Sign up  |  Log in

Advice for those who did NOT pass today...

Again, I’m not trying to discourage anybody.  I just want you all to be aware of what you’re getting into.  Granted, I’ve done more than most–going straight from MBA to CPA to CFA, but it’s still a challenge. 

This is especially true for those that are considering a career change into finance.  This isn’t like taking the SAT or GMAT or Series 7.  With those, you study for a couple of months, then you take a test, then you’re done.  This transition has taken me almost seven years. 

When I started at 27, I was going to the bar with friends two or three days a week, staying out late on weekends, going to the lake, etc.  Now I study until 10:00 p.m. two or three days a week, wake up at 4:30 on weekends (so I can get home by lunchtime to play with my 18-month old daughter), and feel privileged when I have time to make a run to the grocery store to pick up toilet paper and milk. 

82 > 87
Simple math.

Drill all the fundamentals with Wiley's CFA experts Peter Olinto, Darren Degraaf and others.

yodacaia wrote:

Fantastic post by Greenman. I am not surprised that people dont know how to respond, when all they are used to hearing is not to give up and pompoms and rah rah rah…

I like this a lot! I believe there is a lot of truth to it!

In the end this is an exchange of views, feelings, perceptions. I think I am closer to Yoda and Greenman in mindset and age and can relate to most of it. Thumbs up and hope you clear L3!

Thanks for this post, and all the comments! Really puts things into perspective. I dont think its negative, because its the truth. Best of Luck to you Green Man and all the others!

Ivan S. wrote:

…most people don’t pass the exam due to bad time management - organizing time throughout the year, combining family, work and free time along with the study time. 

That’s exactly my point.  And if your time management is so bad that you can’t pass Level 1, then you certainly will not get past the two real hurdles.  Now, if you can fix your time management skills, that would be a different story.  But if you can fix it, why haven’t you already? 

82 > 87
Simple math.

What were you doing when you were 21 and 26 years old? Just curious!

21-In the U.S. military. 

26 - Just got out of the military, and graduated to working in a retail financial sales.  That’s how I got interested in finance, but 5 years of military, a Bachelor’s in Spanish, and a Series 7 only go so far. 

82 > 87
Simple math.

Greenman72, i think you have made it sound much tougher than it really is.

I failed the exams many times but the next time you write again, the materials become easier to study and learn.  Don’t get discouraged and just continue with it, the materials isn’t hard, it’s the time input.

I am 30 and completed the CFA program last year.

whystudy wrote:

…you have made it sound much tougher than it really is.

I failed the exams many times …

….the materials isn’t hard…

I know what you mean.  It’s like quitting smoking. 

Quitting smoking isn’t hard.  I’ve quit about 20 times!

82 > 87
Simple math.

Marshall86 wrote:

Snip.

Has to be the doucheiest sales pitch, ever. LOL.

Greenman72 wrote:

Again, I’m not trying to discourage anybody.  I just want you all to be aware of what you’re getting into.  Granted, I’ve done more than most–going straight from MBA to CPA to CFA, but it’s still a challenge. 

This is especially true for those that are considering a career change into finance.  This isn’t like taking the SAT or GMAT or Series 7.  With those, you study for a couple of months, then you take a test, then you’re done.  This transition has taken me almost seven years. 

When I started at 27, I was going to the bar with friends two or three days a week, staying out late on weekends, going to the lake, etc.  Now I study until 10:00 p.m. two or three days a week, wake up at 4:30 on weekends (so I can get home by lunchtime to play with my 18-month old daughter), and feel privileged when I have time to make a run to the grocery store to pick up toilet paper and milk. 

^ inspiring

28..started school late..graduated at 26..2 years retail financial sales..level 1 done..5 year old, 18 month old, and 4 month old…spending now until may learning excel/vba..level 2 in june 2014, planning 13 months of study… was studying 4 nights a week after kids went to bed until 10:30/11:00pm..then 5-7 hours each weekend day for most of the weekends..had a baby 2 months before the test…Greenman is right..I’m no genius and I’m sure neither is he, but you’ve gotta have the commitment and make the sacrifice of not seeing your kids, your wife, your girlfriend, your friends, your mother…whatever it is until the time is up..then it becomes so much more valuable

Okay, so I skimmed this thread.  

Higgs is right when he says GreenMan is more right than wrong.  I’ve been a charterholder for several years, been pretty active on this forum and watched a lot of people go through the process and have a pretty wide network of CFA friends.  I will say that ON AVERAGE, the CFA will interfere significantly with your family life and personal life and health.  These are very common complaints for candidates, especially married ones or ones with children.  I think the fact that some critics are saying they failed L1, but it shouldn’t interfere with aspects of your personal life is kind of funny because they clearly don’t know what it does or doesn’t take to get through three levels.  Like many, I came from a pretty spotty academic background initially (bad student) and the learning curve was very steep for me.  That doesn’t mean that an English major with good study habits couldn’t rock the exam.  Like Greenman, I used to write a lot of well intentioned posts perhaps a bit overzealously and get frustrated when candidates who haven’t been through the process felt they were in a position to trivialize the effort it takes.  

