Marc LeFebvre and LevelUp Bootcamps

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.

I will 2nd everything thisistheyear has said.

Schweser was enough to get me through level 1 on the first attempt. I made the mistake of trying to only use schweser on level 2 (no curriculum) the first time and despite putting the hours in failed band 10. After that punch to the gut and reality check I dropped the “cliffnotes”, started working off the curriculum and passed the next year with flying colors.

The problem with level 3 is that in many ways it feels like an entirely new beast because of the morning essay section. I would also add that you cant rely on just crushing the PM. Most people crush the PM, its the ones that manage to do well on the AM (and by well I still mean pretty bad if you look at the matrixes) that get through.

Enter Marc and his bootcamp. Having Marc in your corner is like hiring the best trail guide on the planet to show you the way. I lucked out big time with this year being the first year Marc offered the course in Dubai. As thisistheyear mentioned, Marc is a great teacher and his slide book is a masterful work of art. My last month of studying was primarily doing mock exams, and then referring back to the slidebook and guideline answers for corrections. I can honestly say I dont think I would have passed without it.

For those of you looking to be one and done, find Marc.

Marc is Numero Uno.


I credit most of my ability to pass L3 this year to Marc and his Omaha Bootcamp. I’ve written enough about it on here that I’ve had people accuse me of working for him so I’ll just say that I totally agree with what you wrote above. One of us Bootcampers needs to remember to come back here in January/February and remind candidates that are just getting into it though, because the only people seeing these messages now are the weirdos who start studying way far in advance, along with some retakers who should definitely pay to attend a bootcamp if they can afford it.

His class better be good for 2 grand.

is he still in that huge lawsuit with Creighton college. Theyre trying to take him to the cleaners

How are you coming up with that number? Last year it was $1100 I think. Looks like he took pricing up this year, by about 15%. Definitely a good business if you can do it. I calculated that he’s grossing upwards of half a million a year running the bootcamps alone, probably getting at least 60% margins on it and that’s being very conservative. Then I assume he has some other jobs he does to earn income as well.

And yes, it was definitely worth $1100.

He’s one of the few people I’ve met, and thought to myself, “this guy should get paid more.”

He’s very talented, and more importantly, he cares.

I’d rather fail than pay $1,100 (or more) to some dude. Plus, at least half the peeps on here that are fluffers for Marc Lefevigreblah are probably on his payroll.

I know a bunch of older guys who took bootcamp (so to speak) literally from Mr Schweser himself. They ALL failed level 1 and then never retook it.

I took a Level I review course from Carl Schweser, and Level II and III review courses from Andy Tempte (who took over Schweser when Carl retired). I passed each exam the first time I it.

None of which means anything.

Superior returns!? No, wait, no that’s not right at all.

Your company would probably jump on the opportunity to dish out an additional $1,100 for you to finally pass L3. Just saying…

OK buddy. Like I said in another thread I had never heard of him before reading the reviews of his class last year on here after I failed. He doesn’t have people on his payroll because he can rely on word of mouth marketing like this which is only possible because the class is helpful.

The cost of the class isn’t that much more than paying for the Schweser review classes in Ft Worth or Windsor, plus you don’t have to pay for the Schweser material and all the other random crap people buy. Just use old Schweser books to supplement current year material plus the class materials.

If you’re smart enough to pass without getting assistance and extremely helpful materials that you can use to drill difficult concepts then more power to you.

Topperharley might be more correct than you think. Or at least he’s more correct than you wish he was. That being said, Marc’s class was pretty good. I found one of the two ‘binders’ he provided to be quite helpful. But I certainly did not find the class itself to be as eye-opening as others found it to be. The CFAI curriculum is all that is needed to pass if you have a strong work ethic. Let’s just say, for comparison’s sake, I found the John Harris accounting class from Level 2 to be much more beneficial and more important to my passing. But to each their own. That being said, if you have the money or if your company is willing to pay, you might as well go to Marc.

@Topper- you’re starting to sound bitter for failing Level III (again). Take a few days off.


I don’t disagree with this. The verbal instruction portion didn’t help me all that much as far as helping me “learn” the material. The way the verbal portion helped me was to see where he would spend more time talking about than I thought was worth reading about in the book. For example, I probably didn’t drill buy/hold, constant mix and CPPI concepts hard enough before realizing we spent a bunch of time and there were a lot of questions in the class on it (especially considering I oftentimes got tripped up on those), so I drilled that a lot harder and it ended up being helpful on the exam. The biggest “verbal” help was going through the IPS return calculation workbook. That portion plus the old exams binder was worth probably 75% of the value of the class to me.

I agree that John Harris at level 2 was extremely, extremely helpful as I had to use him to help get me through that level, but he only helps with one big portion and the relative cost of John Harris is higher than Marc considering that.

First off, if they studied more than 50 hours and failed level 1 they don’t have what it takes to earn the charter, regardless of who they prepped with.

Second, how many hours will you spend studying for L3 if you fail? 200? $1,100/200 = $5.50/hour Isn’t your time worth more than that?

Used Schweser videos the whole time. Use only (okay not only, mostly) Schweser for all three levels.

Andy Holmes is the best guy. But Marc LeFebvre is great too!

Man, Marc takes so much abuse on these forums! I’ll throw my two cents in for what it’s worth:

Marc’s course led me to areas of study that weren’t areas of focus for Schweser. Not saying he’s any better or worse, but I noticed the difference. So in that regard, his course was a great supplement to Schweser, which was a great supplement to CFAI. I never once thought that some areas of study were going to show up in the AM because it was at the tail end of the material and there wasn’t that much emphasis on it in my review. But it was a big deal in Marc’s course, or it showed up enough in previous AMs, so I studied up on it and was glad I did!

Another thing: If you don’t finish the AM, the odds of passing are against you. Lots of L3 candidates around me didn’t finish on time. I’d say there was probably about 15 to 25 minutes’ worth of time savings in the AM that I gained by taking the Level Up course. So in that regard, the two grand’s worth of tuition and travel was worth it. Specifically, one of the calculations takes forever on the AM section, but Marc has a method that makes it very quick. So while the single question wasn’t that big of a deal point-wise, it definitely is a big deal time-wise.

Admittedly, everyone has a different opinion on whether these study supplements are worth it. For me, I’d rather spend a few grand on tuition and travel to hire someone to focus my efforts on specific topics, or at least to explain the concepts to me without me having to figure it out from the CFAI readings. That goes for Schweser, Level Up, FinQuiz, whatever.

Congratulations to everyone who passed. To those who did not, take a break and try again!

What is with all these endorsements for Marc’s class all of a sudden? He has been mentioned in at least 4-5 threads now. I don’t want to take this piss out of anyone, but IMO, the CFAI books are more than enough to pass the test. For me, I used Elan for level 1 for the last half but strictly CFAI for levels 2 and 3. Did blue boxes and at least 7 mocks.

This reminds me of a personal trainer. When I’m at the gym, I see all these people with PT and they are probably paying $50+ per hour. But do they really add value when all the information (exercises, diet, rest, pains) is on the internet? It seems they need a PT because they need external motivation and if they fail, they can blame someone else.