You don’t actually have to remain a member of your local society once you become a charterholder. The local society membership is only required for receiving your charter, so you can at least save $50. I have a hard time feeling sorry for you though, my local society is $200.
you get access to FAJ the research journal. Access to copies going back to to the 50’s. I know you don’t really need so long history, but nevertheless. I like reading older issues when I am really not in a mood for anything :). Also there are short videos - like 15 min - on various topics. Once you get your charter you have something called as CE - continous education. You have an online diary in which you can keep track of things you have read or listened.
All this is completely voluntary. If you work or interest is not research oriented types, then these resources are not of much use. There are paid courses as well. Some of them become free after a while. I found a fixed -income course and felt it was pretty good.
The whole thing is interesting if you’r inclined to it.
I agree, it’s too high. This has been discussed to death in the past – why is it so high if the CFAI CEO makes a million dollars a year, etc., etc.
You would have to pay me (a lot) to read FAJ, but I have gotten a lot of mileage out of job line, so that’s something I guess. Job line is as good as any online source but in reality, the very good jobs in this industry are never advertised online and come through recruiters or networking.
At the end of the day, paying $275 means nothing compared to the other sacrifices we’ve all made to use the letters. I’ve lost friends, girlfriends, a chunk of my early 20’s and a part of my sanity in order to get through this entire process.