According to this heavily-followed guy on Quora, the CFA isn't worth the paper it's wrote on.

Think god my experience hasn’t been this bad.

I mean, he’s not wrong, but since the CFA is so cheap and easy compared to almost anything else, there isn’t much reason not to take it either. You’ll spend $1500 or whatever total on exam fees, and usually, you don’t even take time off from work. Does this have a chance of paying you back a few thousand dollars over time? Sure, why not. If you get an MBA, that’s say $170k in explicit costs, and let’s say $300k a year in lost income for two years. For $770k present value, that had better be extremely useful.

As a non-CFA holder, I think it is good for people who wouldn’t do anything productive with the 500 hours or whatever it takes. But for people who do spend time outside of work building tangible skills or knowledge, it may not be the highest ROI unless you are in a job where the CFA is good for signaling


Generally agree Ohai and rawraw, although the income numbers Ohai used for opportunity cost seem a little lower than what I would have gone with, but to each their own.



While the CFA is not the be all and end all, the one thing I do like about it is that it’s standardized. Track records and job accomplishments are hard to verify or know how much that one person contributed to it. People in finance exaggerate ALOT, some of the biggest flat out liars I’ve ever come across work in finance. At least with CFA, you can’t really fake that.

I worked with someone who seemed to lie about having the CFA lol

I agree with that guy. CFA is not a difficult exam, I don’t think it is respected either. Almost everyone in the industry seems to have it, and most of those people are stupid. The only reason it has become mandatory because some HR fools look at it as the base requirement. When fools have it, geniuses are forced into getting. Quite like an MBA.

I’d have to agree with large parts of what has been said here. CFA is very narrow and appreciated by a narrow sub section of finance. Doing ACA or actuarial exams would have been better for me in hindsight.

It’s a good achievement and certainly challenging, but ultimately it does not necessarily help to progress in your career. Other qualifications do. Most FTSE100 chiefs will have ACA, very few will have heard of the CFA.

I feel like I wasted my time with the CFA. I would’ve done the CPA in hindsight.

well he is not wrong…CFA is cheap and sometimes you get what you paid for haha.

This guy has a very slanted view. Basically every one of the “respected accomplishments” he lists are related to “avoiding catastrophe” and then he throws in “creating new structured products.” So, he’s a risk manager and has trouble thinking outside of that box. I participated in the creation and underwriting of a new structured product…I don’t really think of that as anything I’d mention to most people.

The whole thing is also a straw man: “Is CFA one of the most respected accomplishments in finance?” Who ever said that it was? Having bowel control is not one of my “most respected accomplishments,” but I’m sure glad it’s there.

Hmm actually. Would you rather have a Harvard or Standford MBA, but lose all control of your bowels? If No, then we have proved that Bowel Control > Harvard/Standford MBA > Indian CA > CFA.

Lol! He’s silly. I’ve been in many boardrooms and I’ve never met an electrician. They’re still important. lol! Silly simpleton.

That guy is more bitter than I am. The CFA program at least got me laid a few times. So it hasn’t been a complete waste of time thus far.

How did that work? I took out an Asian girl I sat next to during the test. But that seemed like a rare occurrence (getting sat next to a female)

Pretty easy. Just say, I’d like to buy some puts on you 'cause I want to see you go down.

I truly respect your bowel control.

When I was studying level 2 (for the 2nd of all 3 times) I sat down at a Starbucks table across from this gal who was studying level 1. Truth is I only sat down next to her because she was hot, and then without hesitation she asked if I was studying the CFA program. Built rapport with her effortlessly. When she broke up with her BF we started hooking up, and then she moved to Chicago a month later. It’s funny, she still drunk calls me to this day.

pics or didnt happen