or excited? When I saw “pass” on the results page I felt some relief, but I didn’t cheer up, celebrate or drink. Passing this exam was a huge success for me since I achieved almost an impossibility- passing the L3 exam with only 3 weeks of studying. Yesterday I felt good for passing, and I thought about it, but I couldn’t come up with a reason other than this: Now I don’t have to tell people that I failed. Why? I am very interested in equity investments. I wanted to be an ER analyst and ultimately a money manager. I got a job as a Research Analyst in a finance company (but not ER). It was very hard for me to get this job coz I was being told that I dont have any US experience. Then I heard about the CFA exam. I thought I could do it easily and combined with the US experience I am getting, it would open up my way significantly. I passed L1 on Dec 06, but didn’t hurry to apply for new jobs since L2 was only 6 months away and my resume would be much stronger after I passed that too, and my experience would be more solid with the passage of time. So in Aug 07, i got my result, pass L2. I was so happy, so excited. I had always motivated myself by saying “if I pass this now I will make at least 20 K more one year earlier (after finishing the series)” Thats 20 K profit not to mention that I would get the job I want. With all that happyness and joy I started applying to jobs I wanted. I was thinking it wouldnt take more than 1-2 months (now that I had US experience as a research analyst too). 1 month, 2 months 4 months 6 months, 8 months, I kept applying. Pursued other alternatives, networking. Result: Nothing. Not even an interview!! I got extremely frustrated. I totally lost my belief in the CFA charter and its benefits. I just didn’t want to study for level 3, which explains my huge procrastination. So I passed, I can’t even say “now I dont have to take this again” coz I wouldnt anyway. I still didn’t update my resume. I am almost afraid to apply, get my hopes up and get frustrated again. On the other hand people like CSK who has no experience in finance go thru the CFA thing for who knows what reason. I envy their hopes and enthusiasm coz I don’t have any left.
the cfa just isnt much of a differentiator. tons of people have it. i only went through these garbage tests because every investment management/ research job you apply to says cfa/mba preferred or participation in the cfa program will be required. it is just one more prerequisite box checked. go back to a top 15 business school if you want to get a good job and you have no experience.
It’s a tough time in the finance industry. Most firms are looking to cut people not hire. You just have to keep looking and pay your dues. It sounds like you only have 2 years or so of experience. That along with the CFA means you are no longer entry level, but it’s not considered experienced. BTW, passing with only 3 weeks study is impressive! I passed L2 with just 12 days of study, but I could not do L3 in 3.
Corvette business school is not an option. I also have an MBA. I have 2.5-3 years of experience. So the big dilemma: They don’t hire you without having relevant experience, and without relevant job you cant get relevant experience. Thats why I did CFA, to skip that relevant experience part. They can ask me to do anything… Pass another exam CFA ++ ultra charter? I will do it. But when they ask for the relevant experience, thats something I cant do. And wow 12 days? I studied solid 4 months for L2.
The job market can really deflate your enthusiasm. I’ve been on interviews where I mentioned my CFA Candidacy, and am met w/ a curious look and question…“what exactly is that?”. That question was asked by the manager of a billion dollar energy portfolio for a fortune 500. I had another interview at a MF where the co-investment chief (Ivy MBA, Wall Street All-star) asked me what I learned in the L1/L2 of the CFA curriculum b/c he wasn’t familiar w/ the program. It can also create problems in regards to compensation. I’ve been told, “your overqualified for this position, and people w/ your qualifications and experience are often paid more than we can start you at.” Now perhaps I’m a legend only in my own mind and I bombed both interviews, but both analyst positions were given to people who were a year or two out of college and given a salary of $45-55K. It seems that they’d rather have a under qualified person that they can steal than someone who has worked to add value to themselves and their skill sets. Or maybe it’s sour grapes…who knows
PeteyPete Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > The job market can really deflate your enthusiasm. > I’ve been on interviews where I mentioned my CFA > Candidacy, and am met w/ a curious look and > question…“what exactly is that?”. That question > was asked by the manager of a billion dollar > energy portfolio for a fortune 500. > > I had another interview at a MF where the > co-investment chief (Ivy MBA, Wall Street > All-star) asked me what I learned in the L1/L2 of > the CFA curriculum b/c he wasn’t familiar w/ the > program. > > It can also create problems in regards to > compensation. I’ve been told, “your overqualified > for this position, and people w/ your > qualifications and experience are often paid more > than we can start you at.” Now perhaps I’m a > legend only in my own mind and I bombed both > interviews, but both analyst positions were given > to people who were a year or two out of college > and given a salary of $45-55K. It seems that > they’d rather have a under qualified person that > they can steal than someone who has worked to add > value to themselves and their skill sets. Or > maybe it’s sour grapes…who knows I’m second to your opinion.
CFA is meant for a career boost, not a career change. If you want to switch careers go for the MBA. If you are in the field already and want to pplement your work experience and knowledge with a strong credential then go CFA. I have found it to be a good talking point in interviews and a very useful way to get your foot in the door for jobs that require 2-3 years experience. When everyone is starting out they need a way to differentiate themselves. CFA can help you do that. After 5-7 years your work experience needs to speak for itself. Yea the credential will look good but it ends up being another check mark.
hey folks, first time posting in the L3 forum. i just passed L2 and came over to this forum to see what goes on here and saw this interesting thread. i wholeheartedly believe that cfa candidates need to realize that getting the charter is only a stepping stone - nothing more and nothing less. your success will always come down to your networking, smarts, personality and most of all - luck. the hundreds of hours we spent studying for these exams is probably only good for the 10-15 seconds that a hiring manager spends on scanning your resume before he/she decides to whether to toss it in the recycle bin. but still, passing the exams is a big accomplishment.
The Rick Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > It’s a tough time in the finance industry. Most > firms are looking to cut people not hire. You > just have to keep looking and pay your dues. It > sounds like you only have 2 years or so of > experience. That along with the CFA means you are > no longer entry level, but it’s not considered > experienced. > > BTW, passing with only 3 weeks study is > impressive! I passed L2 with just 12 days of > study, but I could not do L3 in 3. 12 days??? Was it your second time on Level II? I started studying for Level II in late January and still felt like another month would have been helpful.
…and don’t forget, you can never be too rich or too thin either.
passing cfa exams on first attempt like i did may not be very meaningfull to get a job on the experience side. I still believe someone who has been working in the industry will do better job than me, initially… however, what I did means something else… it means I am capable… i can achieve… I have intelligence and willingness to work hard… passing the exams is a hard evidence to that… if I can do this, I can do other stuff as well… so it should be something worthy…
Turkish dude, you have US research experience? Why not apply to jobs in US then? or other countries? There’s an article in the NY times saying that Wall street research is dead, because it doesn’t generate money, which is true. The funds used for research is coming from Operations. There aren’t that many research jobs anymore. Also, I bet these jobs can be outsourced to India at some level.
man I am in NY now… capital of finance…?.. too much competition but to many opportunities as well… If I failed I would go back home… join the army (mandatory)… now I will give myself a few months and see what happens…
Try some place else. All the ibanks have cut people, so have the hedge funds. There’s a hiring freeze at Merrill and Citibank. I’m not sure of the other banks. They have fired so many people with experience. You and I are competing with people with experience.
This is such a sad story. Turkish_dude you are getting me all depressed. What exactly do you do as a research analyst? Where did you get your MBA?