Poll: Rank the study sessions by difficulty

Just want to see how others perceive the relative difficulty of the sections, so here are some questions:

  1. What is your highest degree related to Finance (including Accounting, Business, Economics, etc.)? If you don’t have any degree in the field, what is your highest degree in any field?

  2. What job do you currently hold (if any, doesn’t have to be in Finance)?

  3. Rank the study sessions from least to most difficult from your own perspective.

My answers:

  1. MS, Financial Engineering.

  2. Assistant Trader

Portfolio Management (Most comfortable) Quantitative Methods Ethics Derivatives Equities Fixed Income Alternative Investments Corporate Finance

(huge gap)

Financial Reporting and Analysis Economics (Most difficult)

BA in Business.

Bank supervisor.

Financial Reporting and Analysis (easist)

Fixed Income


Alternative Investments


Corporate Finance

Portfolio Management


Quantitative Methods

Economics (Most difficult)


MS Advanced Computing, BS Mechanical Engineering


Assistant Portfolio Manager (equity derivatives based fund)


Equities (easy, basic terminology, valuation part is fairly simple)

Derivatives (easy but only from experience, think this would be tricky with no background)

Alternative Investments (Seems mostly just basic terminology)

Corp. Finance (Pretty straightforward, a few formulas to remember though)

Quant (easy concepts but a lot of them, Hypothesis testing I found very difficult to get my head around)

Econ (easy because I took econ in college, but difficult because of size and quite boring and repetive)

Fixed Income (tricky in some parts, lots of new terminology for me)

Ethics (you think it’s common sense and that you know it, and then you score a 50% on QBank, frustrating section)

Portfolio Management (short, interesting, but a little tricky, required slow and careful reading unlike Equities for example)

(big gap)

Financial Reporting (Hate this section, I learn it and then forget it a week later, unable to memorize IFRS/USGAAP differences.)

BA in Finance (Senior Year)

Corporate FInance

Portfolio Management




Alternatives Investments



Fixed Income

F&R (Most Dificult) and its not because i have no backround its that its so much material and i have a lot of GAPS in this section

Still in college (Edit: I guess I’ll clarify this. Senior for BS Economics-Finance / Actuarial Sciences minor, enrolled for Master of Finance)

Never had a job/internship

Ethics Economics Quantitative Methods Portfolio Management Corporate Finance Equities Fixed Income Financial Reporting and Analysis Derivatives Alternative Investments

Of course, my rankings are sort of “what I’m good at” and reflect how much I care about them / studied for them. I’m sure alternative investments isn’t the hardest, but I do the worst on it because I don’t care at all.

Econ and QM were the problem areas for me. The curriculum does such a poor job of IS-LN analysis. I only understood it after watching the elan video a couple of times.

BAS Finance

no job, outside student taking mathematics courses

Financial reporting (hardest)

Ethics (managed to master it finally)

economics (not an exacts science, ew), quantitative methods (too many ugly long formulas)

corporate finance, fixed income

equity, alternative investments, portfolio management

derivatives (easiest)

  1. BBA, Finance

  2. Bank Auditor for Regulatory Agency

  3. Ethics (Easiest)

Quantitative Methods (Everything but Probability Theory)


Financial Reporting and Analysis (I’ve taken 5 certification tests on this stuff for my work. IFRS is only thing I have to learn) Corporate Finance

Portfolio Management Fixed Income Alternative Investments

(Big GAP)

Quantitative Methods (Only Probability Theory)

Derivatives (Never exposed to it before, understand concepts need to learn pricing)

Economics (Took these classes 4 years ago, completly forgot) (Hardest)

  1. BS Liberal Studies

  2. Registered Nurse

PM/QM (least difficult)

Ethics, AI, Derivatives, Corp Fin


Econs (Most difficult)

B.S. in Finance, emphasis in Securities Analysis

Financial Advisor


Portfolio management


Fixed Income

Corporate Finance

Quantitative Analysis

Derivitaives and Alternative Investments

Financial Report and Analysis


  1. Chartered Accountant (Currently in final Level) + Bachelors In commerce( completed last year) + Chartered Secretary (Final Level)…im From india…

  2. Interning as an Audit Assistant

  3. Have read almost a large chunk of Portfolio Mgt, Corp Fin,Derivatives, FRA , some bond valuation and a fair bit of eco. But from glancing over the material i guess :

1.Corp Finance (Have Read equivalent of CFA Level 2…yayy)

  1. Alternative Investments (It seems 70% theory)

  2. Ethics(Will read it for the first time.Its all theory so iguess its just amatter of time)

  3. Portfolio Mgt 5. Maybe QuaNT

  4. Equity Analyis(totally new)

  5. Fixed Income

  6. FRA (Pure Ifrs is new to me)

  7. Derivatives (i See some new concepts )

  8. Economics (Read it almost 2yrs ago. totally forgot)