Dec '08 - Lost in FSA

I’m posting this as I feel I’m lost in FSA. At this point, I only have Schweser material and waiting for the CFA Institute Scholarship approval. As you might already know, I will not receive the curriculum until the scholarship is approved which might take a week or two. As I have mentioned earlier, I started with Ethics (following the Schweser study planner) and continued with Quant, Econ and here I am in FSA. Everything just seemed fine until I got in to ‘Understanding Cash flow statement’ section of Session 8. Now, I’m lost as I have been reading and trying to understand the same chapter since past three days and it’s hard to move on until I am convinced that I understand the topic which I dont. I also understand that you will switch between Curriculum and Schweser when you have a similar situation. Since I don’t have my curriculum, should I continue or switch to a different subject and come back? I’d appreciate your advice. Thank you!

Everyone is lost in FSA. Keep plugging away and doing the questions. End of chapter or Qbank will work wonders for FSA.

I think CFAi reimburses you if you get the scholarship approved. FSA is not a piece of cake. It is common to take about 1 month to get through it in great detail. It took me more. Other than this, the forum has great discussions on FSA, just search for the key terms and something will pop up. Post questions, people will answer, guaranteed.

FSA didnt click until about 4 days before the exam. Don’t worry bout it, if you can’t understand something google it or look on here for more explanations. Looking at things differently can be very beneficial…at least for me that is.

25% of exam, so worry, but at the same time, you are early in the game. it will take time to digest. just go at in sections, ratios, taxes, PP&E, inventory. all of it is memorizing formulas and knowing where to plug what where. but apart from memorizing, try to understand it. higher net margin – for example. assuming you have no background in finance, you will look at this and memorize net income/sales. so what. what does a net margin tell you over time and cross sectionally when you plot it into a comp group??? that is the key to understanding FSA. think like an analyst at the best mutual fund in the world. everything will click, so good luck

Hey cavil, if you don’t have any background in finance or accounting, I’d recommend going through Essentials of Accounting by Anthony and Breitner. It helped me a lot in understanding the basics of FSA - cash flow statement in particular.

CFAI definitely reimburses if you get the scholarship. Once it’s documented, they do a chargeback on the card you registered with.

cavil, Does the registration page show your registration as complete and your books have not shipped? If so this happened to me and is normal. They are quick to take the funds but drag ass on shipping out the books. Took me two weeks to get them. I registered on a Tuesday. They shipped the next Monday and were delivered the following Monday. Would have been nice if they offered expedieted shipping, considering the amount $$$ they charge for everything.

Circle, I do have a some finance background but not accounting. However, I am registered for FSA class this fall so that should be helpful in case if I don’t understand the concepts. Brain, I’m waiting to hear from the CFA scholarship office however from busprof & map’s advice, I have decided to pay the fee at this point and get re-reimbursed once the scholarship award is confirmed. Daj, Thanks for the detailed explanation. That helped Thanks for all your responses. Every response was helpful!

Now be honest with us cavil…are you a repeat from L1 summer of 2008? Chances are [65% as a matter of fact] that you’re just lost period. Willy

FSA is typically one of the tougher subjects that you would encounter, mostly because of a non-finance background. For the Cash flow stuff – try to solve a couple of full problems, to understand the nuances and the mechanics of creating the statement. This helps to tie in the Income statement and the Balance sheet with the things affecting the CF statement. Also, as map1 has written above – post questions and the answers to that helps you most. CP

Nah, Willy. I’m honest and Dec '08 is my first. I’m curious, what made you think of that?

FSA is killing me also… I went twice till taxes… and now again I have started from page 1… Could anybody tell me… how much avg time it takes to finish topics other than ethics,quant,economics and fsa… I am feeling like I am slow… so have to adjust according to that… Thanks in advance…

you guys have time, just keep chugging at it.

Use cpk123’s expertise, his explanations helped me do well on FSA.

Same happened to me. Partly I feel it is bcz, Schweser notes are suppressed as against CFAi text and it gets difficult to relate things, if you don’t have accounting background. I read Schweser and went back to CFAi text and found the details from actual balance sheet, income st. and cash flows st. as shown in EXHIBITS quite helpful to relate. And as everyone said it needs couple of readings to soak in the concepts, so would say have patience. Guess 38 q’s are worth the time. am just completing SS8 and moving to SS9, which I believe is another S**y thing.