Advice on cfa

Hi I am a student which is about to graduate from my degree so I am interested in taking cfa and have done abit of research on it but the answer I found online is about blur can anybody answer some of my question?

  1. Taking cfa and mba what is the difference ? ( in career prospective)

  2. If I would like to go into finance which field would be the place that I get to learn the most?

  3. What is the career route for a cfa as I found online most people go with financial analyst. Is there other road as well?

  4. Let’s say if I take the level 1 exam in December 2017 and I start my studies plan in September (4 hours a day) only self study and not joining any college institution would I be able to make it for the exam? As I see the exam require a lot of time to study on it.

I cannot answer all your questions nor tell you which is best for you. Finance can be a very broad subject. You do not have to be an analyst even you decided to study the program. You can be an accountant, auditor, investment advisor, portfolio manager, compliance officer, controller, investment banker, and many more.

In my own opinion, because I do a little bit of interview for the company, the designations alone isn’t going to do much. If I get to pick only one designation, I will pick the CFA designation. It is more applicable for my career and I get to apply some of the knowledge I learned. As for MBA, once you get enough work experience and if you are in the management level, I believe it will be a great addition. It is quite unlikely that a new graduate will enter the management level in the beginning. If you already went through some finance courses such as accounting , you can save some time on the financial reporting section. You still have to study other sections of the CFA program. Good luck.

1 - An MBA is a middle management oriented graduate program, it covers broad topics such as Strategic management, marketing, financial management, operations, corporate finance, etc… it will give you a decent grasp of how a multinational corporation functions in todays world. You can also specialize while doing your MBA. An MBA is as valuable as your ability to network while at B-school and the school’s reputation in your region and/or country. The CFA charter on the other hand is more niche oriented and it’s solely finance focused. It is much more specialized than a general MBA program and in my personal experience much more challenging, but financially more attainable, i.e. cheaper (source: I have an MBA from a top school in Canada and I just wrote CFA L3). 2 - There is no one field in which you’d “learn the most” in finance. Different areas within finance will give you a different set of experiences and exposures to different facets of finance. If you work in investment banking you might specialize in equity or debt issuance, or mergers and acquisitions. If you go into wealth management, you might learn more about managing individual clients wealth, financial planning and tax planning. If you go into equity research then you will learn more about analyzing individual stocks and industries, etc… It all depends on what appeals to you and what you would like to learn, there is no right answer to your question. 3 - CFA charter holders hold various roles with various organizations (banks, insurance companies, corporations of all sorts, non-profit orgs, etc…) and the roles which CFA charter holders occupy are also diverse: relationship managers, research analysts, consultants, financial advisors, portfolio managers, risk managers, etc… 4 - There is about 120 days left to the exam, at 4 hours per day you would clock at 480 hours of studying which is sufficient for a large portion of candidates. The average candidate does 300-350 hours per level, mind you the average candidate fails, as the Level 1 pass rate is 43%, so take those hours with a grain of salt. I usually stop studying a reading when I feel that I have understood it sufficiently regardless of hours spent. I have never kept track of how many hours I put into a topic as I do not see the value in doing so.

The CFA program is much better for finance. And the CFA program is probably worth more than 99% of the MBA programs. The debate is between the Top 10 MBA programs vs. the CFA. Top 10 schools… hard to get into. ( Need a good GPA, GMAT score, and money) But the course work is easy. The programs are great for networking & getting recruited off campus. Remember most MBA programs will make you take a bunch on management classes, a few marketing, accounting, finance, etc. You can get a concentration at most schools.

The CFA is mostly just finance. and only the accounting & economics you need for finance. The finance in the CFA program is much harder than MBA finance. If you’re interest in finance, ( and want to work as an analyst, or at a hedge/mutual fund, private equity) go with the CFA. if you want to get recruited by some S&P 500 company to work in management… then go with the Top 10 MBA.