THAT BEING SAID, I’ve known many smart cookies that sort of just glided through the CFA process and made it look triflingly easy.  I also watched a guy dust LI like a MoFo with no calculator and make it look pretty carefree.  At first their attitude was frustrating, but then you just learn to shake your head and laugh out of respect for their talent.  So, it can be a very different experience for some (a minority).  But the overwhealming majority that approach the exams this way get slammed pretty hard by LI, or if not, then LII.  

I think after the charter, people generally tend to cool their jets a bit and question whether they would have approached the process with as much zeal, or sacrificed so much, or even done it at all.  I’m decidedly neutral on the subject, and it is pretty common to meet charterholders that underwhelm you with their generally lack of intensity on the subject.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

^ you sir are a gentleman and a scholar. adieu

______________________________________________________

You must be the square root of two cause i feel irrational around you

http://alphahive.wordpress.com/

Thanks for the words of wisdom, BS.  Maybe I have a little too much zeal. 

My two favorite posts on this thread so far:

 - “Stop whining, Greenman.  My family supported me through it because I wasn’t an “asshat” through the whole process.  Get your priorities in order.”  (from a Level 1 failure)

 - “The exams really aren’t that hard.  I failed many times before I finally passed.”  (from a Charterholder)

82 > 87
Simple math.

Greenman72 wrote:

I just turned 33 a couple of weeks ago. 

Also, let me state–I’m tired of studying.  I started a part-time MBA when I was 27.  Started going full-time at 28.  When I was in school, I took 12-15 hours per semester (9 is full-time in grad school).  Right before I turned 29, I failed Level 1 of CFA.  Finished MBA at 29, and immediately started CPA exam.  Finished CPA exam in September, and went straight to CFA Level 1 in December.  Did Level 2 six months later, at 31, and failed.  Did Level 2 a year later at 32 and passed.  If I pass Level 3 in June, I will be 33, and it will be the end of seven years of study/school/overtime. 

Wow! Those is some first world problems…

kenbo wrote:

Greenman72 wrote:

I just turned 33 a couple of weeks ago. 

Also, let me state–I’m tired of studying.  I started a part-time MBA when I was 27.  Started going full-time at 28.  When I was in school, I took 12-15 hours per semester (9 is full-time in grad school).  Right before I turned 29, I failed Level 1 of CFA.  Finished MBA at 29, and immediately started CPA exam.  Finished CPA exam in September, and went straight to CFA Level 1 in December.  Did Level 2 six months later, at 31, and failed.  Did Level 2 a year later at 32 and passed.  If I pass Level 3 in June, I will be 33, and it will be the end of seven years of study/school/overtime. 

Wow! Those is some first world problems…

Not sure what to take from this.

a) You have somehow achieved 3rd world problems in the UK.  Congrats?  You won the contest?

b) You don’t believe 1st worlders have significant problems.  Probably because 1) you haven’t grown up enough to have enough problems of your own or 2) you’re just a hypocrite that pretends he’s never complained.  

c) You haven’t actually completed any of these things so you really have no business building yourself a pedastool. You have no idea what level of hard work it takes to get there.

Your grammar suggests some combination of b) and c).  Good luck with everything, you got a better response than your pointless comment deserved.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

first world problems need first world solutions

______________________________________________________

You must be the square root of two cause i feel irrational around you

http://alphahive.wordpress.com/

Black Swan wrote:

kenbo wrote:

Greenman72 wrote:

I just turned 33 a couple of weeks ago. 

Also, let me state–I’m tired of studying.  I started a part-time MBA when I was 27.  Started going full-time at 28.  When I was in school, I took 12-15 hours per semester (9 is full-time in grad school).  Right before I turned 29, I failed Level 1 of CFA.  Finished MBA at 29, and immediately started CPA exam.  Finished CPA exam in September, and went straight to CFA Level 1 in December.  Did Level 2 six months later, at 31, and failed.  Did Level 2 a year later at 32 and passed.  If I pass Level 3 in June, I will be 33, and it will be the end of seven years of study/school/overtime. 

Wow! Those is some first world problems…

Not sure what to take from this.

a) You have somehow achieved 3rd world problems in the UK.  Congrats?  You won the contest?

b) You don’t believe 1st worlders have significant problems.  Probably because 1) you haven’t grown up enough to have enough problems of your own or 2) you’re just a hypocrite that pretends he’s never complained.  

c) You haven’t actually completed any of these things so you really have no business building yourself a pedastool. You have no idea what level of hard work it takes to get there.

