Honest Experience w Nathan Ronen, CFA of Chalk & Board

Hello Fellow Candidates,

Longtime lurker, Level 2 candidate here. Spend most of my online time on the r/cfa but the posts here seem a bit more substantive and insightful, with less ego. Maybe I’ll stick around here for the next few months…

Anyways, I wanted to give my honest feedback on working with Nathan Ronen, CFA (Chalkandboard.org) for the level II program thus far, how its different and what you may or may not like about his method. I feel like it’s the least I can do to give back.

I will emphasize, I do not benefit materially in any way from what I am about to write, nor have I been directed to do so:

If you enroll in Nathan’s main prep course, videos pertaining to all of the required readings, you will notice a difference within a few minutes upon watching his first video focusing on HOW to study and prepare for the exam (in my case, level 2). This video is relatively brief, but dense with concrete tips on how to study and how NOT to study. He really wants his students to understand the concepts and know the “why” behind the more theoretical concepts so you will not need to memorize quite as much. I agree with this line of thinking, especially for level 2, as there is too much theoretical content to pass by just brute memorization.

His topic videos are all quite unique and different from the majority of prep providers I have come across. He relies on his own experience as a grader, longtime instructor and CFA Charterholder to emphasize specific points and areas for the candidate to focus on. He tells you when to make flash cards and where your time is best spent. Hes very “real” about what’s the best use of your scarce time.

With all that said, the aspect I appreciate and value most is Nathan’s personalized approach: if you have a question, you can ask him directly and he will reach out to you by phone and explain the concept to you, directly. While that is obviously highly effective in helping his students understand, it adds a human level to the study program, making it really feel like he’s right there with you, truly rooting for you. While he’s as knowledgeable on the content as anyone, its this personalized, empathetic touch that sets his service apart.

I hope this helps anyone whos on the fence about who to choose. While he is not the only good prep provider, he is definitely my personal favorite. Let me know if you have any questions about it. I feel encouraged that he is the edge I need to get me to level 3 next year.

Good luck everyone! May the course be with you

Hi Nathan…



I didn’t do it either. But agree with what OP said.

(what did OP write? I didn’t read it, I don’t have a spare three and a half hours to make it all the way through).

shameless plug though: Nathan Ronen helped turn my dumbass self into a CFA Charterholder. So like, the guys legit.

My comments are based on my participation in Nathan’s Level 3 course at NYSSA several years back. Nathan is currently at Chalk and Board.

• Nathan strategized optimally to really get the maximum bang-for-the-buck in terms of the effort that the class was investing. Each lecture/session was well researched, well taught with a clear cut plan.

• As a coach, Nathan had an awesome focus on results. The objective was to pass L3, nothing more, nothing less. I liked that laser-sharp focus of teaching the curriculum with a strong emphasis on the essay component.

• Brevity and presentation to senior management are critical for passing the L3, and it is important to unlearn some habits that might have served folks well in the previous levels. This was very clearly articulated, and literally drilled into our heads. That did help.

• Overall Nathan is a highly effective instructor. I do wish some of Nathan’s practical, street-smart techniques could be taught to PhD folks who are aspiring to join academia or who are already teaching Finance.