Making over $250k, is CFA worth it?

I’m in a good job, paying over $250k…stable job, reputable, etc, but I don’t like it as much as I like Finance. Assuming I become CFA , would typical CFA jobs pay same or more? Now 48 years old. No flames, please.

Sorry save your time. If you enjoy finance buy the books to read for pleasure, seek a finance job now but don’t waste your time or money on CFA now. I wouldn’t waste your time on CFA at this point, just seek a job in the industry. Typical CFA job would pay about that with like 5-10 yrs expierence, it is extremely different in each market and each area of the industry.

I assume that you have a decent stable job that is not in asset management or something financial related. I think it will be difficult to start out at age 48 at the bottom rung of the industry. I am about 10 years younger and have been breaking in for about two years now, and it’s quite challenging as it is (doable, but my age does clearly work against me). To me, leaving a comfortable job to pursue this track in a asset management job doesn’t sound like it’s worth the risk. If you are going to study CFA on the side, it may be worthwhile in and of itself (the curriculum is basically good stuff to learn if you like this kind of thing), but be advised that it takes a LOT of work to pass it. The material isn’t necessarily rocket-science, but there’s a lot of it, so one needs to put in the hours. As for a career, if you really like financial stuff, you might consider saving a reasonable sum of money and try trading (not necessarily day-trading) your own account. If so, Alexander Elder’s book “Come into my Trading Room” is a really good introduction to what’s required, but that book is more about trading, which is more about capturing price trends and swings, which is a slightly different mindset than investing, which is more centered on capturing the benefits of superiorly performing companies and economies. Both investing and trading require careful attention to risk control, which means 1) making sure that you don’t take on more risk than your account or personality can handle, 2) making sure that you are involved in a game where you are paid for the risks you take, and 3) making sure your bets are as uncorrelated as possible, so that you get the best expected return for the amount of risk you are taking. If you really want to go the analyst-for-an-investment-company route, your best shot would be to try to focus on an industry that is related to where you work now. Here you could say your value added would be that you know the insides of that industry well and can figure out who is likely to do better than whom. If you are in a career that is highly quantitative and mathematical, you might be able to go the quantitative route, which is about building models to try to predict risk and return given past data (and hopefully some insights into future trends). Those jobs tend to go to Ph.D. math and physics types, some computer science types, as well as new Master of Financial Engineering people. You didn’t say what industry you are in, so it’s difficult to see if this is open to you. Alexander Elder, who wrote the book I suggested above is a practicing psychologist (his day job) who also trades for a living, and even runs some trading camps to train prospective traders. So maybe that’s a model for you, to keep your day job, and slowly shift more and more attention to your trading and investing stuff. There are also associations like American Association of Individual Investors (thanks virginCFAhooker for pointing out this resource), and local CFA chapters that can help provide a group of professionals to start talking and exchanging ideas with. There’s also Value Investing Group, which is similar, and then there is this board. With investing, part of it is also finding the investing style that suits your knowledge base and personality. For some it’s because they really know an industry. For others it’s because they can do good statistical analysis and bet on the laws of large numbers. For others it’s because they have a good sense of people’s psychology and can figure out when people are being unrealistic about prices and risks. Still others may have a superior feel for how entire economies or sectors are likely to perform, even if they haven’t the foggiest notion of which companies will do it. Of course, luck helps too. So part of it is figuring out what investing style is going to suit what you’re good at, and fortunately, there is enough variety that most smart people can figure out one style that suits them. As for CFA, it might make sense to do it just to learn the stuff and feel more confident about what people are talking about here, but I’m not sure how much it will help you break in (though it couldn’t hurt).

Super answer bchadwick! I like this thought" “try to focus on an industry that is related to where you work now”, which makes good sense to me. I should have mentioned that I am a computer scientist , with PhD, and I have done personal investing of all kinds the last 17 years…and I hold a CMT, the Technical Analysis charter, as well! And of course, Elder’s books (there are two of them) have been read years ago. That’s as far as the intro is concerned, but the main reason I am hesitant about the CFA is that finding a formal CFA-related job, through the banks, etc., is not something that would pay me well without a formal financial experience. However, a job in IB, hedge fund, soverign fund, etc., which calls for IT industry expertise, may be something to think about. And if so, would the CFA be a big plus then? On the otherhand, starting my own business in some Fianncial consulting/training or providing IT services to address specific financial needs of the financial sector may be another thought! J

But can’t pass CFA L1…

Since you have your CMT, maybe you’re aware of technical scamalysis (TS)? Basically, they find small cap stocks that trade only 40-60k shares per day. They buy & sell them so that the price history draws all sorts of fancy charts… teacup, socow, head & shoulders, etc. Then the masses of mo-mo sheep & IBD’ers come in and buy buy buy (or sell sell sell). They take the opposite trade and usually do quite well.

250k in CS is a good paycheck - probably a VP or a Director level at an IB on IT side. I am actually in a very similar boat as you are, just much younger. I was always wondering if it makes sense to switch fields once you have a decent managerial position in your field that pays nicely. Having Ph.D, you wont need CFA to land a Director+ level IT job for IB. MFE might help, but not CFA

By the way, I forgot to mention an MBA I had 15 years ago. Joey, how’s your 85K job doing for you?

I make $500,000 per year (plus bonus and driver). I admit that I am a clueless loser who anonymously boasts a fictitious salary on random anonymous message boards. Welcome to my club!

virgin, don’t forget your lucrative signing bonus, and perks of having a Limo drive you around and having a liquor cabinet at work filled with $600 bottles of scotch!

I make 1 milllion dollars…so June07, hows your 250k job doing for you?

Oh no, I’m gonna see all Joey’s cousins gang up on me now, am I?

pffft… you amatuers. I make a gazillion dollars a year.

This thread should be deleted.

Turkish Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > This thread should be deleted. I second that.

i make 5.75 an hour and im a CFA charterholder.

What’s with the flaming? If this was your dad looking for a job would you still be so cruel? I got your back June guy

Randall, I believe it was justified. He’s already got a job paying $250k. He started the thread with “no flames”… then he goes and flames our devout leader, Master Joey.

delete this garbage. what a DB!

does this have to do with “doctor to ER?”