Opinion: CSC before CFA

So I’ve passed CFA level 1 and just to get employers to notice me I am doing the CSC course.

Here’s what I took away from my experience:

  • CSC is a joke compared to CFA

  • CSC will make you stand out from others given you have no real world experience

  • CSC is a dumbed down version of CFA level 1

Here’s my advice to anyone considering taking the CFA level 1: Do CSC first!

Why? If you have no finance background and you really don’t know much about economics, CSC is for you! It will give you a great introduction to everything the CFA teaches and you will grasp fundamentals quicker since it goes into absolutely no detail what so ever. THEN take CFA level 1. You will be better off.

Sure, you’ll be down an extra $1000 for the CSC, but it’s an investment because later on you look better than others since you already have you CFA level 1 and CSC. Besides, many jobs in the finance industry (at big banks) require the CSC, so how great would it be to tell your future boss that you already have it.; it makes you more marketable because now the boss doesn’t have to invest in you and wait for you to gain your CSC.

Anyways, that is my opinion. CSC takes about 1 month if you are on your game or 2 months if you are lazy. The readings are dead simple in size 16 font and the material is very broad. It will make your life during CFA 1 a lot easier.

I did my CSC last year i’m not gonna lie, but it does introduce you to pretty much all CFA topics. It doesn’t go in a lot of depth, but it is a great introductory courses for those entry level job seekers.

I have also considered the CSC. In all honesty how many hours do you think it will take? I looked at the 2010 textbooks and it looks very easy compared to cfa level one. Also, are there any significant changes since 2010? I was thinking of just studying the material and then if need be pay the money, sign up and write the exams.

Ya, it’s dead easy. Honestly, I did 20 sections (out of 27) before I got a job and it took me a month. That’s like 1.5 hours everyday at a moderate reading pace + taking notes. I got lazy now and I’ll be doing the rest in about a month but 7 more sections + review I think will take me two more weeks and then I can write the exam.

So overall, I’d say 2 months with 1.5 hours of reading 5 days a week + one week of review at the end, and you should be good to go.

i did it too, it would take 1 month tops. Everything is simplified, and gives a basic intro to the financial markets. It is qualitative more than quantitative.

uhh. I saw a couple posts from canadians so I thought csc meant canadian securities course but with people taking it in japan it must mean something else.

CSC = Canadian Securities Course.

The one from HK must be an ex pat.

Yes I mean Canadian Securities Course. I’m an expat in Japan but will be moving back to Canada in a few months.

Thanks for the replies about study time. That’s about what I expected. $1000 up front seems like a lot but spread out over the course of a career isn’t that bad I guess.

Ah yeah. I took the CSC like 8 years ago because it was the easiest way to qualify to write the CFP exam at the time.

I was only every MFDA licensed so I’m probably going to have the pleasure of doing it again sometime as I’m sure it has lapsed.

CSI courses are a total rip off but easy compared to CFA.

I wouldn’t take it before CFA because it will lapse if you don’t need it, and if you’ve done level II or I (esp level II) and you have an interview with someone and they want the CSC done they’ll appreaciate that you can get it done if you’ve alreasy passed a couple CFA exams. Maybe do it between levels one and two if you are bored over the summer.

Only do CSI classes if your employer pays.

except you have to take them to remain licensed (CE) so some may have to pay for them to remain employed/employable.

I am doing the CSC right now…it seems to be the perfect stepping stone for CFA. Does anyone have any tips to share?

Harpreet, honestly, there’s no tips like there are with the CFA.

I did CSC after I did my CFA level 1 and before CFA level 2. It got me noticed so it was worth it, I’d argue (I had no experience).

The CSC is pretty straight forward, it goes no where as deep into detail as the CFA. Just stick to a consistent schedule. TBH you can knock out a chapter a day after school/work. It takes like 1 hour to read a chapter. There are 27 chapters, so you can knock it out quick.

Regarding the price. It is expensive, I am not going to lie. It burned a serious hole in my pocket BUT, if I look at it this way: I failed CFA level 1 the first time because it was too much to take in during a 6 month study period. I had to learn the basics then the intermediates. I paid $600 to retake the CFA level 1. Therefore, CFA level 1 cost me $1700. Now, if I took CSC, I’m pretty sure I would have passed the first time and my overall costs would have been $2000, instead of $1700 (CFA costs) and $1000 (CSC costs) = $2700.

So one could argue that the real cost of the CSC is only $400 (the difference between CSC cost of $1000 and retaking the CFA). But of course, 38% of candidates wouldn’t argue this way, but we can’t all be part of the 38% until we pass.

Anyways, that’s my 2 cents. It does expire but you can take as long as you need to study it. So I haven’t physically written the CSC even though I’m done studying, and when I need it, I’ll write it and won’t have to worry about it lapsing. :wink:

The CSC itself does not expire as it is only course, but the licence (CPH) does.

Without experience, you should do the CSC…unless you’re willing to be a teller. Even then, the CSC will give you an advantage over other candidates as even teller positions are competitive. Do I think it’s worth $1,000 to be a teller? No…Your best bet is just to find a person who can refer you…get in as a teller…and let the bank pay for it

Disagree iwth most opinions on here.

Agree that CSC is much easier and a joke compared to CFA (any level).

I just passed CFA L2 and have enrolled in CSC. Why?

I wanted the knowledge of the Canadian market place, and the Canadian regulation environment.

At this point, why not do it? I studied for 10 days for Exam 1 and got 80% and will have studied for about the same going into Exam 2.

I can honestly say there is a great deal I’ve learned from CSC as well…mutual funds, segregated funds, regulation, taxation…and the list goes on.

Summary: Do both, because it wont take very long and gets you much closer to being a portfolio manager as well.