New Job + Studying for CFA L1 ?

Hi all,

I just began (yesterday was day 1) my new gig as a Performance Analyst at an investment firm and I’m debating whether or not I should start studying right now for the December test while I adjust to work too. I have a finance background in school (but I graduated a few yrs ago). I’ve been working in accounting for a couple years and finally got my shot in the industry. Any advice on taking it in December or waiting until June next year? I didn’t want to overwhelm myself adjusting to a new job and studying for this test, so I was planning on waiting till June 2015.

Plenty of time.

lots of time to do it

If you are working 40 hr weeks I think it is very do-able. But do not underestimate the exam. You will probably have to sacrifice some extra curriculars and social events.

Very doable. I started a new job as an investment analyst 1 month before starting my studying for level 1 - like some other posters said, it may require you to sacrifice extra curriculars/ social time but if you make a plan and see it through without waivering you shouldhave enough time to study.

Thanks for the advice everyone. That seems to be the consensus opinion. I appreciate it!

Hi Finance Guy,

I started a new job in performance (a field I had never previously worked) in June 2013. I was able to put myself in a good position for the L2 June 2014 exam, but I would have struggled to make a December exam. I would suggest you take the June 2015 exam for 2 reasons:

1.) First impressions are lasting in a job, so you need to push hard in the first few months to learn the systems, understand the business and make sure you have a firm grasp on the theory. This is hard to do when you dedicate significant time to study. You could cut out your social time, but when you start a new job is the time you want to do extra social time. This is when you network and build friendship groups. If you don’t go out in the first few months you’ll stop getting invites.

2.) Doing level two 6 months after level 1 is extremely hard (mainly as it takes 2 months to get the result, sign up for L2 and get your books). You’ll be knackered from trying to balance all the new stuff at work and study from level 1, and then have to work twice as hard for level 2. Best do L1 in June 2015 and L2 in June 2016.

I suggest you spend the next 6 months integrating yourself in to work, and then do CFA1 in June if you feel it’s right. CIPM or FRM may actually be more relevant to your career if you stay in performance. Just my thoughts, you have to do what you think is best for your individual circumstances.