12 wks left, new register, using CFAI books.. reality check

Hello all, I am new here. I recently signed up for the december exam and got my CFAI package yesterday. I opened the box and am overwhelmed with the sheer volume of these books, and need a bit of a reality check. As of today, I have 12 weeks left to study. I have not started ANY studying yet. I am short on cash and can’t see myself purchasing these ‘schweser’ notes everyone is talking about on this forum. Given that I: 1. do not have a full time job, meaning I have the time (but not all the time in the world, as I am taking couple night courses on something completely irrelevant - artsy stuff for leisure.) 2. only have CFAI books to rely on and no extra study material 3. cannot take the june exam as i will be out of country doing something else 4. no finance/acct major (however i did study economics in undergrad and masters) Perusing through the six volumes, i find: - econ looks really basic, i will read this last if i have time - a little bit of familiarity with Derivatives and Alternative investments, Equity and Fixed income, from the 1 or 2 finance courses i took in undergrad/masters - more or less new to ‘corporate finance’, ‘ethical and professional…’ , and ‘financial stmt analysis’ I plan to study about 3 or 4 hours per week, and if i study EVERYDAY i thought i’d have the required 250 hours, but now i am getting a bit worried - everyone seems like they’ve been studying for ages and i feel so unprepared and anxious even before starting this. should i scrape my last $$ and invest in schweser? or do you think its possible i could get by with just CFAI materials? all comments welcome, thanks in advance

edit: i forgot to mention, in which order i should tackle these volumes… can someone rate the six vol in the order of importance? and i also looked more carefully at “ethical…” vol and that is actually stats/prob stuff, not what i was thinking, so i have some knowledge of that

Hey _c You are a little under pressure, but your econ degree sure will help. My plan is: 1. Quants ( should be easy for you) 2. Financial Statement Analysis (tough and a lot, try to tackle this early) 3. Portfolio Mgmt 4. Corp finance 5. Analysis of Equities 6. Fixed Income 7. Derivatives 8. Alternative Investments 9. Econ ( you can breeze through) 10. Ethics (is pretty much by heart studying, easy points, not that much) Try to solve many problems and practice exams. Good luck

Go to the library. 6 hrs/day. You’ll be fine.

I have done one book, Book 3, the FSA one. Got 4 more left, can I complete those in 1 month and 15 days? so I could start practice in November

I take this as a joke(studying 3 or 4 hrs per week) and using CFA materials only and expecting to pass. Good luck.

I think approaching_c meant 3-4hrs per day which would give him/her 330hrs plus by the time the exams come round. Dedication + hard work + 330 hours should be a recipe for success in December JT

i’m not prepared either…working full time, got kids…would you guys recommend to write the exams on dec - prepared or not prepared - to get a heads up for june 09?

If you are starting from scratch - then unless you have a good finance background I suggest 500 hours is the true amount of time that needs to be spent. Doing 8 hours per day will take about 2 months fulltime.

commadus Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If you are starting from scratch - then unless you > have a good finance background I suggest 500 hours > is the true amount of time that needs to be > spent. > > Doing 8 hours per day will take about 2 months > fulltime. Good advice commadus.

I am getting 6 weeks off and will be doing a minimum of 8 hours a day. If the qualification was easy then every tom, dick and Harry would have it and it would be devalued. You want the CFA qualification to be difficult so when you obtain it, then it just means that much more. I think there are 35k CFA registered in the world and that 100k sit the exams each year so not sure if say in a few years we will be swimming in CFA?

500 hours is massive overkill. You should be getting 100% on LI by the time you’ve spent 300 hours! You need slightly less than 70% to pass this exam. There’s a lot of material, but it isn’t particularly difficult. That comes later… But you need to spend some serious money on study notes. Buy the secret sauce from schweser and the Qbank. Then knock out questions until you are averaging 75-80% on qbank.

sorry, i did mean 3-4 hours per day, not per week. most of these volumes (except FSA and Corp Fin) don’t seem completely foreign to me after a more careful survey, so hopefully i won’t need 500 hours… For those of you studying from CFAI books, do you literally cover the entire volume from beginning to the end?? these books are so incredibly dense… maybe i’ll have no choice but to scrape up more $ and get those schweser notes.

so… if i were to purchase schweser study materials, Secret Sauce and Q-bank would be enough?