Actuarial FM exam vs. CFA Level 1

I’m debating on taking the actuarial fm exam in February to keep as many options as possible open and was wondering how similar the FM exam will be to the CFA Level 1 exam. I know there won’t be any ethics questions, but how does the rest of the material compare to the CFA Level 1 for anybody who has taken both exams? And how does the difficulty compare of the two exams? Also, after taking CFA Level 1 would 2 months be long enough to prepare if I have a lot of free time with Christmas break coming up?

Wow I was thinking along same line, however after June CFA exam. The material will be fresh and 1 month to focus on July FM exam :).

Yeah, great minds think alike, but I figured I won’t have much motivation to study for CFA Level II until March anyways, so if I had this, I could hopefully kill 2 birds with one stone and keep training my financial mind since I came from a Mathematics background.

You should go for it!! I am just finishing up my undergrad in Math/stats as well. P1 seems ok as well but it doesn’t relate to CFA L1, FM definitely does.

Yeah, there were a few similarities between P and CFA Level 1 Quant, but definitely not enough to call them anywhere close to similar exams. Just looking for advice on what to expect, I thought about taking P after FM too, because I’m getting my MBA currently and only have night classes so all my days are usually free…other than the usual game of Madden :wink:

The FM exam requires the ability to perform calculations and have a deeper understanding of interest theory and simple derivatives. You can find the syllabus online, ‘exam fm syllabus’. Two months is enough. I thought FM was the easiest of the preliminary actuarial exams, easier than CFA L1 in terms of overall difficulty. I studied two or three weeks for it, but I had some exposure to the material already via MBA finance program. Let me know how it goes.

^FYI my definition of studying two - three weeks means full time, all-day. I don’t want to make the test seem trivial. It’s not. I’d like to know what kind of options you are trying to leave open. I’ve heard the actuarial hiring market is pretty tight right now (at least in the US). What might you expect to do with this FM exam? I think it’s a great course of study and if I’m hiring it means something to me, but I think that’s a minority of investment professionals.

does FM require substantial calculus? I know P requires quite a bit what about FM


none at all?

I guess I shouldn’t say as much keep my options open as I should be saying making my resume stronger. I figure having a few credentials is better than one credential and may make a difference between me and another candidate who may be equals other than the additional actuary exam.

I don’t recall integrating anything, but it’s been so long since I learned derivatives I forget when I use them. This is from the syllabus: Exam 2 assumes a basic knowledge of calculus and an introductory knowledge of probability. I would suggest you have at least had one calculus class, but you may be able to get by without it.

nerd alert!

says the geek on cfa forums