Derivatives....My worst subject

I find Derivatives to be the hardest for me. Especially the formulas; they’re just not intuitive. Any recommendations or suggestions in mastering this material. Thanks!


I wrote a series of articles on pricing and valuing derivatives that may be of some help; you can find them here:

(Full disclosure: as of 4/25/16 there is a charge to read the articles on my website. You can get an idea of the quality of the articles by looking at the free samples here: Note that one of the free articles is on pricing FRAs, so that’s right on point.)


I found Mark Meldrum’s lectures quite easy to follow. He summarized the first section of derivatives very nicely! He has his videos on Vimeo for a $17/ month! Now, I only finished the first chapter of derivatives by watching his video and following from the textbook to solve the BB questions! I don’t know how he handled the next 2 chapters yet. But I definitely recommend a third party help on derivatives since the textbook notations are very hard to digest! Hope this helps…

Trust me last two chapters must be interesting and easier to digest.

A little challenge is posed the first one. Keep practising, I saw CFAI texts used some esoteric non value add notations which complicate the stuff, take help from 3rd parties.

Mark’s lectures especially on Derivatives are awesome i am currently onto first reading of Derivatives and he is doing a great job in explaining intuition. After watching lecture did you go straight to BB questions or first read the Reading from curriculum or 3rd party and then solved BB questions.


I only follow the line from the textbook when Mark was explaining I did not read the third party books. My strategy for study is actually study from the text book and incorporate Mark’s videos. Only for derivatives (so far) I won’t be reading the book in detail ( the language is too much) and since there is not much qualitative info in these chapters I figured I can ace by practice questions even if I don’t read the chapters.

So you think we’ll be fine if we watch Mark’s lectures and then go straight to Curriculum BB questions and then do EOC, i think that’ll do it?

Mark Meldrum’s Videos are awesome. However, I don’t think “just watching” those videos will be sufficient. I suggest you take notes by pausing his videos in between. It took more than a week to finish Mark Meldrum’s long video of Reading 40 in Derivatives just because I was pausing his videos in between and also taking notes. Hand written notes help you connect with what he is teaching and you will not move on until you understand it. Just my 2 cents.

on my 2016 experience if you can figure out All Topic Test CFAI Derivatives (you can use reverse engineering) you should be good.

Yeah but derivatives was totally changed from 2016 to 2017.

The reading may have changed, but derivatives haven’t changed. The calculations are the same.

Yes derivatives are still derivatives…but the new readings on the CFAI books are completely different and they doesn’t make sense with schweser notes for example. The formulas are completely new and inconsistent with schweser 2017 or even CFAI 2016.