Confused about the future

Hello Everyone,

I am quite confused about my current situation. I am currenty enrolled in CFA level 1 June/2013 and I have put in a lot of hours of studying for the exam. I have a degree in Accounting and Finance and I was working as a Business Analyst in the largest Mutual Fund Company of Canada. At that time it made sense to pursue CFA as I liked the material and eventually I wanted to be in Investment Management. Last year I moved from Canada to New York and was unable to find a job in Financial Industry. Currently I am working in telecommunications industry as a Business/Financial Analyst.

The way my career is going is making me question my choice of pursuing CFA. I will definitely appear for level 1 (because of the money and effort I have put in) but I also understand that I can’t get the charter unless I have 4 years of investment management experience.

Does it make sense for me to still pursue it or should I look for MBA programs after finishing level 1?

Any advice is appreciated.

Maybe see if you actually PASS level one first, then worry about what to do. Not to be pesimistic, but 60-70% will NOT pass.

I guess you are right. I should wait and see if I even pass.

NOT having passed all 3-levels will only make you less marketable.

Do you have career goals? What are they? What are you doing to achieve those goals?

It’s foolish to say that you should definitely pursue CFA if your goals are not in alignment. How can anyone else determine what your career goals are? If you are able to determine that yourself, your path towards your goals should be quite clear.

My career goal is to be successful (preferably in Financial Industry). I am 27 and making over $80k right now however I want to study more. I registered for CFA because I liked the material, very few people can do it and unlike MBA it’s quite cheaper.

I definitely like to do CFA but at the same time I am not sure if it will benefit me. The only thing that’s haunting me is to start from an entry level position in financial industry. I do have about 2.5 years of experience in a mutual fund company but I worked there as a Business Analyst more in (IT and Business) not in Investment Management.

I forgot to answer what am I doing to acheive those goals. I have been actively looking for a job last six months while working at another air cargo company. I have also been studying for the CFA.

I feel that it’s better to have a job in any industry than being unemployed.

That’s not what I was asking.

That’s not specific enough. It’s still clear that you don’t know what you would like to be doing. What is your dream job? Be specific. Do you have a dream job? Closing in on your 30’s, you better start thinking abou it.

Yes, I do have a dream job.I want to work in Investment Management but realistically I don’t see it happening unless I take an entry level job.

I am confused which is why I am posting here!

That’s still really broad. Anyway, the CFA charter will help no matter what specifically you want to do within the investment management industry.

Yea, what were you expecting? Get a masters degree if you want better job opportunities. But, honestly, you need more specific goals before pursuing a masters degree. That’s a lot more expensive and time consuming that pursuing the CFA charter.

There are a million things to do in the investment management industry. You need to do a lot more research about those career paths first. It’s clear you still haven’t. And nobody on this forum can decide on that for you! You still need to figure out your dream job. Come up with a TITLE. What TITLE do you want? Then, see what kind of qualifications the people with that title have. Then, get those qualifications.

I second Clark’s analysis. Investment Management is a broad term and CFA v. MBA has been debated too many times on this forum. Also, just because you already paid and spent X hours on studying, this should not alter your decision because it is a sunk cost. Good luck on your life search.

Thank you! I will take level 1 and see if I even pass. If I do then I will make up my mind.

Honestly, it’s still the wrong attitude, and I don’t know if you are capable of easily changing. It will take experience - years of doing the right / wrong thing to change your attitude. It seems your current income and difficulty getting back into investment management has seriously affected your attitude. Based on all your comments, you’re letting your current income and education determine your career path. It should be the other way around.

One thing is clear, I’m afraid. You don’t have a very strong desire to pursue a particular career path. So, if you decide to pursue something difficult, you are likely to fail. In this respect, I actually would advise that you don’t make any major/expensive/difficult career decisions/changes until you develop the motivation to follow through. Typically this will happen after 4-5 years in a job/career that you learn to hate. It won’t happen as a result of a thread online.

The good thing is, pursuing the CFA charter is not so expensive, and does not require a current career change or anything. I mean, we all know it’s a major time commitment, but compare it with the cost/time commitment of pursuing and MBA or quitting your job to change industries. It’s not nearly as risky as that. It’s something you can do on night/weekends, and costs only about $1000/year… compared to like $50,000 full time MBA or the opportunity cost and risk associated with changing your job. The CFA program is actually much less time/cost of a commitment that many other alternatives. That’s what’s so great about the CFA program. It has really good returns on time/cost invested!

Good luck!

Like my friend said above, the CFA charter is like the cheapest designation on the planet. It is easy/breezy. Just get it and roll from there.

Oh. that’s good.

You are absoutely right. I believe the disapointment in my job search has made me more confused. I am also concerned about changing jobs again because changing so many jobs look bad on the resume.

My first job in Financial Industry was really easy for me to get and when I moved to New York I thought I will find something really quick. I need to focus on long term goals instead of being fixated on short term benefits.

MBA is really expensive and I am not sure if I can afford it right now. I will do CFA and give myself a year to find a job that I will reall enjoy.