By way of introduction, I’m a big four accountant that has a mix of private equity/banking clients. Recently, to help build brand equity with my clients and peers, I’ve started the CFA program.
I just completed the CPA exams. I did very well on my four parts - passing all on the first try (each has a 50% fail rate).
I’m curious what are the successful approaches to studying level 1, specifically. Are the CFAI books alone sufficient for level 1? With my first exam on December 2nd, I also want to be sure I begin review not too early - but also be well positioned for success.
the CFAI books are enough for sure, i would even say that’s recommended to used them instead of third party notes.
Usually, people use third party notes as a substitutes for the cfai books, because they are more condensed. Some people, like me, would say that third party notes are enough, others will say that cfai books are the only way to go, matter of opinion.
My recommendation if you’re don’t have a strong background in finance is to really try to understand the material, not just memorizing formulas. Practice a lot, and for every question you get wrong, really try to understand why you got it wrong.
For someone who did finance in college, i would say that 4 month of studying would be enough for level 1. If you didn’t, you could easily double that. So you could start studying soon, but if you do, revise the material frequently to make sure it sticks to your long term memory. Personally, I use a spaced repetition software (anki) in order to revise material, I feel like it helps a lot if you want to retain information permanently.
Since you are at Big 4 with strong accounting background, you might not have any significant issues till Level 3.
I think people would say theyre more than enough. Hence why so many people use schwesher.
I am also registered for the December Level 1 exam and received my books a few weeks ago. I have browsed through Economics, FRA and Corporate Finance and must say I do not expect major issues, which is why I have decided not to use any third party notes. I might order a Q-bank later on when/if I feel the need. Seems to me the CFAI curriculum is very extensive, but doable if you’re used to studying and you’re familiar with the course material. Also, we have tons of time ahead.
Background: masters in business (accounting major) + additional degree in corporate finance. Four years Big Four auditor and now one year investment analyst (M&A).
Main challenge for me will be time management: it’s probably too early to start but I can’t resist + limited workload at the office right now, which can (/will) change later on, especially after summer. Also might be tempting to underestimate the exam and start skipping stuff (‘oh yeah i’ve seen this before, next chapter!’).