Why do people with a Phd in Quant study CFA? I have seen guys with business cards: mo34, CFA, Phd; bchadwick, Phd, CFA; and now some wannabes sublimity CFA, Phd. Does the CFA really help a quant? Or perhaps, could it hurt? I met some Phd students in Harvard a couple of years ago who were very dismissive of the CFA, as “rote learning”. In quant finance, isn’t the Phd the right degree? I chose an MBA because it practical (well the quants dismiss it as light) and I wanted to work from a practical perspective in organizations. But I still find “some” Phds too theoretical to be of any practical use, maybe they should have remained in academia. Caveat: This is not a debate about which is better, BUT why people chose to do both.
I can imagine a quant learning from the CFA program as it’s possible they didn’t receive a formalized ‘finance’ education. It can also demonstrate a true desire to be in IM. It might help a quant who wants to make the transition from a risk management or actuarial type position. While I agree it’s probably not the best use of one’s time to obtain both degrees I can definitely see some added benefit from the CFA over the PHD.
Can you do a PhD in CFA?
It’s not a common combo. I would guess that guys with both began in industry and got the CFA, and later decided to pursue a PhD. CFA is for practitioners and is not valued highly in academia. I guess its good for PhD’s who want to brush up on their GICS compliance knowledge.
buyicide Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > It’s not a common combo. I would guess that guys > with both began in industry and got the CFA, and > later decided to pursue a PhD. > > CFA is for practitioners and is not valued highly > in academia. > > I guess its good for PhD’s who want to brush up on > their GICS compliance knowledge. You broke one of the ten CFA commandments Thou shall not misrepresent the GIPS standards
Next time you meet a Phd&CFA-dude ask him. I’d like to know myself. Of course I can find reasons enough to justify both, e.g. if you are a Phd with a physics background, but want the enter the financial business, it sure wouldn’t hurt to demonstrate that not only you can manipulate numbers well, but that you also know what they mean!
CFA is not rote learning. I dont know if you can pass it without understanding it but I learned a LOT from the CFA curriculum.
I will hopefully earn the charter on Aug 18 and have been exploring the idea of pursuing a PhD in finance because I like to learn and think it would be fun. A future gig as a finance professor wouldn’t be that bad either.
^ ^ I thought we were not debating this? I know some Phd type dismiss CFA as rote learning and MBA as a light degree - which to some extent is justified(if we were to be honest). I am just interested in why do both a Phd in quant then undertake CFA.
higgmond Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I will hopefully earn the charter on Aug 18 and > have been exploring the idea of pursuing a PhD in > finance because I like to learn and think it would > be fun. A future gig as a finance professor > wouldn’t be that bad either. That’s what I’m talking about
higgmond Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I will hopefully earn the charter on Aug 18 and > have been exploring the idea of pursuing a PhD in > finance because I like to learn and think it would > be fun. A future gig as a finance professor > wouldn’t be that bad either. A Phd for fun? The few guys have met with a Phd have always given me the impression that it is not fun - it is a very huge commitment. But again you are only exploring the idea.
JOE2010 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > A Phd for fun? The few guys have met with a Phd > have always given me the impression that it is not > fun - it is a very huge commitment. But again you > are only exploring the idea. A hugh commitment does not mean something cannot be fun. I enjoy being intellectually challenged and interacting with people who are passionate and informed about topics that interest me. Also, my wife is an academic at a fairly well regarded university, so I have pretty good idea of what is involved.
Quant Jocks are going down…
higgmond, we are very similar. I’m also considering pursuing PhD because it might be fun. Maybe we can chat offline. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
when people with CFA decide to do PhD (we’ve got a couple above), intellectual curiosity seems like a reasonable motivation. when people with PhD decide to do CFA, that’s a different story. maybe they are trying to switch from academia to industry and without experience they feel that the CFA would make them more “marketable”. i dont think it does
First of all, I don’t think anyone gets a Ph.D. in Quant. There are Ph.Ds in math, physics, economics, finance, music, sociology, etc… Some of these have more quantitative aspects than others. My Ph.D. is not in finance, so before I did L1 of the CFA program, I got a lot of questions saying, “Well, bchad, you’re obviously smart, but what do you know about finance.” Truth is, I knew some statistics, and a fair amount of economics, but I’d never navigated financial statements, and I wasn’t all that sure about all the different things that go into equity and fixed income valuation. I knew what options were, but not much else about derivatives. After passing L1, I never got the “so what do you know about finance” question again. I went on to do L2 and L3 because 1) might as well complete what you started, and 2) I was genuinely interested in the material, and 3) it helped to have a formal program that covered key issues in portfolio management without requiring that I go back and get another university degree. Also, there are lots of different ways to do statistics. The way a medical researcher uses statistics is different from the way an economist uses statistics is different from the way a policy maker uses statistics is different from the way a quantitative portfolio manager uses statistics. Yes, there are some similarities, and knowing one helps you move to the other, but it’s not as simple a jump as you’d think. Volatility clustering and ARCH/GARCH models are regression techniques, sure, but they are completely unique to finance, AFAIK. Portfolio optimization is fairly unique too. And in pretty much all statistical modeling, the best models are based on understanding theories of the underlying processes, and you need the CFA (or some other source) to give you a base in that. As for Harvard Ph.D. students being dismissive of CFA as rote learning, just realize that a Ph.D. grad student from pretty much anywhere is generally a somewhat bitter person. They’re usually poor students slaving away being told that they’re not really intellectually good enough to play with the big boys (and girls) and trying to justify every thought they have with some reference to existing literature. It’s a pretty degrading experience, one that often drags on for many years, so many tend to let off steam and justify their own plight by claiming that what they are doing is deeper, more meaningful, more profound than CFA or MBA programs that their competition is doing. There are certainly ways in which CFA and MBA can be considered “lighter” than Ph.D. work, but it’s also true that Ph.D. is overkill for most of life’s needs. I think you’ll find that Ph.Ds who have had their degrees for a while will not poo-hoo CFA and MBA so readily.
Dr. Chadwick! Good to see you back. How have you been?
I like to think of it in this way a CFA seems to be a general overview of many topics. Commonly referred to as a “mile wide and an inch deep” . A masters degree could be like a CFA a graduate level of learning but it depends on the institution and the over all focus of the program. A PhD should be more of a small focus on a particular part of an overall body of knowledge all though they should know most of the general information (hence the comprehensive exams) their seems to be “a foot wide and a mile deep”. To be able to further the current body of knowledge I guess you have to be very focused. I like the “bitterness” comment on the PhD’s. Its a vicious circle too because your teachers/supervisors have the same issues and the people you socialize with (if you socialize) are in the same boat so they all feed of each other.
I misread the OP’s original post. I was referring to Finance PhDs who got CFAs. In one respect, I see the point - A physics PhD probably doesn’t know tht much about finance. On the other hand, it seems pointless. A Physics/Math PhD will get hired for modeling/mathematical skillls, not general finance knowledge. You don’t even have to know what EBITDA is to make good money as a quant at DE Shaw. I guess it only makes sense for someone who wants to rise from pure quant to more of a HF PM role.
First of all, good to see bchad back. I think pursuite PhD can be fun if you enjoy learning. Belive it or not, I did also learned a LOT from CFA material, not saying it makes me a better investor, however, it did open lot of tool boxes for me. The CFA learnign process was fun for me, including the LI to LIII forum. I fully expect a similar learning experience if I decide to pursuit PhD. Plus, hell yeah, if I can one day become a finance professor, no/lite workload, good pay, no stress, killer-benefits. I am all for it.