Hey everyone, I’m interesting in starting the CFA program, but my situation is a little different than most, and therefore any guidance would be much appreciated. I just graduated in May from the Naval Academy, and therefore now have a 5 year service commitment in the Navy. However, I just got back from deployment two days ago so now I have some time to spend doing other things, thank god. My goal is, if at all possible, to complete the 3 tests in the 5 years I’m in the Navy. I’d like to take the first one in December 09, but I want to start studying now since I won’t really be able to devote a massive amount of time to it in the 3 months prior to the exam like some others I’ve read about. Where should I begin in terms of studying? My background is a B.S. in History from USNA, and a whole lot of reading on my own, though fairly concentrated. I’ve read probably 60-80 finance books in the past 2 years, but not a whole lot on certain subjects (options, swaps, derivatives, futures, etc.). Mainly what I’ve read is Graham, Klarman, Greenblatt, Damodaran, Buffett, Pabrai, Malkiel, etc. etc. etc., but all in the same vein. I would like to start this and be serious about it, but at the same time cost-effective if possible. Thoughts? Thanks. -Billy
I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but starting now for the December exam would be a mammoth task. Your only choice is to sign up, get the CFA cirriculum, and read constantly everyday for the next 4 weeks…and say a few prayers each night.
He wrote Dec 09… READ PEOPLE, READ
This sounds like a great plan, doing service and the CFA exams. Two of my siblings graduated from Annapolis. I would switch your plan to take the June '09 exam and hit it hard early January so you can have a break before diving into Level 2 (2010). Order the books and package (suppliment, videos, notes) either www.schweser.com or www.stalla.com. I wish I had advice like that when I started - how do people find this site? Good on you though.
Are you a SWO? What part of the Navy are you in -
Firstly I would say that you have a pretty forward looking outlook which I think should be commended. I think that your ability to reach your goals would be in part shaped by the postings that you expect too receive coming out of Annapolis and which officer stream you are in (there is an expectation of work schedule differences between line and supply, but you might have seen that already). I would say that studying from the CFAI texts would be rather difficult if on a sea going unit or if undertaking other training, they are very dense and cover a broad swath of information. I would only recommend using them as the fundamental basis of your study if you are lucky enough to pull a chunk of shore duty. Otherwise I would recommend grabbing some of the study packs from Stalla or the like - I would also think about the MP3 audio files if you are on a sea going unit as it will allow you to maximise study opportunities in otherwise inconvenient locations / times. But I would first check Ship’s Standing Orders or hit up the XO on his policy on wearing head phones at sea (sometimes they have a thing about that). I hope it helps. Oh yeah I am currently Active Service with the RAN and have had my fair share of sea duty.
Thanks for the replies everyone. To answer your second question, yes I am a SWO, based out of San Diego. Also, my job is extremely rigorous when we’re underway, but in port exactly the opposite. I spent the first five months in the Navy on deployment, so now I’m back home for a little while. To aussie_jaco, I am on sea duty, but we’re currently in port and just returned from deployment, so probably won’t leave again for quite some time (can’t talk about ship’s schedule in detail). Specifically which package should I order from Schweser? Which materials are most useful? Is Schweser preferable to Stalla? Does it matter? I’m trying not to spend too much money, cause I have very little disposable income, but obviously I want to pass the first time. Also, upon registration, how long does it take them to send the materials? Is the investopedia study guide even worth delving into? Sorry so many questions. Just trying to figure out the best way to go about this. Thanks again.
As much as it would probably hurt I think that you will be best served with one of the higher end packages from either Stalla or Schweser. The notes will cut down on reading time and the videos will give a concise way to view the information in an alternative medium. Because you will have a gap between the big part of your study and the exam the Qbank / Passmaster will probably from a major component in your study currency (make sure you sign up for the download or CD version, as who knows when they will take the internet down at sea for OPSEC / Bandwidth issues). As for delivery I think they measure it in days as they send most things UPS. And as I was saying before think about the MP3 depending on your watch rotation and how you commute to and from work. Just an aside I would have a bit of a think about how you will deal with the pressures from the Wardroom to be a part of their parties and activities. As a line officer trying to fit in the extra study you are probably going to have to make some decisions about how you want to spend your time. I think you are probably making the right decision, but not all of you ship mates may think the same thing. The good thing about being active service is that it is one of the few reasons why the CFAI will allow you to defer an exam to another year. Say you get posted to a deploying unit and can’t get leave for an exam, the CFAI will allow you to shift to the next exam at no cost (maybe charge a nominal fee for the new textbooks). Very few other jobs / reasons are excepted for this. That said I would be wanting to sort out leave passes to cover the exam period very early in the exam prep. I hope it helps Oh yeah and just so you can judge my background and determine how you might value my comments, I am an O-4 and a 1120 (well an equivalent designation anyway) with about ten years of sea duty under my belt.
Translation to above for study notes (which I agree). www.schweser.com Buy notes, Qbank, and video package (not sure of the name of this package) or www.stalla.com Buy notes, Passmaster, and video package (not sure of the name of this package) It will be worth spending a few extra bucks not to fail. I use Stalla, but I think it is personal preference. These Qbank/Passmaster software things are very helpful.
billy22g Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks for the replies everyone. To answer your > second question, yes I am a SWO, based out of San > Diego. Also, my job is extremely rigorous when > we’re underway, but in port exactly the opposite. > I spent the first five months in the Navy on > deployment, so now I’m back home for a little > while. To aussie_jaco, I am on sea duty, but we’re > currently in port and just returned from > deployment, so probably won’t leave again for > quite some time (can’t talk about ship’s schedule > in detail). Specifically which package should I > order from Schweser? Which materials are most > useful? Is Schweser preferable to Stalla? Does it > matter? I’m trying not to spend too much money, > cause I have very little disposable income, but > obviously I want to pass the first time. Also, > upon registration, how long does it take them to > send the materials? Is the investopedia study > guide even worth delving into? Sorry so many > questions. Just trying to figure out the best way > to go about this. Thanks again. You work with any Navy/Marine Citadel guys over there? (I went to the Citadel)