I took papers like CFA, FRM, CAIA and did not fail any paper. However, I have a very hard time with programming in my current job where there are so many things to learn and they are not common sense (like strongnamed, generics, assembly, ZMQ in C#). There are so many things to learn and I find myself learning new things everyday. I feel smarter than average people in Finance (Maybe I am book smart) but feel dumb in programming. Or is it just me?
I understand being an analyst require PR skills but not a programmer.
The CFA is qualiative in nature. From CFA Level 1-3, I never used anything more than simple arithmetic. I refering to writing of code here.
I did a class in Financial Statement Analysis in college and have written few analyst reports. I feel writing such report is like telling a story with some numbers to back up and is not really hard. But of course, maybe a qualiative analyst will do much more than this in his job
I feel that a good analyst requires a certain dreamer/futurist feature about him. Using numbers only takes you so far but writing a good and convincing story about how a sector/economy/market will look in 2-5 years takes some serious imagination and knowledge. I’m sure the vast majority of great investors don’t have the highest IQs but are more balanced than most.
mostly qualitative and feels like journalist/detective work. small amount of modeling, replicating other people’s work with a bit of modifications, and gauging prices based on reaction to news with probabailities.