I learned *something* but I could have easily skipped it. On the other hand level 2 was much much more dificult and I think I should have gone straight to L2, owuld have saved me a few weeks of life which I’m not getting back!

I kept saying it was fine because “it’s for me, not for the title” but that’s bollocks, not worth the time anyway because A LOT of stuff was taken from various CFA levels which I had done. 

Lastly, can someone please help me what is the best way to study for L1. I am currently using only CAIA official L1 book and making notes for the same. Thanks!

ws wrote:

I received my CFA charter back in 2008.  Saw this stackable program and debated in my head for a while if I could do it.  Want to give all I have on the first try (meaning applied the CFA-style of discipline toward CAIA LII).  Well, I passed with ease.  However, I feel the program doesn’t compare to the rigor of CFA.  Material is bit all over the place, I feel that CAIA didn’t develop the curriculum, instead, they gathered up some reading and put them together.  But, if your question is about if a CFA charterholder can take on Level II of CAIA without LI; then the answer is 100% yes.  

I will second this.  Not comparable to the CFA.  CAIA Level II at best was less hard than CFA Level I.

Also found it not terribly useful in finding jobs. Few people know what it is. Mostly for alternative marketer folks.

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I will second this.  Not comparable to the CFA.  CAIA Level II at best was less hard than CFA Level I.

Also found it not terribly useful in finding jobs. Few people know what it is. Mostly for alternative marketer folks.

[/quote]

I don’t agree that the CAIA L II is way less hard than CFA L I. The material (CFA vs CAIA) and the way how it is tested is totally different and you hardly can compare them.

Having mastered the FRM with quite some ease I do say that the CAIA  (especially L II) is not be underestimated due to open questions and some of the topics like Real Assets, Structured Products. They are not easy if you really wanna grasp them and go into the details compared to memorizing just the keywords for the exam.

Achieved CFA in 2016 and CAIA in 2018 via stackable program.

I agree with ws’s opinion.  CAIA curriculum and exams are less rigorous and you can pass L2 as far as you can output what you learn through uppermark.  Honestly speaking, I should have spent less time on studying.  Was much easier than my expectation, which had been formed through my experience in CFA exam, and asked very basic phenomenon piece by piece rather than Q’s with calculation.

I am thinking of this Stackable program as well. I have my CFA charter since 2006. Have the materials have changed so much that I actually do need to take the Level 1 CAIA? Or if I really applied myself to only Level 2 CAIA, that it’s attainable? I’ve been managing money for 24 years, but that doesn’t mean that much when you have to drill down in one subset. What do those that have gone through this program think?

have been eyeing this for a bit- are we talking like 100 hours makes this doable for most or do you still need 200+? Also is it on a computer, GMAT style?

have been eyeing this for a bit- are we talking like 100 hours makes this doable for most or do you still need 200+? Also is it on a computer, GMAT style?

I am going to sit for the March 2020 Level 2 CAIA. Because of skipping Level 1, I’m going to put in 200 hrs just in case. My understanding is that it is on computer.

My understanding that for CAIA level 2, there are also essay-style questions (like CFA AM session ?) in addition to MCQs 

They also reccommend 200hrs of study, which is not a walk in the park… 

memalos wrote:

My understanding that for CAIA level 2, there are also essay-style questions (like CFA AM session ?) in addition to MCQs 

They also reccommend 200hrs of study, which is not a walk in the park… 

Really? I thought it’s only MCQ on computer.

Just wondering about the exam difficulty .. Compared to CFA level 3, level 2, and level 1 difficulty….

In terms of hours, how much should i budget? is it as much as L3, L2, or L1 

If i took the exam right after passing L3 in few month would it be much easier ?

Is it valuable in the market as CFA or its just an enhancer 

How many hours did you invest?

I am half way through the material. I haven’t seen anything too conceptually difficult yet. I think that if you are in the study mode right after L3, it would benefit you greatly to tackle the CAIA​​​​​​​ right after. Although, the material is quite different. I’ve been managing money for high networth entities (>$10 Mill minimum) at a private bank for 24 years,the CFA charter is hands down the gold standard. The CAIA is wonderful to have if you plan on managing larger amounts. It’s an enhancer for me.

I’ll probably give it a shot. Go through the material do the Q bank, but no insane preparation like L3.

If its going be more a less like L1, ill go for it. Don’t want to go through L3 pain again.

Take a read of this;

https://www.reddit.com/r/CAIA/comments/bk8y7t/cfa_stackable_expectations_from_someone_who/

Charterholders perspective/strategy on CAIA LII Stackable. 

In terms of hours committed - I started studying for CAIA LII in July after CFA LII, probably need maybe 100 - 150 hours or so - should be less if you’re a charterholder and are familiar with these concepts. That being said, i did CAIA LI too so i have a bit of background knowledge on the topics. Just be wary that the educational support provided by CAIA Association is significantly behind CFA Institute so you’ll likely need third party Qbank or something.

GL 

If you qualify to skip CAIA Level 1 in the stackable pilot, what happens if you fail level ii? Are you simply able to re-register for Level ii and take the exam next time it is offered? 

I used the stackable program to sit for CAIA 2 in September 2019.  I finished the CFA in 1991, so I don’t remember that program so well, but the CAIA material was very useful and helps me understand some of the exposures I have in current portfolios better than I did before.  Hopefully I don’t need to sit again in March.

James T. Palermo, CFA, CAIA

I’m also considering signing up for Level 2. 
 

I don’t have that much exposure to alternatives in the day job so the recommended 200 hrs will probably be needed. However, it’s all a little daunting. 
 

Attacking the question bank before the readings work with this one? 

Theoretically, yes. But that’s just teaching you how to answer questions rather than understanding. Like the CFA, you can rote learn everything, pass it all and still kind of know nothing.

Having done both CFA (LIII Candidate) and CAIA - i would say that there are a lot more linkages between CAIA topics whereas CFA is broad enough that most topics can be viewed in isolation. So it’s probably best to read first, try to understand it all relative to other topics then tackle the questions. I would say the approach for CAIA should be the same as CFA - go through the content, do the questions and review everything at the end.

Regarding the hours, the difficulty hurdle is significantly lower for CAIA - so maybe 100 - 150 hours? For reference, i started in mid July and wrote the exam in late Sep. I haven’t gotten results yet but i’d be quite suprised if i failed.

That’s good advice - good luck with the results. Fingers crossed for you 

Started studying for March exam 3 weeks ago. Im a charterholder, and can say that the material definitely gets pretty detailed on some obscure topics, but others are just mentioned at a high level. I plan to “over-study” to mitigate the chance of having to re-take. In my mind, putting in extra hours and foregoing some hobbies/off-work fun far outweighs the pain of having to re-sit