Ask Me Anything with Marc LeFebvre, CFA, founder of LevelUp Bootcamps this Friday (2/28) at 3:00 PM EST

Join Marc LeFebvre, CFA, founder of LevelUp Bootcamps this Friday (2/28) at 3:00 PM EST to ask your questions about the Level III CFA® exam.

Have questions about the Level III CFA exam? With just 102 days until the exam, Marc LeFebvre of LevelUp Bootcamps will be answering your questions on AnalystForum throughout the day. Be sure to stop by to see what other Level III candidates are asking and to ask your own questions.

If you’ve never taken the Level III CFA exam or if you’ve been struggling to complete the final level of the CFA exam, Marc is an expert on the Level III CFA exam curriculum with over 25 years experience in teaching what they need to focus on to pass the final hurdle between them and the charter.

Join us right here this Friday (2/28) to ask Marc anything about the Level III CFA exam.

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I met Marc in 2012 in Atlanta, GA: I was teaching a 3-day Level I review for Schweser and he was teaching the Level III review. (I cannot recall who was teaching the Level II review, but he was a nice, smart guy.)

Marc’s a great guy and knows his s.

(Full disclosure: in 2019 I helped Marc put together slides for some of the 14 new Level III readings, so I’m biased. But he still knows his s.)

I was a sophomore in college taking intro to stats. One of the easiest A’s I’ve ever had my whole life.

2012 was a long time ago…kinda when carbon fiber bikes didn’t exist to make you ride faster. Back in the day steel was real and we had to peddle faster to go faster. Nice bike pic :wink:

If you like bikes, you gotta like my new one… courtesy of Traveler’s insurance… (stolen bike two months ago)

I love SRAM tap…great stuff. Great S-Works shoes too. Power meter?

Hey Marc,

Thanks for holding the AMA. Really appreciate it. So my first question would be regarding Alts. Could they ask us to identify a Hedge fund strategy based on description and say why ? I feel this chapter is more of an essay type chapter than MCQ.


Good Afternoon Marc
So i am attending your SFO bootcamp.

Couple of questions i have

Except Book 1 of the curriculum (Ethics) i have read the curriculum Books 2- Book 6 end to end ( just finishing up on Reading 38 today). However i flew by some readings in between. Even though i did go through the material at least once including the EOC questions as well as BB examples in curriculum , i feel my mind has become a convoluted mess and i may have issues with retention of the material. I like to think i still have about ~100 days and if i can put in 2.5-3 hours per day and 6-7 on weekends i can still put in nearly 300+ hours from here onwards for review but it may be true i may well end up short of time.
What is your recommended strategy for review from here onwards uptil exam day

  1. The big Question everybody seems to dread at Level 3, how to practise for the AM constructive response porttion of the exam. I have previous year AM exam papers from 2010 onwards but due to change of syllabus just dont know what all is relevant anymore. What would be your advice to crunch and drill down AM practise from here onwards


Hi Marc,

Here are my questions:

  1. I feel like I’m behind on schedule despite spending 3 hours a day on the jumpstart videos. What’s your recommendation for me to study more efficiently using the videos, slides focus book, and the curriculum? I want to be fully prepared before the bootcamp.

  2. I received the 2nd part of the slides book about 2-3 weeks ago. Do I expect any more packages from you? What else do I get for the bootcamp?

Hello Marc,

Thanks for organizing the AMA. A few questions for you:

  1. GIPS: Should candidates read the 2020 version or the previous version is OK for June L3 exam…

  2. Since CFAI won’t release the 2019 AM paper, what should candidates focus on for exam preparations given the changes of the L3 curriculum?

  3. What’s the potential impact of Coronavirus on the upcoming BootCamps and the CFA exams?

Thanks very much!

