Is it worth pursuing a CFA at age 40?

Hello out there. I am posting this question before possibly taking the leap. I thought about this three years ago and have been going through the should’ve, could’ve mode lately. I figure it’s now or never. I have been a Financial Adivisor for close to 13 years now with a successful track record. I have a solid book of business and could continue this gig for several years more but I hunger for the other side. I am not exactly sure on what I would do on the trading side but I have a few ideas. I would appreciate if anyone could help me with the question of starting this process at age 40. Thank you.

I don’t think the age matters as much as the time and pain involved. If say you are done by age 45 to be conservative, and you work another 10 yr before early retirement, it’s still worth the bang to pursue a passion/interest, if you really need it. I would ask myself: 1. Do I have 300-500hrs from work/family for each level to have a shot? 2. Am I ok with this being an average 4yr process for most people? 3. Do you have to have the CFA to trade? [I don’t think so.] 4. Do I like accounting? [for level 1 & 2] I would keep your book, sign up for Level 1 and get a feel for the test. After level one, you will know if it’s worth your time b/c L2 and L3 are even more time/brain consuming. I highly recommend the CAIA [Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst] as a CFA alternative. Much less pain, high return for time invested and they deal with more trading strategies mostly in AI: hedge funds, private equity… You can do it in a year if you need an analyst designation. If you want the CFA enough and you are willing to suffer massive pain for it [no life, no weekends], go for your dream.

i’d say go for it… if you decide its not for you then just don’t finish it. Assuming you retire at 65, you’re still less than halfway through your working career.

definitely, I am about 50 now

Welcome on board, kiddie :-). As one who started the process at even older age than you’re now, I think I can say a few words about the topic, now that I have the three-letter word after my name. Professionally, you should not expect a step change in your career, though the knowledge would be useful. In your case being a Financial advisor, you can be a better advisor for HNW (High networth) indiv or institutions (this is what level III is all about) to manage their portfolios. I would think that as long as you choose to stay within the field of finance, you will benefit one way or other. Not sure why you think a trader needs CFA (or any academic qualifications at all :-)). Personally, you will benefit a lot. You will get a lot of opportunities to exercise your aging brain. Expect to have to study at least 3 times longer than what it used to take you when you were 30 years old. It is amazing to see how much your braincells have atrophied. It will push you to be more effective, to learn more about yourself and what you want. In addition, the knowledge you gain will definitely benefit you to manage your finance. It would be additional hardship and suffering because of your age and personal obligations that come with that age, as if it is not hard enough to study the CFA program at any age. In addition, your age group is the 1% age group of candidates: accept to walk into the exam room full of kids young enough to be your own staring at you. Take it as a personal challenge to yourself, if you have the time or attitude, but don’t expect too much, although the benefits you reap can be in other ways than you imagine.

I am among the 1% (or even 0.5%) age group of candidates. I majored in E&E and I like finance/investment after I got a MBA degree at 45. I am pursuing CFA for 2 reasons (1) To invest smartly for myself. (2) To help others invest smartly. Never too late but depends on what is the target of your life.

AMA - how old are you?

JasonJSki. I am 40, both a practising practitioner in financial advisory and in management… It is never too late to learn.

You can do it old man, just make sure you eat your wheaties in the morning and listen to Rick Ross the boss.

why is it that rick ross lyrics go so well with the cfa …by the way the dedication for level 3 is hard in the paint by Waka Flocka Flame…please see for yourself

Wacka Flocka Flame representing southside Jamaican Queens

I say go for it. I am 38 and plan on closing it out this year. I have been a portfolio manager for over a decade and the great recession forced me to ramp up my resume. Not sure how you plan on approaching it, but if you put yourself on lockdown you could have it by the time you are 42 or 43. I really don’t think you need it for trading, but if you are planning that type of career change it could be the key to getting your foot in the door. Huge sacrifice, but if you make the commitment and follow through I think it can only help you.

I did my Level 1 in 2009 because I thought that the financial crisis would cause the global economy to melt down for the next ten years and thus I would be very free without a job. Little did I realised that the economy in my home country had a bull run from 2009 until now. I just hope that the business cycle will not turn south when I complete L3. Was getting worried after revisiting Reading 23 on business cycle.

This thread makes me feel better! I always see the threads of candidates who post their age with the overwhelming majority being about 23 or so. It’s nice to see a thread that shows there are people like me who didn’t start this right out of school.

Started a long time ago, took a 5 year hiatus and now I am back to slay the beast.

elcfa Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > Personally, you will benefit a lot. You will get a > lot of opportunities to exercise your aging brain. > Expect to have to study at least 3 times longer > than what it used to take you when you were 30 > years old. It is amazing to see how much your > braincells have atrophied. > It will push you to be more effective, to learn > more about yourself and what you want. I actually think at an older age the challenge is actually very good for your brain, even though it may be much more harder. The exercise you get from memorizing formula, etc will help you in other aspects of your life and work.

Wildcat Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > AMA - how old are you? I am more than 50 and can retire next year if I want but I am running a business. Some exam materials which require pure memorization is really tough for me. Let’s do our best !

AMA , I 'm in your bracket too, but not in business ( working stiff ). Use mnemonics to memorize , and it is NOT age dependent thing to memorize . Trust me you have more than a trillion unused brain cells and will still have a lot at death

Jasonjski, I can also somewhat relate to your situation. Passed my LIII in 09 when I was 35. I am also a financial advisor for one of the big wirehouse and have been doing it for about 13 yrs as well just like you! A few years ago I also contemplated the idea of quitting this sales job for something a bit more brain challenging… however you will probably run into the same issue I did. With all due respect to your intelligence, you will simply NOT find a job with such relaxed hours and such a high compensation (as you are telling me you have a solid book). I was offered various positions as entry level analyst starting at around $70K (btw, I am in L.A.). So that was way too much of a drop from the current $270K while doing absolutely nothing… That thought of jumping industry completely flew out of the window after having 2 kids and trying to save what I can for upcoming tuition costs…

JJSki, Man up and whip this mofo. Age is irrelevant.