CAIA - yes I know there's another forum for this

Well, actualy I didn’t know we had a CAIA forum until about 30 minutes ago. Anyway, I might jump into this thing and just wanted to hear from some of you that have done it. What am I in for and how does it compare to the CFA? Not in terms of content but difficulty, time needed to study, etc.

Yo dude, there is another forum for this. :slight_smile:

It’s kinda fun. I got my Charter in 2010. I’ve heard it’s changed drastically since.

L1 be ready for lots of reading and a coupla calculations.

L2 be ready for lots of reading, lots of calculations, and essays.

I used Uppermark as the content provider since their office is down the road from the CAIA office. It’s was also cheaper than Schweser. Each level maybe had 600-700 pages of reading. I don’t recall. The difficulty is moderate. When I took it L1 had a 60% pass rate and L2 had a 50% pass rate. However, the pool of candidates is also much smaller than the CFA. Give it 2-3 months per level for studying.

What are the benefits of CAIA and what useful things did you learn from the syllabus?

CAIA is pronounced “caya”.

So men who have CAIA are, CAIA-men, like Cayman, or Gaymen.

I did L1 way back in the day before I realized all these certifications are useless. Never finished L2. Waste of money IMO.

Yeah, out of sheer curiosity–why pursue it? You don’t strike me as someone who likes their alphabet soup. Are you being voluntold to do it by management or something?

Definitely not for shits and giggles. Alts are becoming an increasingly important asset class to be able to sell and sell against. As such, our head of distribution is requiring everyone to get the CAIA “certification” which sounds totally lame. It’s something like a 21 hour course with a test at the end that you can take repeatedly until you pass.

That’s most certainly not my style. Plus you don’t get to use the letters, and while you’re correct that I don’t seek letters just to have them, if I’m going to do this I may as well kick everyone else’s ass and go all out and get the full designation.

The company will pay for everything including supplemental study materials so there’s no cost to me. Someone in an internal meeting today said the CAIA is every bit as hard as the CFA “if not harder.” That came from someone who has never taken a CFA exam so I took it as a personal challenge. Plus I do like to exercise my brain on occasion to flush out the alcohol and bong residue.

It’s big on asset allocation among alternative classes which I thought was valuable to learn. Also way back then alternatives were not very big in the CFA Curriculum, so it was a nice diversification to my investment accumen.

I got it many years ago, it’s interesting. I’m no longer a member of the CAIA Association thought.

And it’s pronounced Kai-Ya. Like ninja about to smash through boards hiya, but CAIA. Not CAY-YA.

I expect you to start a “FRM - yes I know there’s another forum for this” thread next week.

Hmm…Perhaps this should be moved to the feedback forum.

In other news, after thinking about this for approximately two hours and having downed two bottles of red, I’m signing up. Thanks CvM.

That’s the best way to decide whether you should sign up to a 500 hour commitment.


Hahahaha no. The pass rates for CAIA1 and CAIA2 are both north of 60%.

Same here. Didn’t want to sink any more time into it.

Sweep, I’ll give you my two cents on this. I have the CFA and CAIA charters, and I completed the CAIA several years ago (which itself, was a few years after the CFA was completed). At the time, I didn’t have much “alternatives experience” legitimately under my belt yet, and so I found the CAIA to be useful in that respect. It wasn’t so much “oh, you have the charter, let me open these doors for you,” as it unfolded, it was more like, the material I was learning was pointing me in better directions that I wouldn’t have thought of if I didn’t have access to the CAIA curriculum.

Because I think when it comes to alternatives, there are a lot of people out there that, for a lack of a better way of putting it, are full of shit. I think that plenty of people who are tangentially related to the industry have gotten by bullshitting their way through conversations, but true hedge funders and private equity people can see clearly through the bullshit waterfall, and if you take the CAIA material seriously and remember key chunks of it, it will help you in conversations with these people. If you’re one of these people who study up for the exams, expect to double their income and then, when it fails to occur in 6 months, get angry and start condemning the exam as a “waste of time,” then it will not really be helpful to you because this is kind of a form of self-fulfilling prophecy.

In recommending it, I have to ask myself the following question: If today, all else was the same in my life but we were in an alternate universe where I lacked the CAIA, would I sit for these exams now in 2014. My honest assessment is that today, even though my roles and responsibilities have increased, I would still find it useful to take the time to study and sit for these exams.

Higher pass rates don’t necessarily imply that the material is easier; they could just as well imply lower minimum passing scores and a potentially more experienced candidate pool (CAIA satisfies a CFA continuing education requirement, I believe, so many CAIA candidates are CFA charter holders, keep in mind); I’m the only person I know who sat for CAIA exams who wasn’t already engaged within the alternatives industry (for many years, in most cases). CAIA I was very difficult, in my opinion (post-2012; can’t speak for pre-revision material), while level II was much more straightforward (especially the “essay” section [better labeled “short answer”]) and seemed almost “easy” in comparison to level I.

Thanks for the advice. I’m going to do it, if only because I’m bored.

Who moved this, btw? You’ll notice I had previously started a thread here (in the appropriate forum) then realized it was a mistake. I started the other thread in the WC not only for increased visibility, but also because those are my people that I trust…to some degree. It’s not always about subject matter. I was appealing to a specific audience.

No worries. I got what I needed (in the WC). {it was S2000 that moved it wasn’t it?}

Yes, it was I.

I left a link there.

See, this is the reason why I’ve issued multiple people with permission to punch me in the face if I ever even mention the prospect of doing another exam.

I can see your point about doing it rather than some diddy certificate though.

Every time I think of CAIA I think about all the fannies in my company in middle office who bleet on, completely unprompted, about how it’s much better to do CAIA than CFA and how level 2 is harder than any of the levels of CFA. They all failed level 2 a couple of times.