Your grammar suggests some combination of b) and c).  Good luck with everything, you got a better response than your pointless comment deserved.

Hi,  

My comment was perhaps a little flippant but some of the condescension in this thread is mind boggling and frankly helps no-one.

Feeling thoroughly patronised I think I’ll leave you and greenman to remind us all of how hard it really is and how we all are “rookies”, as well as stomping on anyone who tries to put a bit of humour out there. At the end of the day guys its only 3 exams, if you want to do it, do it, if you don’t, don’t.

One thing is for sure though if I pass these three exams you can be sure I will not come back here and patronise anyone. 

In the words of Mark Twain..,


“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Good luck to you too.

 

At the end its only the effort that matters yes

Study Method

Online Videos - Arif Irfanullah (https://irfanullah.co/)
Mocks/Sectional Tests - Konvexity (www.konvexity.com)
Notes - KaplanSchweser

Never say Die
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTPpXpoF54s

I thought those were first world solutions.  The problem was the fact that I kept getting all these ****ty retail sales jobs and call center jobs.  

82 > 87
Simple math.

If you don’t mind hearing the perspective of another charterholder…

1) If you’re determined to complete the CFA program because you think it would really help your career or because you just want to learn a lot more about finance, then fight on.

2) If you’re determined to pass L1 mainly because you’re not used to failing things and you want to kick its butt… well, ok.  But if you pass L1, then what?  Go back to #1 above and make sure that you’re doing this for the right reasons, and not as an ego trip.

Yes, L1 is cake.  L2 and L3 are significantly harder.  Huge time commitments, health issues, family issues, insane pressure to pass a test offered only once per year.  I passed all three exams on the first try, but if I’d have failed L3 I don’t know if I would have done it again.  Heck, even now I don’t really want to contemplate what I would have done if I’d failed, and I passed four years ago.

Greenman72 and Black Swan: 

thanks for your posts. People need to hear the truth and be honest with themselves and what is needed of them to succeed. I have been putting in a lot of time studying for level one and I know it will increase exponentially for each level. I want advice on how to succeed not on how to feel good about myself. I’m not 8 years old. Cheers.

mabdullah wrote:

I have been so cranky lately and I just wanted to ask everyone if you guys are experiencing the same thing. I think it’s because I haven’t got any time for myself. It feels like that I have been only working and studying for the longest time. Even the time when I am not studying I am worrying about my schedule and studying.

Is anyone else feeling cranky and miserable or is it just me?

Bump, just for mabdullah. 

Pay close attention to this part:

Greenman72 wrote:

Before you jump right in and re-register for Level 1, read some of the posts from those who are studying for Level 3 and see how much it has consumed their life. You start fighting with your spouses all the time, because you spend so much time studying. You don’t get to see your kids. You get stressed out easily. You stop working out and start eating a bunch of unhealthy crap. You can’t enjoy any time off–if you’re lucky enough to get any time off. You start drinking waaay too much to try and relax. You can’t focus on anything but the test, and you start wondering if you’re getting enough study time in. You focus too much on the test and not enough on your job, so your job performance suffers. You take vacation days off–then spend the whole time studying.

All in all–there are worse things in the world than failing the CFA Level 1. What could be worse? Well, passing Level 1, then taking Level 2 three times and failing three times is worse. Or passing on the third time, then failing Level 3 three times. Or passing the exam at the expense of your job and your family.

82 > 87
Simple math.

Bump, for those getting their results on Tuesday. 

82 > 87
Simple math.

The harder the better. It just means lesser people getting CFA.

I failed this Dec 2013 and am retrying again.

Even though I came from engineering background, I use this excuse the first time. But there is no excuse the 2nd time.

I need a different approach, either join a group study or spent some money on classes. 

I also plan to come to this forum every day. THe best way to learn is to fail. Some users in this forum tend to give incorrect answers only to be correct by S2000Magician and some others. But we can learn a lot when someone giving wrong answers is corrected.

Learn from your mistakes. As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Take time to determine what went wrong. More often than we would like to believe, failing the test results from not adequately knowing the material or not being prepared for the exam style. Did you not put in enough quality hours? Did you focus on the wrong sections? Use the results of the score breakdown to determine this. Should you have done more practice problems and mock exams? This can be a painful exercise because it puts the ultimate responsibility on you. However, it is necessary if you want different results in the future.

Determine a new approach. Plan how you will tackle the exam next time. This does not mean completely changing all methods of study. Rather, you should keep what is working and discard what needs improvement. This should give you confidence of future exam success.

