Before I start studying for the CFA, I’d like to brush up on my math (it’s been awhile since college) by taking a few courses in community college. Which math classes should I take? Since I’m not an MBA, (History UG) what’s a good foundation for the CFA? The local community college offers courses for cheap ($38 bucks per credit) I might as well take advantage of this by taking a few courses.

Do you still have your high school calculus and stats textbooks? Those are really all you need…at least for level one. franknyc Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Before I start studying for the CFA, I’d like to > brush up on my math (it’s been awhile since > college) by taking a few courses in community > college. Which math classes should I take? Since > I’m not an MBA, (History UG) what’s a good > foundation for the CFA? > The local community college offers courses for > cheap ($38 bucks per credit) I might as well take > advantage of this by taking a few courses.

franknyc what is your math backround? There really is no math on the exams that is more advanced than algebra, so don’t sweat it too much

Calculus? You have to be kidding me, commstudent. Diesel is correct, though it helps to have a basic understanding of statistics.

Calculus is great for options and some derivatives stuff, but won’t do you much good for CFA exams.

If you took “Trig and functions” in HS that would help too. Need to be ok with Discounting/“e”…

It’s finance, not physics. Except for statistics, there was nothing in LI or LII that wasn’t taught in high school.

yeah, there are some natural log functions, but not much. Anyway, I think that was covered in Algebra 2, and not even trig

Familiarity with calculus concepts can help a little with things like duration and convexity in fixed income, and “the greeks” in option pricing, in the sense of understanding concepts as just the slope of a line and the change in the slope, etc… However, knowing how to integrate and differentiate isn’t necessary. From a maths perspective, basic statistics is probably the hardest CFA math to learn if you haven’t had it. Even people who know calculus and differential equations can find statistics challenging. I think it’s because statistics looks mathematical, but it uses math in a very different way than most other mathematics (for example, calculus can be thought of as a logical extension of algebra in the context of understanding limits, but statistics requires more conceptual background on probability theory and stuff like that, and many people find it more counterintuitive than calculus).

franknyc, CFAI materials are not bad. It would be more efficient for you to discuss what you don’t understand on AF after reading through the materials instead of taking math classes.

Take a good college book on statistics. Most of the calculations and explanations necessary can be found in any statistics books for beginners. You don’t need calculus at all.