CFA improve Portfolio performance?

Do you guys feel that the information learned from gaining a CFA has actually helped job performance as a portfolio manager or analyst? Or is it just another set of letters after your name to hopefully get a better job and a raise.

The reason I ask is because I have an advanced degree and a low six figure job in an unrelated field. I am very interested in finance and I like the idea of managing my own portfolio, but I feel I have exhausted the cheap, watered down information available on google and in how-to books. If I pick up some used CFA books, will it help me gain a better understanding of the structure of the financial world. Will it help me in my decision making regarding my own portfolio? I am not really interested in actually taking the exams, because I will never achieve the CFA designation without relevant work experience. I’m curious if any of you guys feel more competent in your jobs after passing these exams.

nope, no guarantees of superior performance


Probably helps you avoid some bonehead mistakes, and that translates into portfolio performance, but it is hard to measure the counter factual case of what you would have done otherwise. As for finding alpha opportunities, it teaches you stuff that may help, but you may also be able to find elsewhere.

If you just want to manage your own portfolio well, pick up a book on Passive Investing like this one and call it a day:

I’m pretty sure I read somewhere in a University study that active managers with the CFA Charter were empirically shown to add 225-300bps of extra alpha per year (depending on the asset class and strategy type).

Just kidding.