Thoughts on my viability of attaining the Charter - Reality Check

Hello Folks,

Just need a reality check and some words of advice for those with similar backgrounds and/or experiences. I took level 1 in December 2015 and awaiting results. I would like to take level 2 in June 2016. I work as a CPA for a global Fund shop, and can dedicate 20 hours a week to my studies. I aiming for 450 hours come June 2016.

I also attempted a PhD program in Economics at a top 50 American Research University for a quarter, but the math was much too intense and I quit after that. I’m worried that my lack of quant skills will prove detrimental – econometrics, and the intro quant courses were too advanced based on my inadequate undergraduate studies.

I scored 1520/1600 (88th percentile math, 99th+ percentile verbal, and 99th percentile total) on the GRE (graduate record examination) back in 2008 directly after my undergraduate studies. I attended a non- competitive State College and earned a 4.0 GPA in Business with a Finance concentration. My overall GPA was only a 3.5 because I was on academic probation my first two years for inadequate grades.

I also averaged a 90% on the 4 parts of my CPA exams back in 2011 when I was working for a Big 4 audit firm. However, I had 3 months of study only time between my graduate degree in Accounting (3.5 GPA) and when I started working in audit.

Given my lack of true Finance experience, what are my chances on level 2 and 3? Again, not sure how level 1 went but was averaging 77% accross all 7 mocks I took so feel pretty good there.

Multiple Regression is already kicking my butt and wondering if I should just cut my losses now and focus on being a good accountant.

Thanks for reading!

I wouldn’t worry about “a lack of finance experience” before taking L2. It’s def harder than L1, but study well and you’ll pass. It seems like you have solid study/taking exams experience, so you should be ok

The math is well below PhD Economics level. It’s not that hard really, just put in the work and you’ll be fine.

You have a luxury that many of us do not have - the ability to study 20 hours a week. You should more than ace the CFA exams with that amount of study time.

Don’t be so intimidated. The math is high school level algebra, and Quant is 5% of any exam, so you can bomb it and be fine all the way through.

If you’re disciplined and actually learn the material, you’ve got a good shot of passing.

Do you know the following mathematic functions: + - * / …?

If the answer is yes, then you’re good to go.

ps stop making excuses and start studying!!

Im not anwhere close to your 99th percentile GRE score, dont have a masters, got a worse GPA at a state school, and dont work in finance but I still cleared L2 in around 450 hours.

The most quantitative stuff is just 5% of the level 2 score. I just plain skipped it because I figured id pick up more points with my time elsewhere. Fixed income and portfolio management might take some time but I would consider the accounting/financial analysis the biggest hurdle of the exam. Move past Quant and come back at the end if you have time.

^Seriously. I started with Quant last year and I was lost as all h***. Got really frustrated and kind of stalled out. Then I remembered a valuable lesson from L1… when in doubt just move on and come back to it. I skipped ahead to Econ, got a nice pace from there and by the time I wrapped back around to Quant again it all kind of made sense and wasn’t so bad.

It wasn’t that the material itself was so hard to comprehend, I had just begun my studying with a really, really dull topic (IMO of course) and couldn’t concentrate on it enough to get anywhere. When hit with good momentum a few months later it was way easier to conquer.

If you get stuck, move on to the next topic. Come back to Quant later. You can definitely do it with the knowledge and experience you posted.

Best troll year to date. No one with that background and that availability of time has ever failed a CFA Exam. Fact. Nothing to see here. Is that what you wanted to hear? You’re welcome.

Do you complain to a man in a wheelchair that you can’t see the stage well?

Thank you for your advice folks! Glad to hear I’m not the only one thinking quantitative methods was a rough start. I was really swaying back and forth of whether or not to delay the exam to June of 2017 to have a higher chance of passing as well as a BETTER understanding of the actual curriculum versus just answering the MPS for 120 questions. Again, my quantitative skills are quite elementary - neither my undergraduate, graduate, GRE, or CPA exams required a level of math that I encountered thus far on level 2. The quarter I tried an econ PhD, I was literally told by my mentors/professors that it would be next to impossible to achieve a professorship type job. I attempted teaching myself calculus to catch up to my peers, but simply could not. Glad to hear the CFA is more practical! Thanks again for your advice.