PHD Finance/Econ with CFA

I picked this up from another forum, Test Magic and thought you guys might want to share some thoughts. Who, amongs you is both a level 1 candidate and first year Phd student in Finance or Econs?

Uh, you shouldn’t be doing that if you are. You need to focus on your studies and deal with CFA later.

I know someone who has done level 1 and 2 while doing his PhD in Finance… it’s doable. They are full time students and make time for CFA. We are full time workers and make time for CFA. Plus given that the PhD is in Finance, it doesn’t seem that much work to study CFA material, bcse most topics are very familiar to them.

It is surely doable but it is a huge mistake. You have taken x years of your life off to study with some of the finest minds on the planet and you are going to use mental energy and study time for a self-study professional exam?! One or the other is a mistake. If you have extra time for study after your class work (not my experience at all), you should do research. A few papers published in grad school is a great thing.

I agree with you Joey. It’s definitely not my case. I was just mentioning that I know someone who made time for it, and succeeded. The PhD should be the priority, but the CFA is always a plus…

Doable, yes. Smart, probably not. I’ll echo Joey’s comment. If you want a job in academia (like most folks in finance doctoral programs), the payoff to a grad student of one more article published in a good working paper far exceeds the payoff to the CFA. In fact, at a good research school, the CFA carries little (if any) weight.

I am doing the PhD and CFA at the same time, and working as well. I am telling you I fully agree it’s a suicide. I failed level I on June 08 and planning to retake it on June 09. Although I was pretty close, had 10 the performance band, and Ethics killed me. to be honest I only studied 2 months and the last two weeks took some exams and tests. Of course I have a finance background but anyway you have to dedicate a certain amount of time to this exam and train yourself to the testing strategy, its crucial on the exam day, especially when you are very busy and don’t have much time to study through the year. I work as a financial regulator and time is a luxury I don’t have as many as you, but if I had to make a choice I would go for CFA now and PhD latter, but unfortunately I have to finish my thesis on Feb 09 and trying to scratch smth for the CFA exam. Believe me, I had better times, it will be hard…

Rinald, is it hard!. I couldn’t make enough time to study for the Jun08 exam as I was working full time (and teaching elsewhere) to save enough for the start of PhD. I failed awfully in all subjects not very much finance. I took advantage of the discount for resit but only one week into my PhD, I am feeling the heat, loads of lectures/classes? seminars/drink ups, reading to refine proposal, etc. I feel I might not make it in Dec08 because of over 95% concentration on my new found adventure but I equally find it had to let the fee ($480) go waste (CFA will not refund).

in TestMagic you have people saying CFA can be studied in a few weeks. I reckon you will get very different opinions here and there.

it is possible to study a few weeks and pass, but this is attributed to your background and your experience, I wouldn’t go for that again. I did it once and it’s painful, especially when you are pretty close to pass. I scored above 70 % in corporate finance and portfolio management and I didn’t even read those subjects , just took tests, because I teach that at university, but anyway I don’t recommend that, the key is practice, practice and only practice. I tell you that, 45 days before the exam my first test score was 51 %. I took two weeks off and did tests everyday, and read the weak areas. 2-3 days before the exam I raised it up to 65 % on average. The test is tricky, add to that the time pressure and good luck. When I was practicing without timing I scored above 75 % on the raw, but once I included timing in my practice it went directly to 65 % on average. sos, good luck man!!it’s pretty challenging taking the test on December. I wouldn’t go for it again, even though my friends encouraged me to, “you were close”, “you only need more practice”, “by June you will forget most of the things and start over again” etc, but I recommend you take as many tests as you can and learn by them, read over the weak areas, that’s the only way to go for December. Last week go only for Ethics, it can be crucial on the exam if you are borderline. Well, good luck!! I spent 10-15 per day those weeks I took off…

Thanks Rinald. I am only going to ‘pencil in’ the CFA. I am not 100% I will show up for the dec exam. However, I’ll decide finally in the next few weeks when I hope to have taken a few practice test. Thanks once more.

You are welcomed! If you have already paid the money, I suggest you show up for the dec exam. Even if you are not sure, there is nothing to lose, there is no refund. But instead you gain the experience of the real exam. It might help a lot… Good Luck

That’s just gross.

And why is that JoeyDVivre?

Because studying for a few weeks and trying to pass the CFA exam is silly (search on Bleron). You might make it past LI that way and then you are messed for LII and LIII because your background stinks. Because even that few weeks in grad school should be spent doing something else (btw - I logged 8000 miles running in grad school so maybe I didn’t quite follow my own advise)

Well, if you’ve paid and there is no refund, don’t bother studying but show up for the exam and just annoy the other candidates during the test by sniffing and coughing for 6 hours. Seriously, you may as well have a look at the exam, even if you don’t study for it. It will at least give you an idea of what to expect next time round.

I agree on that, and I don’t recommend it to anybody, since I made that mistake once. But I don’t regret showing up on the exam, at least I know what to expect. On the other hand if I passed L1, I could live with that:) And I was pretty close…