CFA ..Assistance required!

Hi All, This is my first post in this forum and I would like to introduce myself before asking for any assistance. I have completed my ACCA examinations + BSc honours degree from London. I am now looking to specialize in the field of finance and therefore I am planning to enrol in the CFA program next week and hopefully appear for the Level 1 examination this December. To be honest with you guys/mates, I have no idea how to approach for this course. I know I will sound a bit stupid but I have no idea of the study material and the time required to study. However i have checked the CFA’s site and it is advised that I should devote atleast 250 hours which is a bit scary but not impossible. Also they mention about ‘Schweser’ which I presume is the study material which can be procured online. I would highly appreciate if you guys could assist me in sharing your knowledge for the newcommers of this program. For eg: How to approach the studies? What study material to use? Whether to join a full/part time course or not? How much time should be devoted? etc. This would be very helpful and I would be very grateful for your advise. Any help provided will be highly appreciated and many many thanks in advance. Cheers, Sumo

Get Schweser, CFAI will send you their books. I believe there is plenty of time before Dec. Do not underestimate the exam though. The ACCA will help in FSA, but you would have to look at it from an analyst’s perspective, not accountant’s. Best wishes.

There are a lot of posts on this. You have 4 months. You better put in 300+ hours. You don’t need to use the CFAI texts for level 1. I used Schweser and the videos. I suggest you read a topic every other week and once you finish that topic do as much questions as possible. You need to be able to do questions in level 1. The questions on the exam are harder than Schweser Qtest bank. I would be a heavy emphasis on Financial Statement Analysis, because thats the hardest section in level 1 and its a huge percentage. Maybe you should do ethics last and do as much questions on ethics the last few days before the exam. I can’t stress this enough, do as many problems as you can and you will pass.

Sumo: The Level 1 exam is given December and June, and Levels 2 & 3 are given only in June. Since most who take the exams are employed full time, they tend to put in an hour or two of studying daily, and several on weekends. You’ll hear all ranges of how much you’ll need to study - from "I passed L2 on 2 weeks of studying to "I spent 300+ hours. The 250 is CFA institute’s recommendation. When you register with CFAI, you receive the curriculum as as part of the price of registration. Some people use only the CFAI curriculum materials, some use only the Schweser (or Stalla) study guides (which are a condensed treatment of the curriculum), and some use a combination (i.e. use Schweser for the material that comes easily to them, and the CFAI material for the problematic material). For example, if you are comfortable with accounting, Shweser might be sufficient for the Financial Statement Analysis material, but if not, you’d be better off using the CFAI material. The tradeoff is that the Schweser material is much more compact (it’s about half the pages of the CFAI material), but the CFAI material covers things in more depth. However, if you go with Schweser or Stalla, DEFINITELY use the CFAI material for the ethics section. A second benefit to using a study guide provider’s material is that both Schweser and Stalla have very good test banks that can be used to dril yourself on the material. The material is not extremely deep at Level 1, but it does cover a very broad array of topics. So, using the test bank products can be a real help in retaining the material. Finally, try to arrange your time so that you can spend the last 3-4 weeks before the exam taking mock exams to identify your weak areas. Hope this helps. If not, feel free to ask further. There are a lot of intelligent people on the forums, and they’re pretty helpful. Good luck.

You’re going t hear a million different opinions, but I’ll give you mine, which was cost effective and helped me pass level 1. Listen to Schweser Audio CD’s (retail $249), and follow along in the CFAI text. Work out as many practice problems (CFAI’s) as possible, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Repitition of the curriculum combined with working the problems that the institute publishes is the formula that worked for me. I can’t guarantee that will work for Level 2 because I haven’t been there yet. With discipline you will pass. Good luck!

Nike Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > There are a lot of posts on this. You have 4 > months. you mean THREE

Talking about assistance…where has JoeyDVivre been? I bet he got banned for acting crazy.

Don’t. Don’t enroll for the December exam, enroll for the June exam instead. It’s already a bit late to start for the December exam in my opinion unless you plan to study full time and have no work obligation while you study.

I am not a CFA student yet but one of my friend (bright in studies, BBA in finance) failed her level 1 exam after sudying for only four months. So my suggestion would be don’t enroll for Dec Exam specially while you are a bit clueless and have only three months. Go for the June exam and you can start studying even now if you want…

I really appreicate that you guys have taken out some time to reply to my post. I think I will be better off to sit for the June 09 exams as I’m working full time and my registration time and getting the study material in hand can take longer than anticipated (probably a week or two) as I am based in London, UK. Assuming I get my material by the 10th of September, I have got only 80 days remaining which would require me to spend atleast 3-4 hours a day. I certainly have an accounting background and have done a lot of analysis in the final papers of ACCA. I am sure that would be helpful. In relation to study material, Schweser offers three different types: Essential Soultion, Schweser Premier Solution and Schweser Question & Exam. The Essential Solution and the Premier Solution will include: 5-book set of Schweser™ Study Notes Practice Exams, Vol. 1 Practice Exams, Vol. 2 (includes an in-deepth review of actual past CFA Exam questions) SchweserPro™ QBank Schweser’s QuickSheet™ InstructorLink™(Online Resources & Support) Free Do-It-Yourself LOS Cards Book 0 (zero) for Level 2 and Level 3 candidates - a compilation of everything you need to retain from previous CFA® A choice of Schweser Video CDs or Weekly online seminar or Online multi-phase seminar [Premier Solution only] For the very basic package the Question & Exam Pack will include SchweserPro™ QBank Practice Exams, Vol. 1 Can you guys advise on which package should I choose for the Level1 examinations for June09. Also is there any archive of past question/answer papers of CFA (L1,2,3) available free of cost online? Once again, many thanks. Sumo