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They can ask ANYTHING on the exam. Yes in the past I have seen essay questions that asked the candidate to identify a HF strategy and then how to implement that strategy. I’ve seen it done with distressed debt arb for example. The reading is certainly essay question format but could easily be afternoon item sets as well with three variations of the strategy provided and you have to identify the right one. Good question :wink:

Hello, the 2020 candidate curriculum requires you tackle reading 6 which is based on the 2010 version of GIPS and says that in section 1 of reading 6. I would not go to the 2020 version as it is not required for the exam.
As for essay preparation. This is a tough question. Back fin the day…we only had 3 years of old exams to reference. As the number of past exams grew there was some advantages (larger numbers of exams) and disadvantages (questions were dated, irrelevant, reading deleted, etc) so the CFA Institute made the recent changes. This is what I think based on 26 years of doing this under many different learning environments with the CFA Institute. The closer you learn from the candidate curriculum the better your chances on the exam since you learn from the core source of material. Stepping away is were the “story” for the reading gets muddied and then essay answers exhibit that and don’t perform as well. SO read the candidate curriculum. Also make hand written notes, that is practicing essay writing. Then try and write a short paragraph on the topic you just summarized. You did that in college, do it again now. Working the two years that are available is very helpful. After you have worked the CFA curriculum and worked all the problems they provide and used the online topic tests and the two years of old exams then if you want to turn to other provider mocks that can help as well.
As for the Covid19 I have no idea as of this time. The CFA exam is still on as far as I have heard.

Relating to Balance of Payments, could you explain CA and CFA in the example of an export. Would an export be a credit on the Current Account side and a debit on the CFA side, as the country receives foreign capital for the goods exported? Any other help with the balance of payments and how we need to be able to think about it would be appreciated. Thank you!

Depends on how you are preparing now. I always tell candidates to watch the video first (not read the candidate reading first) then read that covered topic. So watch a video through a section (many readings have 6 sections), pause after the vide, read and make notes then work the problems (shown in the focus material book in the tables) immediately following the read. Past candidates say the process of watching, listening, reading then working the associated problems (white text, blue box, practice problems) helps imbed the concepts firmly in their memory. Research on learning indicates the more methods of learning (listen, read, write, etc) the deeper your comprehension will be and then immediately after work problems to test you knowledge is the frosting on the learning cake.
If you have Volume 1 and 2 of the slide and the focus material book you are good to go for the BootCamp. At the BootCamp you may receive a essay workshop book, I’m working with permissions at the CFA Institute as we speak. The IPS return calculation workshop is no longer valid as that topic was moved to Level I.

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Hi Marc,

I started strong using your materials and managed to read CFAI curriculum book #2. Then, unforeseen family circumstances have prevented me from continuing my studies for months but those were finallly resolved in the last week or so. I am now in a predicament and not sure if it is worth taking the test this year or postpone until 2021.

Put another way, do you have any tips/ thoughts/ strategies for preparing in a relative short timeframe (2 months before your SFO Bootcamp).

Thanks in advance,

Your biggest fan!

Good to know thanks. In econ, are we expected to know the tedious volatility equations ?

In Private Wealth, I’m still trying to figure out as to how they can test the first chapter. The IPS days are pretty much done as the new reading is totally different and actually more realistic


What does the CFA text say is a good hedge for current market conditions (the big corona selloff)… other than bonds? I thought gold but that looks like its selling off too.

Thank you, Marc. Have a good weekend.

Hi Marc,
I have a few exam technical questions to start out – in the essays, can we abbreviate? (i.e. “w/o” instead of without)
Can we use acronyms or do we need to use full terms?
Can we write out $2mm instead of $2,000,000.00?

In the solutions to EOCs and blue boxes I’ve noticed that the majority of the written responses simply reiterate what was given in the question (i.e. the question states that “avoiding probate might be beneficial because it will speed up the asset transfer process and reduce costs” and the solution as to ways to avoid probate reiterates that same thing…) Do you advise that we practice writing this way? By reiterating what was already given in the question?

To continue in that vein – In an item set or essay solution, do I need to provide a reason that option A is correct, AND provide the reason why options B and C are incorrect? Or can I simply explain why A is correct?