I need your advice and experience people!!!

Hi everybody.

I am 25 years old, male. Came to the USA 5 years ago. Coudnt transfer my credits from european law college so I didnt continue with school. I finished 2 years there. Coudnt start a school because of finance problems my family had. I worked doubles for the last couple years, not finance related. I finally paid of the familys debt and now i can work less and focus on school. I am really good with numbers, personally invested in stocks and crypto and I want to go in the finance world, asset and portfolio managment, financial analyst and research. I found out about the CFA exam and I want to pursue that. I dont have problem with studying im sure i will get it done. So my concern is what to do now, where to start to get 2 years of experience so when i pass the exam i can get my exam verified or chartered based on 2 years school and 2 years experience? I was looking for answers online but coudnt find anything related. Nobody will take someone wihout finance background and experience and train them for anything. Please give me your advice or experience with this kind of situation I really want to do this.

Thank you

Did they change the requirements?

Your first priority should be to get a college degree. Very few employers will take you seriously without this. Unfortunately, this will require some financial investment and possibly student loans, but it will probably pay off in the end.

I dont think i can go for that college degree not because of money, but because ive met so many people that just finished school just so they can have it on their resume and dont have a clue about what they studied. Im probably more qualified then most. I dont wanna sound arogant but it is the truth. Your real knowledge comes from experience not from a definition in a book. Im self tought, read more than 200 finance and investing books, but unfortunately thats the truth they want to see that in your cv. Just wanted to know if anyone had similar experience like mine to lead me. Ill wait maybe someone can

That’s too bad, because people will offer you a job based on those credentials. What you think you know in your mind doesn’t mean a thing. You don’t even have your foot in the door; yet you’re turning down advice that will help you.


actually in our line of work, its probably better to learn from the mistakes of others. its a lot cheaper! the only way what you read will have any value is if you are personally rich. otherwise without a degree, you have 0 credibility because no one will risk their money on you.

Really the only realistic path to managing money without a degree is to become an FA at a place that’ll take anyone (Ameriprise, LPL, Northwestern Mutual, etc) and start building a book. Then after 3-5 years, start your own RIA. From there you can keep managing private client money and even start your own fund.

Basically, you’re on your own. But, given your statements above, you should be more than qualified to make this happen.

Just a reality check - the CFA program isn’t as easy as you’re making it sound. You’ll be studying a lot anyways over the next few years. So might as well get a formal degree too while you’re at it. I’m not sure why you’re resisting getting a degree so much. Without a degree, you can pretty much say goodbye to any chances of ever being hired (unless you can impress a hiring manager with your rubick’s cube solving skills in a shared ride like Will Smith). I agree with you in that you don’t really learn a ton in school. Most of what I know today is due to work experience, self learnings, and the CFA program. Unfortunately the system we’re in, you’re judged by your resume and academic background a lot.

First suggestion: learn to spell and write properly. You also seem like you have a chip on your shoulder–a sign of immaturity most managers will see a mile away.

Well you still need a degree and I don’t mean a degree from some forgotten midwestern college but a good one if you want to manage money, which i am assuming you want to manage institutional money and not $10k here and $5k there like some FAs at MassMutual or New York Life or Edward Jones, etc.

It’s about what you can show - this is how most societies work. I wouldn’t want someone much dumber or lazier than I am to manage my money. I want someone like me or someone from where I’ve come from to manage my money. My advisor at US Trust has a spectacular resume…I would not want my money to be managed by some dude who thinks he is a know-it-all and very smart by his own account but could only muster U of Eastern Ohio…because this tells me either this guy is full of it or never met a real smart person or just lazy…Either way, I am out.

So yeahhhhh you need that degree. For network or to brand name yourself etc…Without a degree you have to “explain” to people that you are very knowledgeable and smart because you’ve read 200+ articles or what not…If you say I went to MIT…nuff said.

Degrees don’t mean jack in money mgmt you either have it or don’t

You can always gain the CFA charter and relevant experience and then finish your undergrad. You’ll have the knowledge from the program you can put to work in a related job.

You have to have the equivalent of bachelor’s degree to gain the charter.

If you get a computer science degree you can add value as the CFA/data science job is paying very well and there’s more demand than supply.

Bridgewater is putting all decisions - investment and operations in AI-driven application. More and more going that way.

No, you can’t.

You need an undergrad degree to be allowed to set for the Level II exam.

OP, I think you’re getting confused between enrolling for the exam and qualifying for the charter which are different things.

To enroll in the exam your best bet would be option 3. You’d need two years of full time work experience to qualify (doesn’t have to be investment related). From the CFAI website:

Meet the education requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Undergraduate education: A bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program. You will have to complete your bachelor’s degree program in order to register for the Level II exam
  • Work experience: Four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment related), or
  • A combination of professional work experience and education that totals at least four years. Part-time positions do not qualify, and the four-year total must be accrued prior to enrollment.

Then after finishing the exams, you need four years of investment related work experience to obtain the charter. Some people finish the exams but are waiting to finish the experience requirement.

you lost me at crypto.

OP rage quit long ago brahs.

Don’t use the C (crypto) word again. Understand the value of a formal education. Get a college degree relevant to your interests and obtain good academic results. Lose the arrogance and realize bragging about reading books is of no interest to anyone.

I cannot remember what the entrance requirements are to get into the CFA Program, but I would encourage anyone who wants to do it, to do so. It is a great deal of fun to study the content, and really demanding. Completing the program will be quite rewarding. It will require lots of discipline and determination to complete it. Go for it, after you have figured out whether you can or not. You have everything to gain, and only a little time and some cash to lose.

They’ll let you write level 1 assuming you are in your last year of college but you can’t write level 2 without a 4 year college degree so this guy was DoA.

There was a time when I thought you could be street smart and not particularly book smart and still succeed in this industry. Thankfully for my career that phase did not last long enough to do permanent damage. Play the damn game and put the work in (networking/credentials/academics) and you give yourself a half decent chance at succeeding.