For those who are wondering how to become a CFA Charterholder, you may have probably realized that it is a great way to set yourself apart in the financial industry. You are going to get global recognition and real-world expertise which will help you better serve your clients for the rest of your career. Of course, the path to becoming a CFA Charterholder is challenging, but it will open new doors for you in global finance.
How to Become a CFA Charterholder?
Here are the steps that you will need to follow to become A CFA Charterholder:
- Pass CFA Exams
To become a CFA Charterholder, you first have to pass the CFA exams. For your information, there are three CFA exam levels (1, 2, 3) with unique topics and learning focuses. The topics include asset valuation, investment tools, and portfolio management. Each CFA exam will test different learning focuses. The CFA Level 1 exam will focus on knowledge and comprehension. The CFA Level 2 exam will focus on application and analysis. The CFA Level 3 exam will focus on synthesizing information and making evaluations. According to CFA Institute, the candidates spend an average of 300 hours preparing for the CFA exam for each level and will discover it easier with CFA exam prep. Passing the CFA exam for all three levels is a requirement to be a CFA Charterholder. If you do not pass a level, do not worry, you are able to take it again the following exam season.
- Complete Education and Work Experience Requirements
There are several ways to fulfill the education and work experience requirements to enroll in the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program. If you are new to the industry, then you need to have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of your bachelor’s degree program. If you have been working in an industry, and you have 4,000 hours of relevant work experience, you are eligible to start the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program too.
So, in the second step to become a CFA Charterholder, you have to complete work experience requirements before, during, or after participation in the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program. Keep in mind that your experience must be directly involved with the investment decision-making process or producing a work product that informs or adds value to that process.
- Submit Reference Letters
In support of your membership application, you need to provide 2-3 professional references. References are going to be asked to comment on your work experience and professional character.
- Apply to Become a Member of CFA Institute
Before you receive your charter, you have to be a member of the CFA Institute. You are able to be a member of the CFA Institute while you are in the process of getting the charter or wait until the end. For your information, the application process has three phases. Usually, it takes a few weeks to get approved. To apply, you have to pass at least Level I of the CFA exam or the self-administered Standards of Practice Examination, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent education or work experience, and 4,000 hours of professional work experience in investment decision-making. Also, three professional references are required. Aside from that, you are also highly encouraged to join a local CFA Society to network with your peers and take advantage of local continuing education chances.
In the next step to become a CFA Charterholder, you have to apply to become a member of CFA Institute. After your application is approved and you have joined CFA Institute, then you are going to have earned the CFA charter. Each year, they survey CFA Program candidates before and after the exam to measure and improve the CFA candidate experience. Usually, the surveys ask for feedback across several areas, including exam preparation, exam value, curriculum, and employment outlook.
For investment professionals around the world, the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct is the ethical benchmark. As a CFA Program candidate or CFA Institute member, you have to obey the Code and Standards. The Code maintains that you have to place the interests of your clients and the integrity of the profession above your interests and that you have to act with respect and professional competence.
Enrollment Criteria and Requirements for CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program
To become a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) candidate, you have to enroll in the CFA Program and register for the CFA Level I exam. To enroll, you have to meet all of the qualifications listed below. We are going to guide you through the enrollment process and to keep you on track for registration.
Here are some enrollment criteria and requirements for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program:
- Meet One of the Enrollment Requirements
First, you have to meet one of the following enrollment requirements; Bachelor’s Degree, Undergraduate Student or Professional Work Experience. The candidates who are applying to register for CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program without completing a bachelor’s degree have to evaluate honestly whether their professional work experience has equipped them for the significant volume and depth of study demanded by the CFA Program.
- Have an International Travel Passport
CFA Institute requires that every CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program candidate have a valid international travel passport. The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program candidate without a passport will not be able to register or sit for exams.
- Be Prepared to Take the CFA Exams in English
The CFA Program exams are just offered in English. So, you have to be prepared to take the CFA exam in English. The exams need English proficiency for reading comprehension and formulating answers to complex financial scenarios.
- Meet the Professional Conduct Admission Criteria
All candidates in the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Program have to complete a Professional Conduct Statement form to prove that they are in compliance with this requirement.
- Live in a Participating Country
Apparently, there are several countries with which the CFA Institute cannot work. You are able to review the OFAC Policy to check if there are any sanctions on your country.