What are everyone’s opinions about this designation?

Probably not worth it if you have CFA.

What if you want to get into Alternatives at some point in your career (i.e. Manage a portfolio of commodities or REITS)?

Well, it might be worth taking the CAIA if you think the material might be useful. I would not expect much in terms of brand recognition, though. It’s still pretty rare, even among people who work in “alternative assets”.

I passed both levels of the CAIA, and have my charter. I will say this, it helped a lot for Level 2 of the CFA. Stuff that you have will have drilled in FI, Derivs, and Alternatives, could easily be missed in the CFA. Also we run a wrap fee with alternatives as a key component. We’ve had a lot of people asking about the designation so it makes my boss’s life easier to say we have a CAIA.

I passed both CAIA exams (Level I last September and Level II this March) and I thought the content of the curriculum was excellent and added a lot to what I learned in the CFA program (I passed all three CFA exams previously). As ohai says, though, I’m not sure about the brand recognition. If someone else is paying for it or you’re otherwise not worried about the cost and you’re interested I’d say it’s very worthwhile.

On scale of 1 to 10 (CFA exam being a 10) how hard are the CAIA exams?

It’s a little hard for me to say since I had finished the CFA exams when I took the CAIA ones. I thought the Level I exam was extremely easy, however - so much so that I was almost disappointed in the program and questioned how valuable the designation could be (although as I said I thought the content of the curriculum was excellent). The Level II exam was harder; maybe comparable to the Level I exam for the CFA Program I’d say. One advantage to the CAIA program is that both exams are given twice a year and you can retake an exam for $350 (I think), so it wouldn’t be as big a deal to fail one as it is in the CFA Program.

mcap11 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > On scale of 1 to 10 (CFA exam being a 10) how hard > are the CAIA exams? 1 is pretty easy. However 2 is harder than CFA Level 1 for sure. I’d call it Level 1.5 in terms of difficulty.

I second what the Cap’n and MissCleo said. I think it makes a great compliment to the CFA if you are working in AIs. I would wait to do it as “Level 4” of the CFA. Level 1 is very easy, I had the same thoughts as captain. Level 2 had some in depth material. I’d put L1 at a 5 and L2 at a 7 (with CFA L2 being a 10 for scale). The program seems to be recognized more in the pension and FoF world.

Thanks guys. I just took L3 and I work with commodities. But I might get into it to value-invest - if this thing gets big, I believe they will make the exam on par with CFA difficulty.

Agree that CAIA L2 was a lot more difficult than CAIA L1…combo of greater depth of material plus some essay questions in L2 make it difficult. CAIA pass rates are roughly 50% or so for L2, and roughly 70% for L1.

Let me get this straight- you decided to choose a handle based on a mediocre pitcher who admitted to using steroids?

Most wins in the last decade, of course there’s more.