I am starting to study for the 2012 level 1 test date in about a week. I have worked in the industry as a financial advisor since early 2005 and I earned my B.S. in finance emphasizing on securities analysis in 2004. I am looking to make a transition to a different part of this industry, eventual ending up at a mutual fund or hedge fund with a position in portfolio management. I know it is a long road from here to there, but the CFA seems like the ideal place to start. I am a little worried about not having studied analyst type material that I studied in college and now jumping into the CFA. What can expect as far as level of difficulty? Is six months enough time to study? How many hours can I expect to study? How hard is it to make this transition within the industry that I want to make? Any other tips or comments to make sure that this goes well would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
You will definitely have enough time to prepare for June. If you do searches in the forum, you’ll find similar questions with a wide range of answers simply because everyone has a different background, learning style, and retention rate. What is common across all the advice is that the sooner you start preparing, the better. You want to make sure you learn and understand the material, not just memorize formulas. Generally, save Ethics for last (close to the exam). I’d suggest either studying the books in order (excluding Ethics), or make sure you look at quant or FRA first, since these will carry over into corporate finance, PM, and equity. Make sure you keep doing practice questions, but don’t write the answers in the books/study guide/etc because you’ll want to come back to those questions in the future and re-work them to ensure you remember how to do it.