Starting my CFA. Would appreciate some advice!

Hi. I recently decided to embark on the long journey to attain my CFA. I just started my first job at Thomson Financial in NYC. I have been told if I pass my exam, my company will pay for the exam. I have an international business degree and recently took my GMAT. I think now is a great time to go for the CFA since I am still in the mode of studying for a difficult test. I would like to take the Dec. 2008 exam. I realize this exam is going to be tougher than the GMAT or anything I have come across, but I am up for the challenge. I have no problem studying and working hard, I just would like to know what materials I should study. I have ample time (about 36 weeks). I want to take a shweser class, but all the classes in NYC already started, so il probably start one in August. What materials should I study in the mean time? From now to August is a long time and I’d hate to just sit idle. I heard the CFAI materials are ok, but too broad. Thanks for your advice!

Since you have plenty of time before the Dec exam, read all of the CFAI material. It is broad, but so is the level I exam. Buy Schweser as well. If you have any accounting books (ie Kieso Intermediate Accounting), it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on that either.

Hey CFABlackBelt, what did you get as GMAT score?

I’d suggest getting Schweser notes, Q-bank and Secret Sauce. You can read Schweser notes first (they are very concise and have good tips) and then look through the CFAI material if there is something you don’t understand. Don’t worry too much about retaining information, just try to understand and connect concepts. After you are done reading through the material, start practicing 120-question Q-bank tests and reading Secret Sauce to retain key concepts. Is your nick GMATBLACKBELT on the gmatclub forum?

haha ya. I thougt itd be appropriate.

sure. welcome to AF.

Well Id like to get all the materials now, but im payin NY prices for well just about everything. So I have to keep my budget in line. Which materials should I buy first? I’m leaning towards CFAI for now b/c the earlist and cheapest deadline is on Mar. 17th. If I wait i may have to pay 150-300$ more. But again, I’ve heard from coworkers that CFAI materials are broad and not as relevent as the Swcheser. I guess I should say relevent, but not as focused and organized. From what they say.

congrats on your first job, which group of TF do you work for? Since you have alot of time for december exam, I would suggest starting with CFAI text and then once you have finished those do the Schweser as a review. I think they complement each other nicely. On the other hand you can go for either of the two, before 2008 the CFAI text was not part of the registration for the exam and many people would just study from Schweser.

Corporate Advisory. Thanks all for your advice.

If I was on a serious budget and studying for CFA 1, I don’t think I would buy anything except stuff from CFA Institute. I might spend time doing a Google search and see what I come up with as study aids. I would ask colleagues if I could borrow some old stuff.

In the long term I can afford to purchase both, but I was trying to assess whether I should buy all the materials right away. I went ahead today and registered for the exam… out 1k$ there goes my weekend at disneyland =). Il purchase the shweser materials eventually, just not right now b/c I just sank tons of money in getting a NYC apartment… freakin NYC is so wierd w/ apartments.

I suggest you read the all the books, but don’t concentrate on memorizing everything A to Z, then do as many questions as you can, and don’t be cheap and buy CFA practice exams, then do exams, and after you do one, just read the sections you did poorly on and do general review, do some more exams, rinse and repear… Practice is your friend, don’t spend TOO much time reading / taking notes, concentrate on doing questions.