Yet another guy with no finance background...

Hi all, I have a couple questions – my apologies if such questions have already been posted numerous times on this forum. 1) As mentioned in the topic, I have no finance background at all, but have degrees in mathematics and statistics from the University of Minnesota, which have fairly rigorous programs in those respective fields. As such, I have quite a bit of knowledge regarding topics such as time series analysis, linear regression, sampling design, statistical theory, multivariate analysis, non-parametric methods, and so on. So, with my stat and math knowledge, along with the little bit of economics knowledge I have, would I fare well in pursuing a CFA if I had enough dedication with regard to studying? I’m pretty sure I’d fare well, but my next point troubles me a little… 2) How would I enter the field of financial analysis without relevant work experience? At the moment, I’m a Catastrophe Risk Analyst for a reinsurance company in Minnesota, and I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t count as qualified work experience to be granted a CFA Charter. Does anyone have any helpful advice or suggestions about this? I guess what I’m trying to ask is would this process even be worth my time? Is there anyone out there in the same situation as I am who has made this work? Thanks much.

Gah, my apologies for not posting this in the General Discussion forum. I’d be much obliged if this post could be moved. Thanks.

hi jrf… id say yes to your first question. wall street loves mathematicians and engineers…I think your background is a good start, but obviously you will have to study a lot for this exam. all the concepts will be new to you so it will take you longer to understand then to do the math. go for it! I disagree with your work experience statement. First off, you can take the exams and not have the relevant work experience. I think they will grant you something like a ‘junior status’ instead of a full-fledged CFA ‘charter-ship’. I think taking the CFA shows prospective employers that you are serious and to a certain extent knowledgeable of the industry, so even if CFAI doesn’t accept your previous work experience, taking the CFA is a good way to break into the industry if you feel your background doesn’t jive well. Let me know if this helps!