Is CFA a career changing option?

Hi guys, I am basically a Chartered Accountant, at the moment a Shattered Accountant! I need a bailout in the form of your opinions and thoughts: I have around 10+ years experience in the financial services sector- around 6+ years as Accounts/Finance-in-charge of a financial services company and the next 4+ years as a IT Business Analyst with various investment banks. I am slightly confused because I am getting conflicting advice from people on these questions: 1. Whether a CFA charter will add any value to my career at this stage i.e. given the fact that I already have 10+ years experience? 2. I guess I will be getting a charter immediately after clearing Level-3 since I have relevant 6+ years of accounting experience. 3. Once I qualify, do I need to start from scratch or will I get due consideration for my accounting or Business Analysis experience which I admit may not be too relevant from a CFA point of view? 4. Is there any way I can leverage my 10+ years experience (including 4 years in ITl) while getting into a research or a portfolio manager position? 5. If I were to start from scratch, I guess I have to be prepared for a ‘massive’ undercutting as far as comp package is concerned, isn’t it? Mine is currently at 65k+ British pound sterling per annum I want to use CFA as an option to get into research while at the same time I want the employer to give due weightage to my huge experience as well. Is this possible or am I living in a utopian world? Thanks,

I’m in a similar boat to you. 10+ years of experience, mostly as a SAP analyst, looking to switch careers. Make good $$ now and facing a lot of the same issues you are. My answers below 1) It’ll definitely add value if for no other reason than the people you’ll be competing with for a position will most likely have some progress shown towards the CFA charter. It’ll show you’re serious about the career switch and willing to put in the sweat equity required. 2) I would think your 10 years of accounting plus IT in finance would qualify. I’m starting from scratch. 3) That’ll be determined on a case by case basis but you need to be realistic and think about how the job market within finance will look for the next few years. Also will depend on where you live. Probably more opportunities in NYC and London but it’s also a bloodbath up there now, lots of comp to deal with. 4) The charter does seemed to help more on the buy side so you would think port management and research are natural fits. 5) Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. It’s impossible to predict. You could run into a perfect opportunity that your experience is a good fit for or you could be faced with taking leftovers. You’re not living in a utopian world. It’s worth pursuing, even if it doesnt result in a job switch. You have options, if this doesnt work out, you have a nice paying career you can stay in and probably use your CFA knowledge that way.

If you don’t do it…you will always keep wondering what if ? Life is too short no matter what age you are…