The CFA exam process is not easy. Fewer than 20% of candidates pass all three exams on their first attempt, so you are not alone. Look to the future and visualize receiving the passing result from your Level III exam. With perseverance and a well-planned strategy, you will ultimately succeed.

@Greenman72

Not everyone is trying to become a charterholder.

There are some folks who just want to pass level 1 and get entry into the world of finance and “maybe” after few years consider doing level 2 and 3.

I am from software development background and I didnt pass yesterday (even after putting serious efforts) but I did learn fantastic thing about the market and finance.

I am not letting all my hard work go in vain and giving one more try to level 1 in June to gain entry to the world of finance. Would I go for level 2 or 3 after that? Who knows!!



 

Greenman72 wrote:

robertucla wrote:

GreenMan, you sound like you have a lot of issues by letting the CFA get in the way of your family, health and job performance. If I were you, I would seriously reconsider your life decision on pursuing the CFA because if you are resorting to malice behaviour this early in the game, due to a test, you are in for a dose of reality once you get your career going while balancing life’s responsibilities.

This is only a test.  The CFA doesn’t love you back, pay the bills or even ask you how your day was. I failed the test and my family was very supportive of me trying again in June because I wasn’t a complete asshat in this process. Get your priorities in order, GreenMan because noone likes a crybaby. 

I find it odd that the person who failed Level 1 thinks he has earned the right to chastise a person who is studying for Level 3. 

Let me get this straight–you failed Level 1, presumably because you didn’t put in enough time away from your family–and your family supported you.  Good for you!  

My family supported me, too, when I took Level 1.  When I took it the second time, they supported me.  They supported me a little less for Level 2 the first time, and were not enthusiastic at all that I took Level 2 a second time.  Now I’m studying for Level 3, and the support has drastically waned.  I can assure you–there will be no support for Level 3 if I should take it a second time. 

Will your wife support you if you spend nights and weekends studying for the next three or four years?  Not three or four months, Robert–three or four years.  When I started Level 1, I was 29.  I just turned 33, and I’m still studying. 

How will she feel when you choose to study instead of going to the park with your kids on Memorial Day weekend (the weekend before the test).  Let me know how it goes. 

Maybe you decided to go out and drink and party on Memorial Day weekend.  Maybe you decided that the test was less important than your family.  I’m happy for you.  See you in June for Level 1–again. 

What “malice behaviour” have I resorted to?  How “early in the game” do you think I am? I’ve already put in 250 hours for Level 3.  (That comes AFTER Levels 1 and 2, Robert.)  I wouldn’t consider this “early in the game”. 

And I like that you called me a crybaby.  I’m not crying about anything–just stating the facts about what the majority of CFA candidates go through before the end.  You’ll figure it out–if you get that far.  You’re not crying because you haven’t sacrificed anything yet. So far, you have proved yourself unable to pass the entrance exam. 

And don’t tell me to get my priorities in order.  I have an MBA, I am a CPA, and a manager at a tax practice.  My workload is about to increase to 70 hours per week.  I hope to find 5-10 hours in there to study.  I’m struggling to balance work and family life, in addition to studying for my test.    I would encourage you to do the same, rookie.  Either study for your test (on top of all your other priorities) or quit. 

Greenman – What I would really love, and I’m sure the rest of this forum would love, is for you to stop going on and on about these exams as if you’re teaching a high school class advanced quantum physics. There’s not much to this: you study, you’ll pass. 

Also, just because you’ve been so arrogant so many times, I would suggest you get your priorities in order. If you’re so busy with work, and raising a family, might I suggest you not waste time posting irrelevant useless posts on this forum like the one I just read above. You might feel like you have more time that way. 

nimtree wrote:

@Greenman72

Not everyone is trying to become a charterholder.

There are some folks who just want to pass level 1 and get entry into the world of finance and “maybe” after few years consider doing level 2 and 3.

Seriously?  You think passing Level 1 will get you “entry into the world of finance”? 

And you’re taking the test, but don’t want to become a charterholder?  Am I reading this right? 

And has anybody noticed that the only people who hatin’ on the old Greenman for sharing his opinions are the Level 1 candidates?  Nobody who has passed Level 2 or Level 3 are arguing with me.  Just food for thought. 


82 > 87
Simple math.

nimtree wrote:

@Greenman72

Not everyone is trying to become a charterholder.

There are some folks who just want to pass level 1 and get entry into the world of finance and “maybe” after few years consider doing level 2 and 3.

I am from software development background and I didnt pass yesterday (even after putting serious efforts) but I did learn fantastic thing about the market and finance.

I am not letting all my hard work go in vain and giving one more try to level 1 in June to gain entry to the world of finance. Would I go for level 2 or 3 after that? Who knows!!



 

smh

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

RIP

Greenman, are you Argentine -or- British?