Marc LeFebvre

googs1484 wrote:

It was the return calculation for the endowment I believe. The question specifically said something “calculate the endowments required return (in USD) to meet their spending needs.”

Many, as I, are so naive as to believe the \$ sign is synonymous to the USD but it’s also used as the Canadian \$ or the Australian  \$. I understand people typically associate the \$ sign with the USD but CFAI doesn’t apparently, it’s a global exam. Marc told us that as a former grader he knows points would be deducted because CFAI specifically asked for the answer in USD.

Correct, but if the question were to deal only with EUR and USD and not CAD or AUD, and you wrote \$, it should count in my mind as \$ would imply USD.  But let’s say the question solely provides USD inputs.  If you calculate the return using the inputs, you will have calculated it in USD.  Surely stating USD is redundant?

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CashIsKing wrote:

googs1484 wrote:

It was the return calculation for the endowment I believe. The question specifically said something “calculate the endowments required return (in USD) to meet their spending needs.”

Many, as I, are so naive as to believe the \$ sign is synonymous to the USD but it’s also used as the Canadian \$ or the Australian  \$. I understand people typically associate the \$ sign with the USD but CFAI doesn’t apparently, it’s a global exam. Marc told us that as a former grader he knows points would be deducted because CFAI specifically asked for the answer in USD.

Correct, but if the question were to deal only with EUR and USD and not CAD or AUD, and you wrote \$, it should count in my mind as \$ would imply USD.  But let’s say the question solely provides USD inputs.  If you calculate the return using the inputs, you will have calculated it in USD.  Surely stating USD is redundant?

No it is not, answers should be labeled correctly. Schweser also points that out. Heatherington keeps saying label your work in the currency. I for one followed that advice religiously and labelled everything.

implex wrote:

CashIsKing wrote:

googs1484 wrote:

It was the return calculation for the endowment I believe. The question specifically said something “calculate the endowments required return (in USD) to meet their spending needs.”

Many, as I, are so naive as to believe the \$ sign is synonymous to the USD but it’s also used as the Canadian \$ or the Australian  \$. I understand people typically associate the \$ sign with the USD but CFAI doesn’t apparently, it’s a global exam. Marc told us that as a former grader he knows points would be deducted because CFAI specifically asked for the answer in USD.

Correct, but if the question were to deal only with EUR and USD and not CAD or AUD, and you wrote \$, it should count in my mind as \$ would imply USD.  But let’s say the question solely provides USD inputs.  If you calculate the return using the inputs, you will have calculated it in USD.  Surely stating USD is redundant?

No it is not, answers should be labeled correctly. Schweser also points that out. Heatherington keeps saying label your work in the currency. I for one followed that advice religiously and labelled everything.

So you have to buy Schweser or another service to know that they are grading whether or not you arbitrarily label something that really doesn’t need to be based on the way the question was asked?  They ask to calculate it in USD, not to label it in USD.  You can correctly calculate something in USD without labeling it as such.  There needs to be more transparency with respect to grading if that is the case.  Grading in that manner does not effectively judge my knowledge or grasp of the concept but solely whether or not I managed to write USD.

googs1484 wrote:
People who took the 2015 AM exam and failed, whom also attended his Bootcamp this year admittedly said they wrote the answer to that IPS calculation with a \$ sign in front of it rather than USD.

That they would be docked for writing “\$” instead of “USD” seems incredibly unlikely.  I’ll e-mail CFA Institute and ask about that one.

When I read a question that asks you to compute the return in USD, I understand it to mean, “… as opposed to computing the return as a percentage.”

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

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S2000magician wrote:

googs1484 wrote:
People who took the 2015 AM exam and failed, whom also attended his Bootcamp this year admittedly said they wrote the answer to that IPS calculation with a \$ sign in front of it rather than USD.

That they would be docked for writing “\$” instead of “USD” seems incredibly unlikely.  I’ll e-mail CFA Institute and ask about that one.

When I read a question that asks you to compute the return in USD, I understand it to mean, “… as opposed to computing the return as a percentage.”

Please do email them. I’m only restating what I was told through my instruction. I too, found it ridiculous. As someone else said, it has nothing to do with my knowledge. It’s a completely unfair way to result in a fail. I’d be upset but that’s why I labeled everything super carefully.

googs1484 wrote:
Please do email them.

Done.

Now … we wait.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

There is a reason there is an expectation to get the label correctly and write INR, PLN, USD, GBP etc. if that is what the question asks.

We assume that USD and \$ sign are one and the same (which is true theoretically) and if the question is all about calculations in USD.

Here is how I reasoned it

We need to keep in mind that every currency have their own symbols. (Japanese Yen ¥, Indian Rupee ₹ etc.). If the question asks you to calculate in INR, the solution expects the label INR and not the symbol ₹.

There was a 2011 am essay question that asked us to calculate VAR (in PLN). I believe that the expectation was to label it as PLN and not  zł which is the symbol for Polish Zloty.

I never bothered investigating till I started seeing comments on this thread. Anyways, it would be good to get a clarification from CFAI and Bill will let us know the findings.

What would be interesting, is to find out why they specifically ask us in parentheses to calculate/label in a given format. If CFAI is agnostic to us labeling as \$ or USD then why bother asking the question, “calculate (in USD) …..”

I agree with the comment that if you are a borderline 10, these small things could make a difference if they are relevant.

\m/

You must have misunderstood Marc.

I think he means to label the answer with USD or \$ rather than leaving the answer (number) unlabeled.

e.g if the answer is fifty thousands, write it \$50,000 or USD 50,000 rather than 50,000

Good luck!

cfapasss wrote:

You must have misunderstood Marc.

