Dilution of the Prestige of the Charter

Do you believe that the CFA designation’s prestige is being diluted by the amount of people receiving it? (now around 100,000) Do you believe that the exam will continue to get more difficult to stop the growth in members/candidates becoming charterholders?

I think the prestige of the charter was diluted years ago. There have been countless threads on this forum from charrerholders seeking employment in the front office or anywhere for that matter nowadays.

It was bound to happen, but it seems to me like just about everything is losing it’s prestige nowadays. Just a sign of the times.

^ cynical but true

In India, employers now want CFA’s who also have MBA from good institutes and if possible, a few more relevant certificates. So yeah, these are signs of the level of competition in Asian Countries.

^goodness gracious me!

it is being diluted, but that’s not a reason to give up pursing the CFA charter.

The CFA charter is definitely not too exclusive nowadays. However, it has more brand recognition than in the past. So, I don’t know if the actual value of the CFA has declined from say, 2000.

I think something should be done within the regulatory bodies to enhance the value of designations such as the CFA. Any high school student can pass the Series 7, 63 exams and if he has a good phone presence can start mismanaging millions within a few years. Something really needs to be done about that. I think every money management firm should be required to have someone with a CFA or equivalent education.

^Agreed, I think they made a step in the right direction by increasing the required passing score on the series 7 and 66. I think it is like a 75% now. They really should require something more like an 85% or better or ake the exam harder.

I really think they should put some regulation on the million and one designations out there. FINRA should require approval in order to be able to claim a certian professional designation. The AAMS and CRPC are complete jokes and fraud individual clients into thinking that they are working with a professional, similar to a CFA, CPA, CFP or whatever. There should also be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent requirement in order to sit for the series 7 or other regulatory exams. To many used car salesmen in this business.

I resembled that remark.

I personally believe that the charter is as good as ever. yes more people have it, but that does not mean that it was not still challenging to get. In fact, it is still or more challenging than ever, and you must put in as many hours to achieve it.

I think this “dilution” notion comes from the fact that it is not a sure ticket to front office these days like it used to be. But then again nothing really is anymore, besides a 10-ten MBA in the states. That is pretty much it. Other than that you have to work your way there on your own merit. Having a CFA helps this process, but the people who will get ahead now adays are the ones with the CFA or some other good qualifications, but also possess that golden, winning, fun-loving, people-charming personality. This combination trumps all.

When was CFA a sure ticket to front office jobs?

I think that a lot of the people who are pursuing the CFA Charter are those who are smart and driven, but weren’t able (for whatever reason) to get the Harvard MBA. I would certainly include myself in that category.

I thought that if I can’t get a good MBA, the next best thing is the CFA charter, since I wanted to work in finance (and not the retail FA, either). I still think that’s the best way to go. Unfortunately, I also am starting to realize that the powers that be in finance value their top-tier MBA’s better. Whether they should or shouldn’t is probably another thread.

Remember though that there are a lot of powers that be in finance that also have CFA charters and remember the grueling process that you went through to get your charter. I think a lot of people have more respect for the CFA becuase it is all on you to pass the three exams and is not designed to be a networking / softball process like many MBAs.

Dude, hate to break it to you. But a top 10 MBA is NO WAY “a sure ticket” to front office.

I think it definitely is depending on the circumstance. If you went to Columbia for instance and want to stay in NYC, then maybe things won’t pan out. However, you could easily get a FO role somewhere in the country.

I’m driving in my car this afternoon listening to the radio. One of the commercials is for an MBA program that is geared toward earning the CFA designation. I think the phrase “investment management” was also mentioned.


You know I was thinking about the old debate between the MBA vs. CFA. There are approximately 100K CFA Charterholders, which has obviously grown quite a bit. However, how many top MBA graduates are in the workforce? If we focus on just the top 20 and assume 500 students per class, we have 10,000 students per year. Now let’s say the average student will stay in the work force for 30 years, you have 300,000 MBAs. Assume 30% to 40% work in finance and you have very similar numbers to CFA Charterholders. Obviously, this is by no means precise and I’m in no way comparing the MBA to CFA in terms of career opportunities, but I think it does put the value of the two in perspective.

There is no dilution of the charter. The more charterholders there is in the industry, the better chance your hiring manager will have one. If your hiring manager doesn’t have one, the chances that your designation will receive respect diminishes.