170,000 people are about to take

Wall Street's most difficult test


There are three sequential levels of exams; the first level is provided twice a year, and the second and 3rd levels are administered only in June. Candidates who pass each exam and meet profession qualifications 4 years minimum in finance are qualified for a CFA charter.

Normally, more than half of all those taking any level of the exam fail. They then have to wait as much as a complete year to take the same level once again.

So, why do so many individuals compromise their free time and social lives to take these exams? It’s because the CFA classification is possibly one of the most appreciated in the investment management market. Lisa Plaxco, CFA, head of the CFA program at CFA Institute, says, it is the global gold standard for competency and integrity throughout the investment management market, both for specialists and their clients.

A CFA charter shows understanding and understanding of a vast array of subjects at the core of finance, including macroeconomics, stock analysis, bond prices, and option technique, among others. One of the distinct qualities of how the CFA exams are developed is that the process is practitioner based, Plaxco notes. A full-time personnel is dedicated to a practice analysis procedure created to keep the curriculum present. In current years there has been an enhanced focus on behavioral finance.

Through practice analysis, numerous hundred Learning Outcome Statements form the foundation of the curriculum and exams. In order to master these very technical topics, candidates have to read countless pages from dozens of readings for each level of the curriculum.

The exams aren’t written for the purpose of being tough. Rather, CFA Institute attempts to make them complete. That way companies and clients are confident they will get the take advantage of a charter holder’s knowledge and broader understanding of the classifications covered by the CFA curriculum.

And it’s not just about the technical aspects of finance.

Ethical and professional standards are heavily tested at all 3 levels of the exam. CFA charter holders are needed to follow a stringent code of principles that discuss every aspect of their expert lives or face seeing their charters withdrawal. In the last few years, principles have actually come to the leading edge, particularly after the monetary crisis. Customers, companies, the capital markets, and the investing public are guaranteed their interests take concern for the CFA charter holder.