Why study for the CFA?

Pros: - Sets up an ethics code which is good for practicioners - It’s the finance designation that the common folk seem to know - You learn the very basics of a very broad profession Cons: - Everyone is learning the same thing - thus no edge between charterholders - It teaches “in the box” thinking, nothing that will increase creativity - The information is just like Wikipedia formats that will be forgotten if not used - It doesn’t allow you do so something you otherwise couldn’t do - It takes 3 years and a lot of time and effort - It’s expensive, the real winners are the CFAI - You will be stereotyped as a CFA person (a fundamental, CAPM type of dude) - It won’t make you wealthy, regardless of the “studies” about salaries - those days are done

Can’t really argue to much other than it’s expensive. I’d think dollar for dollar it would have to be one of the best post graduate designations/degrees one could get.

gets you laid every time is reason enuff.

Pro if you have it, con if you don’t: - Some jobs require you to have the designation (like my current job) - I would say cost is a pro since it’s relatively cheap (v. MBA) - “It won’t make you wealthy” No one test can guarantee wealth, but more education/credentials/credibility can’t hurt.

Counterpoints: Some of us can remeber this stuff. What makes you think this is the only finance stuff I’ve learned? as far as “outside the box” thinking: The idea is to learn the general framework, and add your own spin as you see fit.

Good question

I agree with joemontana. In my opinion, the program does teach you ‘in the box’ theory but you need to learn how value securities the ‘typical’ way first before you can decide to be a contrarian - hence the definition of a contrarian. Also, the CFA curriculum is great for young people who didn’t choose finance as their undergrad degree. They get to learn accounting, equity, and fixed income in detail and are forced to actually retain the info - at least for a while - since there are actual difficult tests to write. The young people also have the rest of their careers to unlearn the curriculum and figure out what actually works. So continue to read and digest Markowitz’s beautiful theory… but remember that if you don’t believe in it, you can enjoy using the portfolio management book to make a nice fire later :wink:

Yeah seriously, “it’s expensive”? Where else can you get such an internationally recognized, well respected, high standard, professional designation for hundreds of dollars? Do you want the CFAI to start paying you to take this?

To think outside the box one must know about how others think inside the box.

In terms of monetary cost and ROI, the CFA might be the best post-grad designation/degree in the entire world. What other credential offers the benefits of the CFA for $6K? None IMHO.