Sumo, About the solution, it totally depends on your style of learning. You can use any combination you want or even purchase each useful item separately if you dont want the full solution. Go through the following link: click on each item to read its description and determine how useful it might be of to you. A quick advice: If you think you wont need any live classes/VCDs/online classes…then go for the essential solution. I am an auditory+visual learner, so i’d certainly buy it. If you think you would go through CFA books and make your own notes, then Question & Exam Pack will do the job. If you think you’d need classes/VCDs but rather make your own notes, then Curriculum Instruction & Support Package is more cost-effective. Overall, there is unanimous agreement among CFA students that practice is essential to pass the exams. Thus, make sure you grab as many as practice papers as possible. No, there is no free cost of online past paper available as far as i know. you will get a sample exam with your books after registering.

90 days is enough if you do it right - but if you don’t have several years of actual experience in the markets you gotta start NOW and spend probably 3+ hours a night + whole day(s) on weekends. If you have practical working knowlege of several of the topics you can probably do it in much less than 250 hours. For L1 you need to know a bit a whole wide range of stuff - not much depth but huge bredth. Everybody’s different and you’ll find 100 different approaches on this board. Personally - for LI I used CFAI texts for some sections and Schweser Qbank for the rest. + did EVERY single Schweser Qbank question (over 4,000) + every practice exam I could find (Schweser, CFAI, Boston) You need 3 things: 1. knowledge - the 3rd party material (Schweser, etc) is fine to MEMORISE from, but if you want to LEARN stuff use CFAI texts. The mistake many candidates make is to use the 3rd party materials to try to learn from. The problem is that if you don’t have a working knowlege of the subjects you will probably be better off learning from the CFAI texts, which takes hundreds of hours 2. technique - it’s 240 questions over 6 hours - no time to think - just read the facts, identify the principle, figure out/calc the answer, pick the response - no time to pause and think - if you hesitate you’re dead - that’s why only about 30-40% pass L1 3. a bit of luck + spend a few hours searching treads on this board good luck!

cjones65 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > You’re going t hear a million different opinions, > but I’ll give you mine, which was cost effective > and helped me pass level 1. Listen to Schweser > Audio CD’s (retail $249), and follow along in the > CFAI text. Work out as many practice problems > (CFAI’s) as possible, and repeat, repeat, repeat. > Repitition of the curriculum combined with working > the problems that the institute publishes is the > formula that worked for me. I can’t guarantee that > will work for Level 2 because I haven’t been there > yet. With discipline you will pass. Good luck! How long are the audio CDs?

They’re not very long at all. 2008 Level 1 had 24 CD’s all <80 minutes. You can knock one CD out every day, and they’re basically the Schweser notes verbatim. Best bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned.

Thanks cjones. I tried out the sample on their site. That guy has a soothing voice

Hi Busprof, Thanks a lot , that really helps. However, I have now decided to register for the June 09 exams as I am working full-time and will not be able to devote plenty of hours that are required for a positive result. Also, do I need to send my certificates to enrol into the program in order to prove the entry requirements and also how long does it takes to become a candidate?? I am forseeing to attend an open evening from BPP London on 18th September before flashing out my Credit card. I hope 6 days will be enough to get enrolled and register for the June09 exams so that I pay only $990 (24th Sept deadline)? Please confirm. Many Thanks Cheers Sumo

what have you got to lose by having a crack at the december 08 one (besides $1k)? if you are one of the 35-40% odd that get through, you can sit for lvl 2 in jun! you can find the time - eg do an hour before work + study on the bus theres potentially 150hours over 90 days. its certainly possible. more so if you use schweser. having the ACCA will make 20% of the exam (FSA) a little easier to cope with then it is for many others. obviously youll need a little more committment then 150hrs (eg public transport isnt conducive to quality study time) but it just gives you an idea of how to find the time. good luck

Hey djjk1, You guys have been quite encouraging, I really appreciate that. I want to get into the grips of Level1 so that I don’t find any troubles for the other levels. Even if I pass Level1, I would need to spend a lot of time for Level 2 which would be nearly after 4 months. As you said 35% passed the level 1 in June and I could fall into that percentile, which cannot be ruled out. But if the result is not as expected, I lose my time, money and the opportunity cost cannot be measured. Also a big problem for me is that I have to attend a wedding on the day before the Dec exams else I would have not been posting this message. One thing is quite similar between yours and mine approach, studying in buses and train. I did that in my final papers of ACCA :). Cheers Sumo

are you a japanese wrestler?

Nope, though I will fight to get a charter. All the best Cheers