What are you using to study?

So who is: 1. Doing the actual readings from all the books that they list for their curriculum (I am thinking of doing this) + Jorion? 2. Buying Schweser? 3. Buying Bionic Turtle? 4. Reading just Jorion?

Schweser’s notes, q banks, mock exams and its review package (3 hour video, a summary book and another mock exam). Not going to any seminars, lectures or e-learning because i’d rather spend my time doing the books and for me, that is more effective. All paid for my company; even if i want more than one set of materials. Using schweser only though because i dont think there is enough time to do more than one set of materials. I’d rather master on one than be confused by others.

^^ what he said ^^ I’m not too motivated for FRM anyway. I just want to get to see some of the material and we’ll see what happens in the exam. CFA is much more important to me.

I see I see, I am very skeptical of using Schweser for this exam and will never use it for the CFA (because it is way more important to me than the FRM also) but the lack of a solif curriculum for this exam has, to my own disappointment, made me actually consider using Schweser. What do you all think of using the actual books that they assign the readings out of (I view that as the defacto curriculum and hence the basis of grading and question formulation). Does Anyone else agree with this view and/or is going to go this route?

adavydov7, I was on the FRM site and even they say “2009 FRM Core Readings Course Pack– It will include “most” core readings from the 2009 FRM Study Guide”. So even GARP core readings dont cover 100% from what I interpret. Im also thinking of using Schweser but a little wary cuz what if they start asking questions like CFA L2…so not sure. Once I decide on the books, Ill register and order right away but it seems hard to get answers. I have tried to get int ouch with FRMs who have passed in the past but so far no luck. Cheers.

@Salz: what you are talking about is the Reading Course Pack that they sell through their library. The reason this pack doesn’t include all readings is because they couldn’t get permission from some authors/publishers to distribute just given chapters of their books. What I was asking about is if anyone is planning on reading the full comprehensive list of books and chapters that they give you in the Study Guide (this is what I was thinking of doing and wanted to hear some thoughts).

I was wondering this myself - do people use just the study guides, or is it “highly recommended” that we read the source material? I’m paying for it out of my own pocket, so if I can save $500 by not ordering the source material, I’d like to cut costs, if at all possible.

adavydov7, I did a quick analysis by taking every reading they have listed and running a search by author on Amazon…so if you were planning on buying each one of these bad boys, it would cost A LOT more (unless you were going to goto the library and pull out some of the readings which is very time consuming). The more I think about it, the more I lean towards Schweser and maybe order the readings from the GARP that I have trouble with. Man, the cost if you buy each of of the books is astounding…its like the B School books…super expensive. Hope that helps. Shoot back with any questions as I compiled the list on Excel.

SalZ - what’s the total page count if one were to read the required readings? Also, the description of the course pack makes it sound like all the readings that are required are included, except for the Options text by Hull. Please correct me if that sounds wrong. Thanks!

I have a few of these books from my days in grad school (past editions, but content is virtually unchanged chapters still have the same titles etc.). Also, the majority of these books can be downloaded for free at gigapedia.org after you register (although this probably border line legal).

Wat: I didnt do a page count…I just compiled the reading list and the books and checked on Amazon how much theyd cost. I usually dont worry about page count…rather about the right course content. On the other hand, I got an answer back from a FRM who said he used Kaplan Schweser exclusively and he did have some issues with solving some problems but he obviously passed…he took it in 2008. The more I hear, the more I lean towards Schweser…I will post a question on their site too to see what they say about coverage…(Im sure theyll say they cover all we need to know, of course). When I was looking at the Course Pack from GARP, it seems they already include the Handbook readings from Jorion so would this mean you dont need the Handbook…not sure!

Wat - If i remember correctly, the readings on CDSs is taken from another Hull book I think risk management and financial institutions, which is also not included, plus there are some free readings not included such as the Basel II Accord. SalZ - I passed the Nov 08 exam, 1st quartile in everything except for quant, which I got 2nd. I think if you know the Schweser notes inside and out, you should be fine. I would say that if you had an open book exam with only the Schweser notes, you would probably miss maybe 10 questions or so. I think you can live with that?

