CFA Fees are WAY too high

It costs $475 to renew all my annual membership fees. This is ridiculously too high, even if my firm pays them. Where is this money going?

It should be $200 or less, IMO.

The CFA isn’t worth that much IMO. I regret taking the exams because it took away from my career development. Plus, I have an MBA from a school that is more prestigious than the CFA. I’m thinking about not even using the CFA designation anymore. I no longer put it on my emails. It’s only on my business cards and reports. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to bother with the CFA…to instead study for the GMAT and doing well at work.

What are your thoughts? What do you think the dues should be in $?

I’m betting your job isn’t in ER or AM ?


Aren’t the dues $275, or are you including some local society fees? I think that’s pretty reasonable. If you feel you’re not at least breaking even on the value it adds to you professionally, I believe you can become inactive for a period of time to see if you miss it or not.

Personally, I’m hard pressed to think of a career path that would lead you to getting the charter and not benefiting from it.

I think OP is just bitter his job doesn’t benefit from the charter. Why would anyone give a damn about how expensive the fees are if your company pays for you?

“less than $0.75 a day!”

yeah, seriously… if your making over 150k per year… and complaining about $300… cheap

Maybe Sally Struthers can do a commercial to help raise funds to pay CFAI dues.

I can see where the original poster is coming from to a certain extent. I found the material I studied for the CFA exams to be very useful and helpful for my career. I don’t get anything like as much reward out of the membership. My main interaction with the CFAI now is deleting the endless spam they seem to feel the need to bombard my inbox with. There so much that I am amazed I even noticed the reminder e-mail about fees.

$475 includes the local chapter fees, which you have to pay. It’s completely bogus. I change my mind…the fee should be like under $100 per year in total. But the key question each of you have to ask is what is your reservation price? What if the fee were $1000 per year…$2000 per year. At what price are you outraged. For me it is $475.

I worked in ER and now work in IB. Obviously, the CFA isn’t as useful in IB. In any case, once you reach a certain level the CFA is irrelevant IMO.

Thinking of $475 as a percentage of salary is illogical…thinking in terms of percentages is a common satisficing method. What you should do is cost-benefit analysis. I’m forcing my firm to pay these fees when instead they could be paying me more money…theoretically. Should the CFA Institute and NYSSA just keep charging you as high as you are willing to pay? Aren’t they not for profit organizations? What are they spending all this money on and why so much? If they cut their expenses, would it even matter? Why all the bureacracy?

I don’t choose fund managers based on whether they passed the CFA. I don’t choose equity analysts by CFA. I may hire a junior person based on the CFA. But once you are beyond the junior level, the CFA doesn’t matter anymore IMO.

I wouldn’t throw $300 in the garbage even if I made $1M per year.

oooooo damn no he didn’t?!?

I’m only a level 3 candidate, but I’m betting after a few years of having the letters, I’ll probably stop paying the fees and just put inactive CFA member on my resume if I’m searching for a new job. Still gets the point across that you completed the program. The knowledge didn’t go out the window once you stopped paying fees.

“inactive CFA member” technically doesn’t mean anything because you can become a CFAI member without passing a single exam. If you’re going to drop the charter WHILE you are looking for a job, you might as well not bother. IMO all that says is “too cheap to pay the dues” or “doesn’t give a sh!t”.

I wouldn’t have a problem with the dues if they were spent on something worthwile, like making the CFA a more prestigious designation. Instead, they spend the money on things like idiotic logo designs.

So I’m a rookie around these parts… “Equity research” and “asset management”?


i think the fees is way too high…for people like me who do not earn in dollars. it turns out to be a lot of money…and its only going to increase…even though im in AM, i agree with markbot…whats the point…

Some professional organizations have tiered fees tied to annual compensation. Verification would potentially be complex, but I would prefer to se something like this in CFA land. $400 is really nothing to worry about for someone earning multiple 6 figures or higher, but for the unemployed, it can be a real issue.

I believe it was established on another thread that you don’t actually have to remain a member of a local chapter after you receive the charter, so you could drop that part. I also seem to remember that you can get a reduced fee if you are unemployed for an extended period of time.

I don’t find the dues to be excessive, you can easily pay that much to play in corporate golf events, but my company picks up the tab.

you’d think with all the new charterholders these days and the fact that most of their publications are electronic these days, the cost would be coming down