Gained the CAIA, now deciding on CFA ?

I recently gained the CAIA Charter and passed level 1 first time and level 2, second time around. Personally, I’m very pleased to have the CAIA, as I’m not the smartest if I’m honest, I just try twice as hard !!

However, it’s kind of made we want to study towards the CFA, but if I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m smart enough.

I know there has been plenty of posts comparing the two and CFA appears to be more difficult. I’m unsure whether that is because more people have the CFA and want to protect the prestige, or whether its actually more difficult.

Therefore, I would be interested to know how much more material there is on each level of the CFA, compared to each level of the CAIA. Does it take loads more study time for each level of the CFA ? Is there lots more calculations ?

Basically, the CAIA is the most difficult thing I have done and I’m trying to figure out if I can do the CFA, or not. If I figure its too hard, I might just take accountancy.

Thanks for any info you can give.

I passed CAIA Lvl 1 last September with 7 outstanding from 8 categories, 3 months earlier I failed L2 CFA Band 8. I worked a lot harder for the CFA.

That’s not to say don’t go for it but do recognise that CAIA is a lot easier than CFA. You at least have the right attitude of working harder to make up for what you see as your shortcomings. Honestly I don’t find the CFA intelectually challenging, however there is an amazing volume to learn and hold in your head for the exam.

Don’t worry too much about the difficulty you really don’t need to be a genius for the CFA and Level 1 is really the basics, it’ll give you an idea of whether you want to go on and if not you’re in the UK so if you pass L1 and decide not to continue you are expempted from the IMC cretificate paper on investments and would only need to complete the regulatory environment paper to finihs that.

Good luck

In my experience CFA Level I and CAIA Level II were about equal in difficulty, probably with CAIA Level II being a little more difficult. The CFA Level I exam just has more material to retain. I would give yourself a least a full 4-5 months with 20 hrs a week for CFA Level I if you expect to pass.

CFA is more difficuly because of the sheer amount of material. None of the concepts on their own are overly complicated, but putting everything together is tough. One level of CFA is about the same amount of material as both levels of the CAIA combined.

If you have a finance background, L1 of the CFA should be mostly review. If you don’t have a finance background, L1 can be challenging. For example, my friend without much of a finance background failed L1 of the CFA twice and passed on his third attempt, but he passed both levels of the CAIA on his first attempt.

The CFA program will provide you with a broader view of investments including valuation, hedging techniques, and portfolio management. It is definitely worth the time and effort if you wish to work in the financial industry. You should use the momentum from finishingh the CAIA and start studying for the CFA Level 1 right away. Good luck!

Caia = Cake!

You’re smart enough. The CAIA isn’t nearly as “wide” as the CFA but parts of it are pretty deep. Some of the material will look very familiar at L1 and, to a lesser extent, at L2.

I’d go for it. I did both simultaneously and found them to be complementary – especially the ethics (since CAIA adopts the CFA ethics).