Thanks I_Heart. I think this hits the nail in the head for me. Im going to keep it simple and easy with Schweser. Do you recommend the Essential or the Premium solution I_Heart? Also, how much time did you spend on preparation (pls indicate if you are a CFA L2 candidate as I have heard there are some overlaps). Again, thanks.

I looked over the readings that I have/downloaded and I am thinking of doing the following: 1. Read Schweser (just get the real basic package so I have all of their texts, exams, and Qbank) 2. Read the Jorion handbook 3. Read all the Hull chapters that are assigned (I have already read this whole book so this won’t be difficult since I have been over the materials before), I don’t think I wanna read the many of the other readings because they are at a very high/technical level and I haven’t been over them before so the time it would take to go over them the first time isn’t worthe it (as compared to Schweser). 4. Read all the linked articles/readings in the 2009 Study Plan (probably about 25 out of the 70 readings for the Full Exam) What do you all think of this study plan? Particularly about reading the Jorion handbook considering the other 3 steps of prep? Do you think I should still read it? Leave it for last and if I have time read as a review.

Last year they did not have the premium plus so i got the premium and the final review pack, which is the premium plus for this year. I’m not sure if they continue to do this, but what I usually do is buy the books, then the rest of the package later. They usually make you pay the difference between the package price (say $700 for the premium) and what you paid for the books (something like $250). You can get the essential and buy the premuim in September when the video starts. But please make sure they continue to do this, or you may have to shell out the full non-package price. I was a L2 candidate last year (I am praying that on the other side of Aug 18, I’m a level 3 candidate) I had some personal stuff going on, so L2, I didnt give it a good go. Basically just showed up, and failed miserably. I think the main over laps for the two are Quant, especially so with time series, but I have to admit, since they start from scratch, you see a lot of L1 stuff like probability, kurtosis, calc stdev etc. Derivatives, lots of futures, forwards, credit, options, etc. They also have a large chunch of option trading stategies which i saw in undergrad and probably in level 3? Also for some reason, they dont have anything on pricing swaps, just valuation. Fixed income - lots on l1 and l2 overlap, duration, convexity, structured products, corporate credit analysis. Re structured products I think the material is about the same level of dificulty, but they seem to focus on different areas. i.e. CFA is more concerned re contraction/extention risk, where as FRM is more about credit risk, strucutres, etc. PM - there is a lot of dicussion re CAL, CML, CAPM, sharp ratio, sortino ratio. You also get a little bit of benifit from alternative investments, i.e. hedge funds, but not a lot. so you are kind of on your own from op risk, credit risk, market risk (i.e. VaR) and regulatory stuff (i.e Basel II) I figured I spent about 200 hours give or take a bit. I had to work a lot becuase of the crisis, but I took 2 days off before the exam which helped. I have to admit, the final review pack is kinda gay, but i figure during your studies up to the last couple of days, you learn all the finer points. Really I would say that the final review pack is to get the low hangining fruit and to build some confidence. Hope this helps.

Great stuff I_Heart. Thanks for the input, appreciate it. Good Luck to you.

Good input iHeart I will have to go over the differences in packages that Schweser offers, I am definitely getting the books, exams and Qbank. Not getting videos for sure. Thinking of getting final review pack and secret sauce etc.

adavydov, r u using both the course readings and schweser.

Sal: I am going to do a combo of both, read the Schweser study notes and also read all the free readings on the study plan (there are 24, I am not reading the one that’s like 350 pages though) and all the Hull Chapters too (if I have time, since I have read these before). I am also considering reading the FRM Hanbook 5th Edition by Jorion (also only if I have time).

I think I am going to do the following: - Schweser Premium Solution - Free Readings (24 or so that they send you the link for once you request it) - Jorion (I have heard its not an easy read) Unless I hear some earth shattering news that would make me change my mind, I will stick to this…I made some mistakes in my CFA prep jumping around the CFAI and Schweser so Ill try to avoid that this time starting with FRM. Pls feel free to comment if you feel I am in the hole with this plan. Cheers.