Hot Sauce 2011: How The EFF Did I Screw That Up

I thought I would start a list of common mistakes on CFA questions/exams. Kind of like a secret sauce, except its more like hot sauce because these are little things that right piss you off when you get them wrong. Original credit goes to mcf for the idea and the past threat on this. Here is a couple to get started:

GIPS • No other claim about method or performance calculation with GIPS allowed. GIPS is all-or-none • All clients should be shown compliance presentation. • A list and disclosure of composites to prospective clients should be provided on request. • GIPS disclosures are static. • Total Assets Include everything. • Highest standard around the world. • Include performance of subadvisor in the performance of composites

Here are some more: •Forgetting to take the calculator out of BGN mode •Computing a zero-coupon bond without semi-annual compounding •Forgetting to double the yield after calculating a semi-annual coupon bond when they clearly ask for annual yield •Getting number of discounting periods wrong! e.g. using 5 years instead of 4 because of question regarding beginning/end of period payments

@szachary those are actually VERY good pieces of advice as I think most of us that have studied have memorized these rules, but after going back and forth between all the questions we may go too fast through a question and make a careless mistake like that! Thanks for bringing it up

Read the questions carefully - double check for most likely/ least likely Actually learn how to use your calculator properly (stats mode/amortization schedule) - saves you valuable time in the exam. If you ever hear yourself saying “they won’t ask this type of question or about this section”, read it twice and make sure you understand it.