I didn’t think this day will come, but I am officially a CFA Charterholder after taking Level III for the sixth time. I wouldn’t have my Charter if it wasn’t for Marc, so I strongly felt that I should leave a note about his workshop here. I passed Levels I and II on the first try and than this happened for Level III for the next five years: 1. I got overconfident and didn’t study enough, 2. I was in business school and didn’t start studying until May, 3. I didn’t care to study enough since I was graduating and more focused on figuring out how I was going to pay the $100K+ in debt. Finding a job was where I focused 100% of my energy on and the CFA prep was done half-hearted. 4. I studied hard but totally bombed the AM session - didn’t finish the last three of the morning session questions. Simply put, I had no idea how to study for the CFA. 5. I signed up for Marc’s workshop in New York in 2015, which was the first year he had branched out on his own and was offering it in New York. I went into the workshop having read less than 50% of the material, and then spent the next four days being shell-shocked sitting in class and realizing that I really had not figured out how to study for the exam. I was really behind the curve on my studying, and Marc picked up on it. Even after the workshop was over, Marc made himself available (including a Skype chat to help with derivatives) and I went from band 5 to band 9. I was playing catch up, but it very hard to get caught up in a month, given how far behind I was. 6. I had given up on the CFA and decided to move on with my life and “postpone” it indefinitely. Right around Christmas, Marc sent me an email checking in, and next thing you know, he practically guilt-tripped me out of being a quitter and I signed up for the exam. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him not quitter on lost causes, I wouldn’t have my charter today. But I do have it, and it doesn’t matter how many times I failed to get here. I wouldn’t be here without Marc’s support and the LevelUp bootcamp. I signed up for the New York bootcamp again this year because I knew that I knew it will give me the boost that I really needed right before the exam. Here is why I can not say enough good things about Marc’s workshop:
- Marc is committed to making sure every candidate has the tools they need to pass. He spends the time to figure out your weak areas and then dumbs the material down so that you not only understand the concept but also, and more importantly, can understand how to answer questions on the topic on the exam.
- Marc gives you ten years of actual past CFA exams arranged my study session. Sure you can find all the past exams flooding online, and if you really wanted to, you could waste your time sorting them by topic yourself but a) you don’t have the time for it, b) you might not be able to figure out which questions are still relevant and which aren’t and c) you won’t have the advantage of Marc going through a sample of those questions in class, showing you where points are easily lost, and then showing you how to maximize your points on each question, with the minimum amount of time on that question.
- The IPS workshop. Marc shows you two different methods of approaching IPS questions depending on the calculation time and then works through all ten years of problems with you. In attempt “4” above, I remember spending three times as much time as I needed to on the IPS calculations and that cost me points when I couldn’t finish later. After the class, redoing all the IPS calculations using Marc’s method at least two or three times meant that by the time the exam came, I could do them in less than the allocated minutes. Marc shows you how a small change in language/presentation can make the difference between getting all or at least most of the points, or losing them all.
- Marc’s workshop is an excellent review material to carry around. He prepares all his slides himself and I can honestly say that they are the best reference material out there. I’ve gone through every Schweser book and class and I can say that for Level III, Marc’s notes are unparalleled as a study aid. The way he prepares his materials is by going page by page through the books and capturing all the important topics and simplifying them. A lot of his slides are actually explanations on how to answer CFAI textbook problems. The way I used them after the class was as a side-by-side aide to reviewing the difficult topics from the CFAI textbooks and also has quick ways to create checklists for some of the qualitative problems.
- Marc actually goes through the CFAI books during class (very quickly) and will highlight tricky areas. He selectively will work out some problems that are particularly challenging/tricky. Chances are you will be overwhelmed in class, just given the speed and intensity, but revisiting those problems after the workshop is over will be super helpful. His explanations are on point.
- Last but definitely not least, Marc’s actual presentation during the workshop. By day four, you will feel like you are staring death in the face and the grim reaper is here to collect your soul. If you see a spike on Starbuck’s stock price around the time of Marc’s workshops, its because of all the caffeine attendees are chugging to try and keep up with him. Marc zooms through the material and covers each and every important topic at the speed of lightening. He will spend more time on the more difficult topics but you have to come prepared to keep up. The first time I attended his workshop, I hadn’t gone through the material and could easily tell where I got lost. If you have already reviewed the CFAI books once or are at least close to it (I only had one book left going into his workshop this year), it will make all the difference. One of the most useful things about the workshop is that once it is over, you know how to go back to the important parts and study for them properly.
If I sound like a super-fan of the LevelUp workshop, it is for a great reason - I finally have my charter after six tries and know I couldn’t have gotten there without it. I honestly wouldn’t even have signed up this year (I was that crushed after last year) if it wasn’t for Marc’s encouragement.