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CFA Level II hiatus

Ok this may be my first post, I have been lurking for a couple of years.  Why haven’t I posted, well I guess because I have been studying CFA so much for 3 years.  I have a question for the senior members or members that have completed the CFA program or anyone who might have any worthwhile insight for that matter. 

Have you, or do you know of anyone who worked diligently on their CFA and at some point due to work, personal reasons, or lets be frank “burn out” stepped away from the CFA table for a year and was able to recharge and get back on track to successfully completing the program and achieving the coveted CFA Charter?

Just a little back ground on my question, I am a middle aged father, in my 40’s.  It took me 2 shots at Level 1.  The first year, I was a deer in head lights and hadn’t been faced with the volume of financial information or intensive study for years.  I also was coaching basketball that whole year, so it was a pretty desperate effort in that I was managing work, coaching, and CFA studies.  I ended up band 8.  The next year I put in another 400 hrs. and passed.  This year, I was motivated and put in another 500 hrs. and did not test well, got about a 50%, practice tests were 55% to 60%.  There were some difficult areas, I spent much time on that were not tested.  Then there were the areas that didn’t have time and risked not being tested.  I studied very hard, majority of the curriculum was covered.  It was a noble effort.  Understanding the way these financial pieces fit and their purpose of application, “big picture” comes easy to me.  Also, have very strong capacity to put in time to focus on something I want, “work ethic”.  My weakness is memorizing little details and nuances, so it is what it is. 

Here is the crux, my boys are 10 and 15, and although I always prioritize my time with family; to juggle CFA, work and family has finally gotten to me.  I can pass this, I know it!  The foundation is there, crank Questions and start Mock/practice tests early the mission can be completed as I feel that although the result was a no pass, the foundation is there.

The problem is, I don’t think I have the drive to do it this year.  I am think of getting Meldrum Level 2 for maintenance (4 to 5 hrs a week) to cement core topics and then a year from now starting my last shot at Level 2.

Any thoughts, experiences, or opinions?

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So did you take level 2 this year? I was confused on your part about studying for 500 hours after passing level 1. I took level 1 in Dec of 2016 and passed but then due to taking a new job that January I skipped the Level II (Jun 2017) and took it for the first time in 2018 (passed 2nd attempt this year). While its doable to stop then start the info you have gained studying level 1 I assume can be quite helpful if you register for level 2 right after getting level 1 results. With that said, even after waiting a year (I started level 2 studying in Jan of 18) its interesting to see what you still remember; I was shocked to see that I remembered quite a lot from a high level stand point. So its definitely possible but the added momentum of going from L1 to L2 right away is def a big help in my opinion. 

Thx, I have taken Level 1 2x’s and then I just failed Level 2 (500 hrs) for this year, so I have L1 and L2 foundation, and been at it for 3 years., that’s pretty much the the jist. So it looks like you took off about about 24 months and still managed to get back into it after L1. (passed in Dec 2016 and started studying L2 Jan 2018?), but then gave it another go, interesting. I’m don’t think it’s a big deal, I have some colleagues saying I will lose momentum, and think I am being weak about it.  But, they don’t understand (they have no CFA experience), What they don’t see is I need to catch some wind before I tackle this hill again and want to recharge and have the right mindset when I get to it.  I also want to spend some time with my kids…

It was about a full year. I got my results Jan of 17, got a new job in a different sector of the market (corporate trading to MBS trading) so i needed time to learn the ropes. I started studying for my first go around of L2 in Jan of 2018. Even after the gap the foundation of a lot of the material was still there like Quant, PM and luckily I work with swaps so Deriv and FI was strong. I struggled with FRA and Corp Fin the first time but all in all it wasnt a huge issue waiting. 

Well congratulations on Level 2 success! to me it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s still interesting to hear any thoughts and opinions on this.  I am an Investment Advisor, so as long as I can grab this by the time I am 50, there is still time to leverage the charter to snag some big fish.  So, I don’t know I am in the long game, too many people have this Kamikaze mentality.  Of course you have to work hard to achieve tough goals but a wiseman knows when timing just doesn’t seem right.  I appreciate the feedback rlax333, and good luck on L3!

Good luck.   My wife is not allowing me to study and I always look at this program as a marathon not a sprint.    Figure out what your goals are.    I am thinking this CFA program in Canada is over valued.   But for me it is a designation I have always wanted….good luck on your journey…

No worries a little jeering is understandable,  Pbonura “…good luck on your journey…”

My journey will end if I fail L2 2x’s.  That is why my concern is that after running 3 marathons, I better sit one out if I even want to have a chance at passing.  It’s just a gut thing. 

Pbonura, if you don’t mind, what do you mean your wife won’t let you study.  She is distracting you, or just cutting your off from the program.  How long have you been at it?  After all of this I don’t see how the CFA Charter wouldn’t be worth it.   I think it’s currency is going up rapidly, which is why so many people want it.

Wife says I do not spend time with kids.   In Canada there are a lot of CFA candidates and very little jobs.   I am a CPA already but would like to get into investments closer to retirement..I would study at night after kids go to bed.   

I know someone that took L1 like 6 years ago and came back for L2 this year.. hes is also a middle aged father with a full time job. Not sure if he passed L2 though, but he came back now to continue to pursue it & I think he is commited to see it all the way this time. 

I passed level 1 16 years ago.  I passed level 2 in June at age 41 with a full time job, a wife that works more than me and 2 children under 4.  You can do it just make sure you give yourself plenty of time.  I recommend the Schweser basic package which is what I used.

Baldanders wrote:

I passed level 1 16 years ago.  I passed level 2 in June at age 41 with a full time job, a wife that works more than me and 2 children under 4.  You can do it just make sure you give yourself plenty of time.  I recommend the Schweser basic package which is what I used.

hell yeah! good job.

This is great to hear! I passed Level 1 as I was exiting grad school in 2011. After launching my own firm and getting the CFP, I’m heading back for Level 2.