Do I need to finish the CFA? Or is my background enough

I recently graduated from UMich’s MBA program where I specialized in Finance. I am working in an equity research role after working in an unrelated industry pre-MBA and started CFA a couple of years back. I’m 31 years old so definitely on the older side among CFA candidates. Should I go for CFA level 3 to get the charter? Is the MBA and my work experience good enough?

More info needed.

Are you buyside or sellside equity research?

Where would you like to progress to in your career (e.g. stay in research, move to PM etc, something else entirely)?

Are you happy to stay at your existing employer medium to long term? Does your employer value the CFA charter?

Like Carson said, it all depends…

I was in a similar scenario w/ Level 1 passed. It got me an interview, but then I had to go get 2 & 3 once in the job. Well, didn’t have to, but it was strongly encouraged. We look first at CFA background, then maybe at degrees. Again, though, depends where you are and what you want to do. A vast majority of finance jobs I’ve looked at won’t care, but those are more corp. finance vs. investment world.

If you do equity research, why would you *not* get a CFA? It’s a pretty easy exam, and the recognition, even if small, probably outweighs the small amount of time and money that you would invest in the certification. There is the matter of yearly membership payments, but you could always cut those off later.

finish, always finish

Good enough for what?

It sounds like you are asking “what’s the least I can do to keep my job.” That’s not generally a good attitude.

Are you married with kids? If the answer is yes, then you have to weigh the costs of being out of commission with your family because you are studying for a few months of the year. Check if your wife is on board with that.

If you are not married with kids, and are planning to stay in equity research and/or portfolio management, it seems to me that the CFA would be worth the effort, since you’ve already passed one exam, and you are likely to get exposure to stuff that you wouldn’t get exposure to by just staying in your current role.

There are other points of view though. Numi is accomplished and never finished the series, but he has a bunch of other stellar things on his resume that made it unnecessary. Bromion did finish the CFA but says it’s too theoretical and therefore worthless. I think worthless is too harsh a criticism, since it helps to understand where the gaps between theory and reality are so that you can figure out where the anomalies are, but it is true that if you have a good mentor, it is possible to pick up these things from pure experience and mentoring. Bromion’s additions to this forum are generally well appreciated, including by me.

Finish it. MBA and CFA! I will join this club in few years.

do the double!

unfortunately I got the same impression as bchad. What I would say is it gets infinitely harder to pick up later on in life, and there will literally never be a better time to finish up. you are more likely to kick yourself for not finishing than not.