Level 1 - Now or Dec?

Hey there,

I’m looking for a bit of advice please. I just started my first finance role (equity research) and at 29 I’m keen to get started on the CFA. However the deadline to register is this week and although ivy level backround, high GPA etc I have a more liberal arts background (just a few econ/ business modules).

Anyone with experience of CFA 1/2, would you reccomend:

A) Do exam in Dec - focus now on performing well in work, making a good impression, becoming competent on the tasks/technology etc required for the role. Start studying for level 1 soon, so it will be less stressful come Dec and perhaps start looking at tricky bits in level 2 before sitting level 1 exam to get familiar early. The downside to this that I see is the massive hellish turnaround for June level 2 exams.

B) Do exam this June - Spend next 12 weeks of evenings/weekends and a week off studying for level 1. Clear it in June and have the summer off with lots of time to prepare for level 2 next year.

My preference is to get it out of the way, but with the time frame/my educational background/new job demands I’m not sure that’s too ambitious, or not the smartest approach as will likely have detremental affect on work performance. As a newbie surely I want to focus the first 6 months on making the best first impression, doing extra on topic reading after work etc - so they’ll keep me around!

It’s a tough one, I’d love to know your thoughts :slight_smile:

Option A.

If you had solid background of finance, I would have recommended to go for L1 now.

Consider Option B if you fail in your first attempt in June 2014(It is understood that I am preconising Option A). With your background and high GPAs etc, it shoud be fine for you. Provided you study hard. The challenge is big. There are many things to study. I am sure you will do good if you organise yourself well, in your case, probably you need to practice the questions a lot. :slight_smile:

Best Regards,

I think I would do option A… There’s a lot to learn in a new job, I don’t think the added pressure of studying at night and weekends needs to be added to the equation just yet.

Option A - unless your company demands it obviously.

What’s the big deal with waiting another 6 months? are you in THAT much of a rush?

If it’s your career you are talking about, you are going to be in this industry for over a decade, 6 months isn’t going to change anything.

The fact that you got a job, you have achieved what MOST candidates hope to achieve, the exams is just formality (honestly), and perhaps a good to have (most likely not mandatory) for advancement.

If you don’t have the background, you will face very steep learning curve at work, pass your probation and then start studying!

Work always comes first…excelling at it is your golden ticket, not a designation. If you feel study might get in the way, don’t jump into it yet.