Looking at doing FRM

Hey all,

I passed CFA level 3 last year and I’m contemplating doing FRM. I’m a buy-side trader/analyst in fixed income. I’d eventually like to grow into running the derivatives side of the book, and the general trading desk. Obviously experience goes a long way and matters more than whatever alphabet soup you have behind your name, but would FRM be a good supplement to these goals?

Absolutely! I just earned my FRM and I am tackling the CFA next - let’s stay in touch and help each other out. I think that anyone with FRM and CFA will be very successful and only limited by their own ambitions.

I have an alphabet soup after my name (CFA, CAIA, FRM). Looking back, all 3 were probably a waste of time. The way I would make your decision is as follows:

  1. What is my ideal job/career?

  2. What qualification(s) or experience do I need to have to get that job/career?

  3. Is my time/money better spent 100% focusing on my job or a split between working and studying for some exam?

Just my 2 cents. Unfortunately, all these designations are becoming commoditized and offer little value.


I still think its worth it in the end but I am on the “not-having-them-yet” side.

I look at it this way.

The CFA is basically equivlanent to an MBA, except better!. Anyone can buy an MBA if they want one. However, there is no guarantee that someone with an MBA has the corresponding knowledge. One can fake one’s way through an MBA program.

The same cannot be said for the FRM, the CFA, nor the CAIA programs. If you have the designation, you must have known the material at some point - the proof is in the pudding.

If I have three candidates in front of me, as follows, 1) MBA from Top Program but no CFA nor FRM, nor CAIA, and 2) a Candidate with one of CFA, FRM, or CAIA and no MBA, or 3) A candidate with CFA, FRM, and CAIA but no MBA…

I pick candidate 3 hands down without hesitation, assuming all else equal…

Just because one candidate graduates a top MBA program does not convince me that that candidate has the skill set. Too many MBA programs (including the top programs) are more interested in the student’s ability to pay the full tuition and or contribute/donate. Many rich morons are accepted into these programs…

Even if the value is on the decline, I find the knowledge and the challenge of the exams worthy of the effort…

Perhaps I will change my mind after I have a few more designations…

The only comment I make is the following: top MBA program candidates are vetted by the Ad Com (and thus test scores / work experience / recommendation letters). For private equity/venture capital (the field in which I work): candidates with top MBA programs (top 5 or top 10) > any designation(s) candidate. Every time and without hesitation.

I agree with the knowledge/challenge component, and it was part of the reason I pursued these designations.

I would take the GMAT and get that out of the way now (730+ score, if you haven’t already). MBA from a top 5 and top 10 is definitely worth it.