Exam Takers - Non-Finance Background how many?

I am curious to know how many of you who took exam in December (last week) are from Non-Finance background and doing the CFA as a passion or for a carrer change? I am from a technical background and working as a Senior Web Developer and I am in 30’s and own a small business and an active investor in stock market enrolled in CFA program because I want to learn more about in finance. I started studying around six months before the exam and did it very seriously. Initially i struggled a lot in economics and quants sections because of non-finance or accounting background. However i was comfortable in Equity, portfolio management and derivatives and alternative sections because i was a active reader in stock options and stock market for last 3 years. I am feeling confident but very nervous about my results and hoping to pass (I spent huge amount of time in studying for the exam) Good luck all!!!.

Hi CareerThruCFA, I am currently in my final year of undergrad engineering. No finance background, except from an engineering econ course I took in third year. I am taking the CFA this June to aid my switch into finance and to increase my knowledge. Asset classes are a breeze , but I havent touched FSA or econ. yet, so havent really met the main beast. Goodluck mate.

Graduated from eletrical engineering. Only formal business background: -1 engineering economics class (no actual economics, but we did do the basics of finance and accouting that are covered in the CFA curriculum, plus I think our teacher was a CFA holder also), -1 marketing course -entrepreneuship seminars Non-formal: 20 years of reading my dad’s Businessweek magazines (since I was a kid…) over a dozen books read on personal finance, popular economics, selling, etc.

I used to blow sh!t up with a 30mm cannon.

I graduated with a Political Science degree with a concentration in law. The only business class I took was business law. I definitely took the CFA because I’m passionate about trading stocks. I’ve been trading for the past 5 yrs and ultimately want to make a career out of it.

I’m a CPA so the accounting part was pretty easy for me but the rest of the stuff was extremly difficult… especially quant and economics, the other stuff was average…I think I passed… crossing my fingers!!!

I am an engineer in the 30s, trading stocks and studied relatively hard for the CFA. I am also doing my MBA, so that helped in Accoutning, FI/Equity and PM. Being an engineer, Quant was a breeze for me. However some of those minute detail oriented questions stumped me. In the MBA, I look at things from a higher level. However, in the CFA, looks like we have to dig as deep as possible. I am hoping to pass. Lets see

I am an computer engineer… plus worked for year on a finance project which made my interest into finance… so pursuing Cfa… im aged 23 so its better i get done with CFA program as early as possible… plus its a Big challenge for Non-finance background people… plus i think our quant is better than any other person sitting right here so it helps us a lot :slight_smile:

Majored in Sports Management and I just sat for the CFA L1 because I heard it is the hottest thing around these days. I studied really hard for six months…lets wait and see. After I pass L1 in January, Ill pass L2 in June and then do the same for L3 in 2011, at which point will decide what to do… might go back to sports management after all… who knows!!

same here…from a non finance background…working for a I bank in the technology division… Doing CFA beacuse I want to switch career apth into some core finance job… Gave my level 1 on sunday

I am an engineer and just finished doing my MBA part-time in May’09. Was wondering what to do with the freed up time. Since I loved the finance courses in my MBA, I decided to do the CFA. I decided quite late (paid the max registration fee) and didnt really prepare as well as I could and should have. I told myself this Dec exam is the rehearsal for the real one in June. But the exam was not too bad, considering my preparation. I would have been pretty confident of passing, had I prepared 30% more than what I actually did. If some of my wild guesses turn out right, I might pass :slight_smile: Fingers crossed. I am going to study the Level1 stuff that I had skipped over this time, while I wait for the results. A question for those not from the finance background - in order to become a charterholder, you need 4 yrs experience in a related job - what are your plans to fulfill that requirement?

My education was non finance. I was in a completely unrelated field and made a career change. I would never enroll in the program just to learn more about finance. I would buy the curriculum used from the last year and read it that way, or I would read books of my own choosing. That’s my opinion. Others might like/need the program structure and test stress to learn effectively. I struggled with quant from the probability/calculus perspective. Eco took mutiple goings over. I found it to be a subject that seems simple and straightforward, but has an enourmous amount of subtleties. I did manage to turn it from a section where I was getting scores in the 50’s to the 70’s. FRA is going to take a lot more work to get it from a level I to level II understanding level. I seemed to do well on the mocks in FRA, but I didn’t always know how. I did pretty well with understanding PM, Equity, derivatives and AI, overall, but there were specifics in each section that were difficult for me. If I didn’t pass, the worst thing is that I it will cost me a year. On the bright side, I will gain a better understanding of the level I concepts that can only help me in level II.

I never realized that so many of you were from non finance backgrounds. Excellent stuff folks. I really hope you all pass given that you must have put so much effort into it. You all will make excellent success stories. Good luck @investragy: What exactly is sports management?

Don’t really know the details of managment, but I have seen masters degrees in sports management (see link below) including some schools with MBAs in Sports Management http://www.csp.edu/academiccatalog/Programs/Graduate/MAOM_Sports_Management.html

@ CFAMaven: Thanks bro

Did my bachelor’s in international relations. Not much finance background but did take quite a few econ classes, 1 financial accting class (good) and 1 corp finance class (very bad)

MS Computer Science + BS Computer Science, Finance, Marketing + 5+ years of software development in the financial industry + 10 years of personal finance experience

beatthecfa Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I never realized that so many of you were from non > finance backgrounds. Excellent stuff folks. I > really hope you all pass given that you must have > put so much effort into it. You all will make > excellent success stories. > > Good luck > > @investragy: What exactly is sports management? Hehehe… JK peoples: was trying to have some fun here… get away from the books. Sorry to mess up your thread. I am a finance a accounting major! Sports management is just that: you can a make a good living as a sports agent…


I’ve been in IT for 20 years and have worked at a bank in the institutional investment department for the last several years. Studied about 380 hours for 3 months before the exam. Got a 76% on the CFA AM mock, didn’t have time to take the PM mock. But I took tons of Schweser Qbank and the Schweser sample exams. Lowest score on anything was a 73% and highest was an 86%. The 12/5 AM test was pretty easy. The 12/5 PM test was difficult. I think I passed, but I’ll find out soon enough.