Who gets more respect: CFA, CFP, or CPA?

I know its not apples to apples, but just curious what an unbiased financial vet would give more respect to? Please don’t answer “it depends on the industry”, its not what I am getting at. Obviously each has its place. This is what I am asking: If a navy seal and coast guardsman walk into a U.S. bar in uniform both would likely command a certain degree of respect. Both had to go through physical and mental pain to carve specific skills, albeit different skills. However, most would likely respect navy seals to a greater degree than coast guardsman (sorry, no disrespect!) because of the well publicized greater battle to become a navy seal and the more advanced skills learned and applied in the real world. You dig?


The CPAs in my office look at the CFA material and it being one exam a year and say it seems rough. Who knows though

My guess is that CFA gets more respect in portfolio management. CPA gets a fair amount of respect, particularly in fundamental analysis shops. CFP gets the least respect, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.

My sense is that CFA and CPA take similar levels of effort to pass (though CPA does have specific course reqirements aside from simply passing the exams, so CPA probably involves more work if you include that). My guess is that CPA involves more memorization and rule application tasks, while CFA requires more synthesis of ideas across areas, but since I haven’t done a CPA myself, I am not sure.

I don’t dig

If you’re talking about the average Joe’s level of respect, then it’d go like this: CPA > CFP > CFA.

plumbing degree

This is the dumbest question. You’re literally fishing for people to say CFA.

CFA > CFP > realtor > CPA


when I worked in big 4 a lot of people were like, “Oh you passed your CFA exams? I just got my CPA, probably going to go for that next.” Haven’t met a single person to follow through and pass 1 level after saying that. And most would trade designations in a second.

money, power, respect, its the key to life

I’ve experienced the same thing in the corporate world. Very few CPAs ever end up passing all three.

CFA >>> CPA in your scenario

CPA > CFA to the majority of the population, who have no idea what the fck the CFA is. Even my CPA friends generally haven’t heard of the CFA. On the other hand, virtually everyone is familiar with the CPA, even those not in finance/accounting.

Yea def agree the average person has no clue what the CFA is, which I guess bodes well for anti-dilution properties. The majority of people’s first reaction when I mention the CFA is, “O you mean like the CPA right?”.

Not sure that is it. Everyone has to file taxes (CPA). Not everyone interacts with equity analysts

It’s what you need in life…

CFAI should use this to test unconditional probability.

Given that the conditional probability of respecting the CFA more, when knowing about CFA and CPA, is 90%, while the probability of knowing about both the CFA and CPA is 15%, what is the unconditional probability that John Smith respects the CFA more than the CPA?

I don’t think finance in general is the right field if your goal is to become beloved by the masses.