I think he means to label the answer with USD or \$ rather than leaving the answer (number) unlabeled.

e.g if the answer is fifty thousands, write it \$50,000 or USD 50,000 rather than 50,000

Good luck!

Nope. It was very clear what he said to us.  It was clarified exactly what he meant.

googs1484 wrote:

cfapasss wrote:

You must have misunderstood Marc.

I think he means to label the answer with USD or \$ rather than leaving the answer (number) unlabeled.

e.g if the answer is fifty thousands, write it \$50,000 or USD 50,000 rather than 50,000

Good luck!

Nope. It was very clear what he said to us.  It was clarified exactly what he meant.

it’s hard to believe CFAI would be obtuse or rigid on a Q where there’s only euro and USD. I’m Canadian – I’m extremely aware of the need to identify CAD vs USD online and with any non-Canadian. Everyone assumes \$ = USD. I’d say the need to distinguish when appropriate is far more intuitive and natural to me than most graders.

If I’m helping my brother convert euros to USD, I’m not going to tell him “BTW, that symbol means USD not CAD in this case.” We passed grade 8. We get context.

The bigger point is that the questions (in recent years) clearly say go “solve in USD” or another currency

I’d be curious if they knock you a full point or just half a point if you just leave it as an integer

I do recall Marc saying candidates need to specifically clarify “USD”. Writing “\$” instead of “USD” would lose a point.

S2000magic, did CFAI get back to you?

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Dear Bill,

I appreciate your patience. After speaking with exam development, I received this answer: “They do not have to say ‘USD’ and using \$ is acceptable. The question asks ‘in USD’ merely to make it clear the answer should be in a numerical format as opposed to a return percentage”.

I hope this is helpful. If you need further assistance, please respond to this email or call us at +1 (434) 951-5499. Toll free numbers can be found on our contact us page.

Regards,

So, remarkably, I was correct for once.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

Thank you for the update Bill!  This makes total sense on their part.

Onward wrote:
This makes total sense on their part.

I know.

Weird, eh?

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

someone should tell Marc this because he clearly said “\$” is -1 point and that candidates MUST write “USD”

S2000magician wrote:

Onward wrote:
This makes total sense on their part.

I know.

Weird, eh?

haha, maybe we should start going “easy” on them  thanks once again!

someone should tell Marc this because he clearly said “\$” is -1 point and that candidates MUST write “USD”

He will probably see this discussion, I know he is on the message board.

S2000magician wrote:

Onward wrote:
This makes total sense on their part.

I know.

Weird, eh?

Really appreciate you following up on this. I’d also like to pat myself on the back for calling out the absurdity of the logic of grading this way in the first place lol!  Can’t believe people were actually defending the merits docking points over “USD” in this thread.

Cashisking is suffering frm hindsight bias and self attribution bias lol.   Easy to take credit now right ;) It is understandable why they would, however, more logical why they wouldnt. Most of us were just reiterating what we were told. I wasted .01 seconds by writing USD rather than \$. Oh well.

Bill, thank you for the message and clarification. It makes sense and exactly how I hoped their minds would work over there. I have more faith now they don’t try and trick us as much as others think.

googs1484 wrote:

Cashisking is suffering frm hindsight bias and self attribution bias lol.   Easy to take credit now right ;) It is understandable why they would, however, more logical why they wouldnt. Most of us were just reiterating what we were told. I wasted .01 seconds by writing USD rather than \$. Oh well.

Bill, thank you for the message and clarification. It makes sense and exactly how I hoped their minds would work over there. I have more faith now they don’t try and trick us as much as others think.

guilty as charged! And agree, this makes me feel much more comfortable

someone should tell Marc this because he clearly said “\$” is -1 point and that candidates MUST write “USD”

I owed him an e-mail anyway, so I told him about this thread and the ensuing discussion.

Simplify the complicated side; don't complify the simplicated side.

Financial Exam Help 123: The place to get help for the CFA® exams
http://financialexamhelp123.com/

After many years away, I’m considering taking Level III.  Not so much because I need to, but because I want to beat it!

The thought of returning to Schweser doesn’t appeal, but Marc LeFebvre’s weekly videos do.  Unfortunately, as others have said he is a little light on the marketing side.  Can anyone please advise:are the videos are downloadable on an ipad or other tablet?

Thanks

I am sure Marc’s L3 videos are good. I used his videos for some topics when he was teaching for Schweser during L2, and they were amazing.

You can also try considering IFT(Arif Irfanullah’s) for L3 videos. They are very good.

So this past year, I studied using the CFAI curriculum, Schweser, FinQuiz, GoStudy, and LevelUp.

I started studying by reading the curriculum, but I was spinning my wheels not knowing what to focus on.

I switched to Schweser but found it too condensed.  That’s been my impression since Level I.  That said, it’s the market leader because others love it.

Finquiz - Great Smart Summaries.

GoStudy - Too high level and too much information is dismissed as in being “in the weeds.”

LevelUp - Love it.  I attended the Bootcamp and watched the videos.  For once, I really understand the material and remember it a month after the exam.  LOL.

I ended up being bombarded with work in May and didn’t sit for the exam.   Sigh.  Maybe if I had started with LevelUp instead of coming across it after bagging other providers I could have gotten through all the material and scraped by on the exam.  Next year, I guess.

the number of actual real candidates that would get pushed into a Band 10 (from a pass) because of not using \$/USD is infinitely small.. sure every point counts but that’s not the reason someone will fail